In these times men's figure skating competitions are the most challenging and full of true talents. Even in European championship there are a lot of complete athletes, really good at technical elements and at artistic qualities. The biggest surprise of these championships is going to be the return at the competitive world of Eugeni Plushenko after a stop due to injuries and an isu disqualification in 2010. Plushenko made his season debut during the Russian National championship. He won with his new programs almost cleanly performed and with most attention to coreography and transitions than he did in the past.
Plushenko at Russian Nationals
short program http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OiUbd0z9Wp4
Plushenko will need to attend a preliminary round for qualify for euros.
We expect something special also from Artur Gachinski of Russia, the younger copycat of Plushenko, unexpected winner of the bronze medal at worlds 2011. Gachinski did not compete well at the beginning of the season, although his almost perfect tecnique on jumps could assure him a podium finish.
Gachinski at Russian Nationals
Moving to the Czech Republic, two great athletes can fight for a medal: Michal Brezina and Tomas Verner.
Brezina had been one of the most consistent european skaters in the early season. After winning Skate America, Brezina attended other two Grand Prix competitions, he secured a spot for the final where he did not his best, though. He had to deal with an injury next year that took him away from competitions for few months. This injury might still influence him, expecially on his quad salchow, jump that caused him the injury.
Brezina at Skate America
short program http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xrEvnS8RN4I
Tomas Verner is a very talented yet unconsistent skater. Tomas had a quite disappointing beginning of season. Actually it seems like he had regained a sort of form during national championship where he won over Brezina.
Verner at 3 nationals
short program http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a0GmxVPVqYM
The Frech athletes are in a similar condition. Amodio, the reigning European champion, did not have success in the Grand Prix circuit. What's more, he got a back injury during the national championship in the free skating.
Amodio at Nationals
short program http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wZ1hWZSmxmA
free skating http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-xhhoSRh-MU
Brian Joubert, instead, despite some phisical troubles early this season, he competed clean and strong at nationals. Actually he really has to count on his jumping skills if he wants to medal at Euros, because of his lack on artistry.
Joubert at Nationals
Take an eye out for Samuel Contesti (ITA) who really struggled in his short programs but was always able to skate a clean free.
Contesti at NHK
short program http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cA-npTH4iUk
The most surprising skater of this season Javier Fernandez (ESP) is the favourite for the gold medal. His recent choaching change to Brian Orser caused him to gain technical confidence (his quads toeloop and salchow planned in his free program are just incredible) and artistry. He placed second at Skate Canada and Rostelecom Cup and third at Grand Prix Final showing himself as the most promising European skater of the year.
Fernandez at Grand Prix Final
short program http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f4qKdbqY-6Q
Gold: Javier Fernandez (ESP)
Silver: Plushenko (RUS)
Bronze: Brezina (CZ)