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Euro Figure Skating Championships Get Underway


The European Figure Skating Championships are under way in Warsaw and there will be new winners this time. The Russians, who won back-to-back titles in women's, men's, pairs and ice dancing competition are not competing.

Tuesday's opening performances came in the pairs short program and the compulsory ice dance.

Germans Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy steadied themselves after a rocky start to lead the pairs by about three points over Maria Petrova and Alexei Tikhonov of Russia (65.38 to 62.22). Gaining the third highest point total before the home fans were Poland's Dorota and Mariusz Siudek (57.81). The free program to decide the gold medal is Wednesday.

In ice dancing, Isabelle Delobel and Olivier Schoenfelder of France have the lead after the compulsory Golden Waltz. They have slim advantage of less than 0.6 point over Russians Oksana Domnina and Maxim Shabalin (39.57 to 38.99). World champions Albena Denkova and Maxim Staviski of Bulgaria are in third place (38.56 points).

The original dance is set for Thursday and the free dance on Friday.

The men's competition opens on Wednesday with the short program, as Frenchman Brian Joubert looks to reclaim the European title he won in 2004.

The defending European champion Russians who are not competing are Irina Slutskaya and Evgeni Plushenko in men's and women's, pairs Tatiana Totmianina and Maxim Marinin, and ice dancers Tatiana Navka and Toman Kostomarov.

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