Georgia's Anastasiia Gubanova was crowned European figure skating champion on Saturday after a memorable performance to "Latika's theme" soundtrack composed by music legend AR Rahman from the Oscar-winning blockbuster Slumdog Millionaire.
Despite an error on a triple flip, the 20-year-old triumphed ahead of Belgium's Loena Hendrickx who had started as favourite in the absence of Russia's banned skaters.
"I'm in shock, but the work paid off," said Gubanova, dressed in a bright outfit to resemble a sari, after winning the free programme in Espoo, Finland.
Avrupa Artistik Patinaj Şampiyonası'nda kadınlarda altın madalya aşağıdaki enerjik ve harika serbest program performansıyla Anastasiia Gubanova'ya gitti. Kısa programı da zirvede tamamlayan Gubanova kariyerinin ilk Avrupa Şampiyonluğu'nu yaşadı. #EuroFigure pic.twitter.com/LlJCtc2SWu
— Murat Taşkolu (@murattaskolu) January 28, 2023
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She had already won the short program and finished the competition on 199.91 points.
"I was so stressed before skating, and mentally it was very hard," added Gubanova who had represented Russia until 2021.
"At the end of my performance, there were a lot of emotions."
Having finished 11th at the Beijing Olympics, then sixth at the world championships last year, Saturday's win was comfortably the biggest of Gubanova's career.
Hendrickx, runner-up at the worlds, had been the favourite to succeed the banned Kamila Valieva as champion.
But the Belgian fell heavily twice on Saturday.
"I'm not happy at all. I wanted to do a good program and I didn't. I'm very disappointed," admitted the 23-year-old.
Hendrickx was more than six points behind the champion while Swiss 16-year-old Kimmy Repond was third with 192.51 points after a faultless routine to music from British rockers Muse.
Italy's Charlene Guignard and Marco Fabbri claimed the ice dance title with a score of 210.44 points after adding free dance victory to their rhythm dance routine.
"It's been a long road to get here," said 34-year-old Fabbri.
"We couldn't be happier. It's a lifetime's work, a dream come true."
In the absence of Olympic champions Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron, as well as the ongoing suspension of Russian skaters, Guignard and Fabbri saw off Britain's Lilah Fear and Lewis Gibson.
Fear and Gibson scored 207.89 points to a medley of Lady Gaga hits.
Finland's Juulia Turkkila and Matthias Versluis claimed bronze with 198.21 points after a performance to the music of Franz Schubert.
"There was a lot of pressure," added Fabbri after dancing to "My Love Will Never Die" and "Mephisto's Lullaby".
"We tried to avoid those kinds of thoughts but it's hard not to think about the gold medal."
Russia had swept gold and silver in the ice dance at the 2022 European championships.
(With inputs from AFP)