Humphreys beats the pain

Ice skating
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The Independent Online
Ice skating

Marika Humphreys needed two stitches in a deep gash on her right leg after she and Philip Askew practised their ice dance programme at the European Championships in Sofia yesterday.

The British champions were warming up for the samba when Humphreys sustained the injury from a Finnish skater's blade. But she still took to the ice for the competition, and the pair were in 11th place after two compulsory dances.

The Olympic and world champions, Oksana Gritschuk and Evgeny Platov, took their expected lead. The Russian couple, who missed last year's event because Platov had a knee injury, won both the Westminster Waltz and the Silver Samba, even though the music for their second dance finished 10 seconds early. Another Russian pair, Anjelika Krylova and Oleg Ovsiannikov, were second.