INTRODUCTION: The European skating championships have been taking place in Helsinki, Finland, during the past week.
GV & SV Ice rink in Helsinki, Finland (2 shots)
GV Jan Hoffmann of E. Germany performing in European Championships individual figure skating final round
SV Judges marks for Hoffmann
GV Vladimir Kovalev of U.S.S.R. performing
SV Crowd watching
GV Robin Cousins of United Kingdom performing (3 shots)
GV Crowd applauding
SPORT: ICE SKATING
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Background: INTRODUCTION: The European skating championships have been taking place in Helsinki, Finland, during the past week. On Thursday (27 January), the cream of Europe's men figure skaters took part in the final round of the individual competition.
SYNOPSIS: The leader after the compulsory and short free skating rounds was Jan Hoffmann of East GERMANY. Hoffmann had been world champion, but missed the 1975 season through injury and was outclassed by John Curry of Britain in 1976.
His performance in the free skating section on Thursday was good enough to win him the gold medal.
In second place after the first two sections of the competition was Vladimir Kovalev of the Soviet Union.
Kovalev also did well in the free skating, and scored enough points to give him the silver medal.
Robin Cousins of Britain had started the final section in fourth place behind Pekka Leskinen of Finland. Cousins, who is 19, was second in the British championships to John Curry who went on to win European, world and Olympic titles.
Cousins gave a very good performance in the free skating, and made up enough points to overtake the Finnish skater, Leskinen. He eventually took the bronze medal with Yuri Ovchinnikov of the Soviet Union finishing in fourth place.