The European Figure Skating Championships begin on Wednesday with the pairs short programme.

A more open competition. One year after the overwhelming success of the Russians with nine medals, including four gold, the European figure skating championships return to Espoo in Finland from Wednesday 23 to Sunday 29 January. In the absence of many headliners, including all the title holders (ladies, men, pairs and ice dance), new skaters will be highlighted.

The French selection will have assets to showcase, even if the tandem Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron, Olympic champions in Beijing, will not be present. Franceinfo: sport summarises what you need to know about the event, which is being broadcast on

France’s team without Papadakis-Cizeron
In the absence of the famous ice dance duo, Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron, it is the young pairs Loïcia Demougeot (20) – Theo Le Mercier (23) and Evgeniia Lopareva (22) – Geoffrey Brissaud (24), ninth at the European Championships 2022, who will have the heavy task of limiting the damage. In pairs, Camille (28) and Pavel (31) Kovalev, the reigning French champions, will be present. They had finished 14th a year ago in Tallinn.

On the other hand, in the men’s category, Kevin Aymoz (25) and Adam Siao Him Fa (21) continue to grow in power and are approaching the European Championships with total confidence. The former is coming off a third place finish at the Espoo Grand Prix and finished in seventh place a year ago. The latter won the French Championships in Rouen in November 2022 with a total score (279.36 points) which allows him to present himself as one of the contenders for the European title.

In the women’s category, Léa Serna, recent French champion, will be the only representative. The Frenchwoman will try to do better than her 12th position in 2022.

Notable absences

On the French side, the two big absentees are Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron. Crowned world champions for the fifth time in March 2022 in Montpellier, and Olympic champions one month earlier in Beijing, the French dancers announced that they would be taking “a one-year break” in June 2022. The European Championships are therefore looking more open than ever.

Several couples will be fighting for the supreme title, including the Italians Rebecca Ghilardi-Filippo Ambrosini and Sara Conti-Niccolo Macii, who have been in top form for several months. French riders Camille and Pavel Kovalev will be among the outsiders after their fine second place in the French Grand Prix last November.

Programme and TV coverage
The 2023 European Championships can be followed in full and live on . and on France 3 (Friday, Saturday and Sunday).

Wednesday, 25 January:

Couples short programme (from 12:00pm)
Men’s short program (from 16:35)

Thursday, January 26:

Girls’ short programme (from 12:15pm)
Pairs free programme (from 18:10)

Friday, January 27:

Ice dancing, rhythmic programme (from 12:15 p.m.) Free routine for
Men’s free program (from 17:00)

Saturday, January 28:

Women, free programme (from 12:00pm)
Ice Dancing, free program (from 17:30)

Sunday, January 29:

Closing ceremony (from 15:15)