Ice skating: Gritschuk and Yevgeny retain ice dance title

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The Independent Online
Oskana Gritschuk and Yevgeny Platov gained six perfect marks of 6.0 for presentation in the final free programme to help them successfully defend their ice dance title at the European Figure Skating Championships in Paris yesterday.

The Olympic champions finished clear of fellow Russians Angelika Krylova and Oleg Ovsiannikov. Third place went to French couple Sophie Moniotte and Pascal Lavanchy, who edged out team-mates Marina Anissina and Gwendel Peizerat. Marika Humphreys and Philip Askew of Great Britain finished 15th.

Irina Slutskaya looks poised to retain her women's title. She easily won the short programme, while her Russian rivals, Maria Butyrskaya and Olga Markova, finished only ninth and 10th respectively. Britain's Jenna Arrowsmith dropped after finishing 29th out of 30.

Tonya Harding might seek to skate for another country in the Olympics if US officials do not reinstate her. Her agent, David Hans, said yesterday: "It would be a distinct possibility." Hans will decide in the next few weeks whether to ask the US Figure Skating Association to rescind the lifetime ban it imposed on Harding for her part in the conspiracy to cover up the attack on rival Nancy Kerrigan at the 1994 American championships.

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