Finns Turkkila and Versluis dance with gold at the Nebelhorn

Juulia Turkkila and Matthias Versluis of Finland won their first Challenger Series gold at the 2021 Nebelhorn Trophy in Oberstdorf, Germany.

Juulia Turkkila and Matthias Versluis from Finland won gold at the 2021 Nebelhorn Trophy on Saturday in Oberstdorf, Germany, earning a berth for Finland at the Olympic Winter Games. Germans Katharina Mueller and Tim Dieck moved up from fourth place to silver, but they were not in contention for an Olympic spot. The bronze went to Maria Kazakova and Georgy Reviya who secured a place for Georgia. Armenia Tina Garabedian and Simon Proulx-Sénécal, who was unable to participate in the World Figure Skating Championships in March (due to a may be false positive Covid test) and Natalie Taschlerova and Filip Taschler from the Czech Republic clinched the remaining two places.

Turkkila and Versluis had not reached the Worlds final due to an error in the rhythmic dance, but have now proven it to be a fluke. The Finns led after their rhythmic dance “Breathe You In My Dreams” by Trixie Whitley and “River” by Bishop Briggs. The Finnish champions delivered a nice free dance set on Roberto Cacciapaglia’s “Wild Side” and Lewis Capaldi’s “Bruises” which included a combined carry, well-timed twizzles and a straight-line carry which all received a level four. They got 173.74 points.

“After the disappointment at the Worlds last season, we worked very hard,” said Versluis. “Getting to this competition was less stressful thanks to the good work we did this summer. “

Mueller and Dieck were only awarded basic level for their Midnight Blues Pattern Dance in Rhythm Dance, but they were awarded a level four for five elements in Free Dance for The bodyguard soundtrack. The Germans gained two places with a total score of 173.74 points.

“It was a very good start to the season, our best ever,” said Dieck. “It’s always special to win a medal in Germany.”

“We weren’t competing for an Olympic berth here, but it was important for us for our national qualification and to prove that we are ready and want to go to the Olympics,” added Mueller. “We have done a very good job with both programs, but there is still a lot to improve. “

Kazakova and Reviya placed fifth in the rhythmic dance after faltering on the twizzles. The 2020 World Juniors silver medalists then put on a solid free dance on Charlie Clouser’s “Dummy”, Xtortion Audio’s “Texas Gypsy Massacre” and “Mephisto’s Lullaby” and finished second in the segment. Overall, they moved up to third place with 173.20 points.

“We are happy to have won a quota place for the Georgian team,” said Reviya. “We felt the pressure of responsibility, but we were able to overcome all the difficulties. We have fulfilled the minimum qualification task for the Olympic Games. Now we will continue to work and improve our skating to show different and much better performance at the Olympics.

Garabedian and Proulx Senecal placed second after rhythmic dance. They also skated well in the free dance on “Autumn Leaves” and “Luck Be a Lady”, but fell to fourth place (173.03).

Czech sibling team Taschlerova and Taschler slipped from third to fifth place with their Tango Free Dance as they struggled with the twizzles (172.98 points).

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