Fernandez defends European men’s titleJavier Fernandez proved he has what it takes to challenge Olympic favorite Patrick Chan at next month’s Sochi Games after easily outclassing his rivals to win a second successive men’s title at the European figure skating championships on Saturday.
The Toronto-based skater, who became the first Spaniard to win the title 12 months ago, was far from perfect in Budapest as he failed to land two of his three quadruple jumps cleanly.
But despite the wobbles, he beat his nearest rival, spiky-haired Russian Sergei Voronov by a commanding 14.56 points with a total of 267.11.
Voronov’s fellow Russian, Konstantin Menshov, was a distant third with 237.24.
Fernandez belongs to a select band of skaters who attempt three quads in their free program and his “Peter Gun” routine did not quite produce the kind of fireworks he had hoped for, although his high-flying jump combinations and fast-paced footwork still impressed the judges.
He became the first man to defend his European title since Yevgeny Plushenko in 2006.