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Ice Skating: Flawless display retains title

Tatiana Totmianina and Maxim Marinin retained their European figure skating title in the pairs event yesterday with a flawless free programme.

The Russian pair's skating was both playful and precise, and with two triple jumps, including a triple-double combination, they moved up from second after the short programme to take the gold, with marks ranging from 5.6 to 5.9.

The title is the eighth in a row for a Russian pair – and the 36th time in the last 39 years that a Soviet or Russian pair have won. That was not the only hint of déjà vu hanging over the podium. For the second year in a row, France's Sarah Abitbol and Stéphane Bernadis won the silver and Maria Petrova and Alexei Tikhonov of Russia the bronze.

Petrova and Tikhonov, winners of the title in 1999 and 2000, had led going into the final discipline after winning the short programme, but an over-ambitious final sequence cost them. The pair went for two consecutive triples, only for Petrova to land two-footed both times.