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Figure skating: Pairs' sweep gives Russia Olympic boost with weeks to go

Published on Jan 19, 2014 11:16 PM

BUDAPEST (AFP) - World champions Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov found it hard to stay on their feet but gave Olympic hosts' Russia a podium sweep and a second gold on the final day of the European figure skating championships in Budapest on Sunday.

It was a third straight European title for the pair, who both fell during their free skate to the rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar, but took the crown by a 12.40-point margin on national champions Ksenia Stolbova and Fedor Klimov, with Vera Bazarova and Yuri Larionov taking bronze.

All the top three pairs train together in Moscow.

Volosozhar and Trankov's success came after 2010 Olympic bronze medallists Aliona Savchenko and Robin Stolkowy of Germany, who had been second after the short programme, withdrew before the free skating final, with Savchenko, 30, suffering from an acute viral infection.

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