Ice skating: Russians in sixth heaven

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The Independent Online
The British ice dance pair of Marika Humphreys and Philip Askew slipped one place to 14th after the original dance section at the European Figure Skating Championships in Paris yesterday.

This left them well adrift of the Russian pair of Oksana Gritschuk and Yevgeny Platov, who built on their lead after the compulsory section with a series of 5.9 and 6.0 scores in their original tango. The Olympic and three-times world champions had straight 5.9s for the composition mark, then recorded six perfect 6.0s for artistry and three more 5.9s for presentation. It was believed to be the largest number of 6.0s awarded at an international championship since Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean received 12 6.0s for their Bolero free dance at the 1984 Olympics in Sarajevo.

In the men's competition, the Olympic champion, Alexei Urmanov, came from sixth place after Wednesday's short programme to win the title following yesterday's free section. It was the first major title the Russian had claimed since winning at the Lillehammer Games three years ago.

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