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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Lackluster Petrenko Takes Figure-Skating Title

COPENHAGEN -- Viktor Petrenko has captured the European figure-skating title but failed to emit the clear signal that he is the man to beat at next month's Olympic Games at Lillehammer.


Ukrainian Petrenko, 24, the holder of the Olympic title he won two years ago in Albertville, France, will have to perform better in Norway than he did Thursday in Copenhagen if he is to retain that crown.


A succession of flawed landings and scaled-down triple jumps added up to a deep disappointment after his superb display in Wednesday's technical program.


Fortunately for him, his rivals could not capitalize and he still won the first-place votes of all nine judges.


Compatriot Viacheslav Zagorodniuk snatched second place but he will not go to Norway because his country have only one entry in the Games.


Alexei Yurmanov of Russia climbed three positions to take the bronze medal.


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Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean resurrected their Olympic comeback dreams by taking the lead with a breathtaking rumba in the ice-dancing competition Thursday.


The British winners of Olympic gold a decade ago moved alongside Russian titleholders Maya Usova and Alexander Zhulin on points but are regarded as leaders because they won the section.


Torvill and Dean were joint second before the dance.


Skating to the slowest possible tempo, their sensuous, sultry rumba seemed to be in a different class from their rivals.


"It couldn't have been closer to a true rumba," one expert observer said.


Lawrence Demmy of Britain, vice president of the International Skating Union and a past world ice-dance champion, added: "I have said all along that if they skated today as they have in practice, they were unbeatable. And they did."


Torvill and Dean earned two perfect scores of 6.0 for artistry, the only maximum scores awarded in the session. The rumba, the original dance, is worth 30 percent of the total marks.


Both couples have 1.6 points and the gold medals will be decided in the free-skating final which takes place on Friday night.


Oksana Gritschuk and Yevgeny Platov, also of Russia, held third place with 2.8 points but are more than a full point behind and have little chance of improving their position.