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European Figure Skating : In Comeback, Katarina Witt Wins for Fifth Straight Time

Associated Press

Katarina Witt of East Germany won her fifth straight women’s European Figure Skating Championship Saturday and looked forward to regaining her world title next month.

At the same Zetra ice rink where she won the 1984 Olympic title, Witt came from behind with an interpretive version to the music from “West Side Story.”

Skating last, she watched her main rivals make mistakes.

“I usually like to skate before the others,” Witt said. “I heard the marks and knew the girls before me had made mistakes. I wanted to do a program without mistakes. I decided in the program not to do the triple loop jump.”

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Witt’s program was identical to the one in Geneva where she lost the world title to American Debi Thomas after winning in 1984 and 1985.

Doing four triple jumps in her program, she earned solid scores of 5.8 and 5.9, except for a 5.6 by the British judge.

Kira Ivanova and Anna Kondrashova of the Soviet Union faltered and fell but still held on for second and third, respectively. Their medals boosted the Soviet Union’s count to 10 of a possible 12.

Witt’s victory was the only non-Soviet title. Earlier, Alexander Fadeev took the men’s event, regaining the title he last won in 1984.

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Natalia Bestemianova and Andrei Bukin won the ice dance for the third straight year and fourth overall.

In the pairs event, Larisa Selezneva and Oleg Makarov upset teammates Elena Valova and Oleg Vasiliev, the Olympic champions.


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