Ice skating, and East German Jan Hoffman won his third European gold medal at the Rhenus Stadium, Strasbourg on Thursday night (2 February) when he took the men's title in the European Figure Skating Championships.
Ice skating, and East German Jan Hoffman won his third European gold medal at the Rhenus Stadium, Strasbourg on Thursday night (2 February) when he took the men's title in the European Figure Skating Championships. Vladimir Kovalev of the Soviet Union, last year's champion, took the Silver Medal and Great Britain's Robin Cousins claimed the bronze.
SYNOPSIS: Jan Hoffman, the 22-year-old from Karl-Marx-Sadat adds this gold medal to those gained in 1974 and 1977, Next month he will be aiming for his second world title at Ottawa to match that he won in 1974.
In last year's World Championships, Hoffman was beaten into second place by Soviet skater Vladimir Kovalev. To take the Championship title at Strasbourg, Hoffman achieved three good triples, lutz, salchow and toe loop, but over-rotated an attempted triple loop.
World champion Vladimir Kovalev of the Soviet Union took second place and silver medal with a free programme, despite tiring before completing.
Kovalev needed perfection to beat Hoffman, but was not able to produce it. He achieved four triple jumps, but the toe loop with some difficulty. Victory for the Soviet star would have been fitting. It was his 25th birthday.
The German skater took the title, but the man who won the heart of the crowd was Robin Cousins of Great Britain. A ninth place in the first compulsory figure on Tuesday cost him the chances of a bigger award than the third place bronze medal. But he was awarded, unanimously, the best marks of the night at the packed Rhenus stadium.
As Cousins finished he collected bouquets and flowers thrown to him by the audience. He too will be in Ottawa next month and many commentators tip him to take the world title.