1972 European Figure Skating Championships
|1972 European Championships|
Irina Rodnina / Alexei Ulanov
Angelika Buck / Erich Buck
|Previous:||1971 European Championships|
|Next:||1973 European Championships|
The 1972 European Figure Skating Championships were the European Figure Skating Championships of the 1971-1972 season. Elite senior-level figure skaters from European ISU Member Nations competed for the title of European Champion. Skaters competed in the disciplines of ladies' singles, men's singles, pair skating, and ice dancing.
In the men's event, the top three after the compulsory figures held their placements for the medals. Ondrej Nepela's performance in the free skating was technically proficient, with triple salchow and toe loop jumps, but he was considered a rather bland or mechanical performer. Sergei Chetverukhin skated with power, flow, and elegance, but fell on a triple salchow attempt, while bronze medalist Patrick Péra did no triples at all. The second-place skater in the free skating was actually Yuri Ovchinnikov, who nevertheless could not move up from 7th place after the figures.
The ladies' title was again won by defending champion Beatrix Schuba, who built up such an overwhelming lead in the compulsory figures that she won by a huge margin in spite of being only 5th in the free skating. Afterwards a German newspaper mocked her as the "Champion Without a Double Axel". Rita Trapanese took the silver medal, while Sonja Morgenstern moved up to bronze medal position after winning the free skate with a performance for which she received a 6.0 mark for artistic impression.
In the pairs event, Irina Rodnina and Alexei Ulanov also successfully defended their title in spite of some small mistakes. Liudmila Smirnova and Andrei Suraikin won the silver with a performance that was considered more artistic, if less difficult, than that of the winners. The third-place team, Manuela Groß and Uwe Kagelmann, included two throw double axels in their free skate, which at that time was one of the most difficult elements attempted by pair skaters, and unusual enough to draw comment. As Gross was only 14 years old at this time while her partner Kagelmann was a tall grown man of 21, they were one of the first of what later became known as "one-and-a-half" or "flea-and-gorilla" pair teams.
The dance event was the only discipline in which the title changed hands, as Angelika and Erich Buck unseated the defending champions Lyudmila Pakhomova and Alexander Gorshkov. Some observers thought that the British-trained Bucks had only failed to win the European and World titles the previous year as a result of bad judging, so their victory here was seen as richly deserved. Pakhomova and Gorshkov also gave a polished and stylish performance but again it was noted that Gorshkov was a much weaker skater than his partner. The bronze medal went to the veteran British competitor Janet Sawbridge, now skating with Peter Dalby. It was Sawbridge's 6th medal at the European championships, achieved with 3 different partners.
Ice Dancing 
- "Europeans", Skating magazine, Apr 1972
- Beverley Smith, Figure Skating: A Celebration, ISBN 0-7710-2819-9