Volosozhar, Trankov win pairs at Euro figure skating champs

  • Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron of France skate Ice Dance Free Dance Program at the European figure skating championships in Bratislava, Slovakia, on Saturday, Jan. 30, 2016.

    Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron of France skate Ice Dance Free Dance Program at the European figure skating championships in Bratislava, Slovakia, on Saturday, Jan. 30, 2016. Associated Press

  • Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron of France hug after their Ice Dance Free Dance Program at the European figure skating championships in Bratislava, Slovakia, on Saturday, Jan. 30, 2016.

    Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron of France hug after their Ice Dance Free Dance Program at the European figure skating championships in Bratislava, Slovakia, on Saturday, Jan. 30, 2016. Associated Press

  • Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron of France skate Ice Dance Free Dance Program at the European figure skating championships in Bratislava, Slovakia, on Saturday, Jan. 30, 2016.

    Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron of France skate Ice Dance Free Dance Program at the European figure skating championships in Bratislava, Slovakia, on Saturday, Jan. 30, 2016. Associated Press

  • Anna Cappellini and Luca Lanotte of Italy skate Ice Dance Free Dance Program at the European figure skating championships in Bratislava, Slovakia, on Saturday, Jan. 30, 2016.

    Anna Cappellini and Luca Lanotte of Italy skate Ice Dance Free Dance Program at the European figure skating championships in Bratislava, Slovakia, on Saturday, Jan. 30, 2016. Associated Press

  • Federica Testa and Lukas Csolley of Slovakia skate Ice Dance Free Dance Program at the European figure skating championships in Bratislava, Slovakia, on Saturday, Jan. 30, 2016.

    Federica Testa and Lukas Csolley of Slovakia skate Ice Dance Free Dance Program at the European figure skating championships in Bratislava, Slovakia, on Saturday, Jan. 30, 2016. Associated Press

  • Ekaterina Bobrova and Dmitri Soloviev of Russia skate Ice Dance Free Dance Program at the European figure skating championships in Bratislava, Slovakia, on Saturday, Jan. 30, 2016.

    Ekaterina Bobrova and Dmitri Soloviev of Russia skate Ice Dance Free Dance Program at the European figure skating championships in Bratislava, Slovakia, on Saturday, Jan. 30, 2016. Associated Press

  • Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov, of Russia, skate Pairs’ Free Program at the European figure skating championships in Bratislava, Slovakia, on Saturday, Jan. 30, 2016.

    Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov, of Russia, skate Pairs’ Free Program at the European figure skating championships in Bratislava, Slovakia, on Saturday, Jan. 30, 2016. Associated Press

  • Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov, of Russia, skate Pairs’ Free Program at the European figure skating championships in Bratislava, Slovakia, on Saturday, Jan. 30, 2016.

    Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov, of Russia, skate Pairs’ Free Program at the European figure skating championships in Bratislava, Slovakia, on Saturday, Jan. 30, 2016. Associated Press

  • Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov, of Russia, skate Pairs’ Free Program at the European figure skating championships in Bratislava, Slovakia, on Saturday, Jan. 30, 2016.

    Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov, of Russia, skate Pairs’ Free Program at the European figure skating championships in Bratislava, Slovakia, on Saturday, Jan. 30, 2016. Associated Press

  • Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov, of Russia, skate Pairs’ Free Program at the European figure skating championships in Bratislava, Slovakia, on Saturday, Jan. 30, 2016.

    Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov, of Russia, skate Pairs’ Free Program at the European figure skating championships in Bratislava, Slovakia, on Saturday, Jan. 30, 2016. Associated Press

  • Aliona Savchenko and Bruno Massot, of Germany, skate Pairs’ Free Program at the European figure skating championships in Bratislava, Slovakia, on Saturday, Jan. 30, 2016.

    Aliona Savchenko and Bruno Massot, of Germany, skate Pairs’ Free Program at the European figure skating championships in Bratislava, Slovakia, on Saturday, Jan. 30, 2016. Associated Press

  • Aliona Savchenko and Bruno Massot, of Germany, skate Pairs’ Free Program at the European figure skating championships in Bratislava, Slovakia, on Saturday, Jan. 30, 2016.

    Aliona Savchenko and Bruno Massot, of Germany, skate Pairs’ Free Program at the European figure skating championships in Bratislava, Slovakia, on Saturday, Jan. 30, 2016. Associated Press

  • Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov, of Russia, skate Pairs’ Free Program at the European figure skating championships in Bratislava, Slovakia, on Saturday, Jan. 30, 2016.

    Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov, of Russia, skate Pairs’ Free Program at the European figure skating championships in Bratislava, Slovakia, on Saturday, Jan. 30, 2016. Associated Press

 
 
Updated 1/30/2016 11:39 AM

BRATISLAVA, Slovakia -- Defending champions Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron rebounded from second place after the short dance to retain their ice dance title at the European figure skating championships on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Olympic champions Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov returned in style after skipping last season, taking gold comfortably in the pairs.

 

Skating to "Rain In Your Black Eyes" by Ezio Bosso and "Build a Home" by Cinematic Orchestra, the French duo of Papadakis and Cizeron performed the best free dance to triumph by more than four points.

"We proved we could do it again," Cizeron said. "Especially because of Gabriella's injury, we were a little bit late with preparation. Now, we just want to enjoy the rest of the season."

At the world championships in Boston in March, they will defending their title.

They scored 182.71 points, beating the 178.01 of 2014 European and world champions Anna Cappellini and Luca Lanotte. The Italians led by more than 1.5 points after the short dance, but had only the third best free dance to music from "La Doce Vita."

The 2013 champions Ekaterina Bobrova and Dmitri Soloviev of Russia took bronze with 176.50 after the second best free dance.

In pairs, the Russian leaders after the short program also performed the best free skate, to music from "Bram Stoker's Dracula." Despite notable high jumps, including throw triple flip and loop, they had a problem in synchronizing a triple toe loop, and still won their fourth European title by more than 20 points.

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"Our skating was not the best, but not bad," Trankov said. "The most important, we won."

Their total of 222.66 points outclassed the second-place Germans Aliona Savchenko and Bruno Massot, who scored 200.78. Massot is a new partner for Savchenko, a five-time world champion.

"It's our first medal together and I'm very happy," Savchenko said.

Another Russian pair, Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov, repeated their bronze of last year with 197.55.

Defending champions Yuko Kavaguti and Alexander Smirnov of Russia were forced to withdraw because Kavaguti was injured.

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