Coomes and Buckland in medal mix at European Championships

15 January 2014 / 21:50

Olympic-bound ice dancers Penny Coomes and Nicholas Buckland are right in medal contention after the short dance at figure skating's European Championships in Budapest.

Coomes and Buckland, who finished fifth last year in Zagreb, are seeking to become the first British medallists at the event since former training partners Sinead and John Kerr claimed third five years ago.

Their ballroom inspired programme won favour with the judges, scoring 61.76 points with only Russia's Elena Ilinykh and Nikita Katsalapov and Italian leaders Anna Cappellini and Luca Lanotte fractionally ahead.

The three-time British champions, who are coached by two-time Olympic champion Evgeni Platov, will now look to hold off a double challenge from Russia with a free dance on Thursday set to the music of Michael Jackson.

Russia's Victoria Sinitsina and Ruslan Zhiganshin and Ekaterina Riazanova and Ilia Tkachenko are ranked fourth and fifth at the midway point of the competition.

Reigning champions Ekaterina Bobrova and Dmitri Soloviev, who recently won the Russian national title to secure their Olympic selection, and two-time winners Nathalie Pechalat and Fabian Bourzat of France are both skipping the event to focus on Sochi preparations.

© Sportsbeat 2014