TALLINN, Estonia (AP) — Victoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov took the lead in the ice dance competition at the European figure skating championships after the rhythm dance on Friday.
With four-time world champions Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron staying away from the event to reduce the risk of catching the coronavirus before next month’s Olympics, Sinitsina and Katsalapov took a step toward retaining the European title.
Skating to “You Can Leave Your Hat On” and “Brick House,” Sinitsina and Katsalapov scored 87.89 points, just ahead of Russian teammates Alexandra Stepanova and Ivan Bukin with 86.45.
Sinitsina and Katsalapov beat Papadakis and Cizeron to the European title in 2020 but haven’t competed against one another since.
Italian pair Charlene Guignard and Marco Fabbri are in third place with 83.35 points. The free dance is Saturday.
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