World Cup bronze “is beautiful”: Germany melts away with a new ice dream pair

World Cup bronze “is beautiful”
Germany is melting away with a new dream ice pair

At the European Championships, their nerves failed in the freestyle, but at the World Championships Minerva-Fabienne Hase and Nikita Volodin are “super happy”. The figure skating duo wins bronze at the World Championships. They are not yet without mistakes – but there are big hurdles before the Olympics, especially off the ice.

Minerva-Fabienne Hase looked dreamily at the medal in her hands, held the shiny trophy to her heart and took a deep breath. Proud, relieved and overjoyed, the German figure skater enjoyed the highlight of her career on the podium in Montreal. Together with Nikita Volodin, the Berliner had fulfilled her big dream of a World Cup medal. With a personal best of 210.40 points, the top German duo won bronze and crowned a strong season with their first joint World Cup podium. “It’s beautiful,” said Rabbit. The 24-year-old was “super happy” and “very proud” – of herself and of Volodin.

Only the Canadians Deanna Stellato-Dudek/Maxime Deschamps (221.56) were better in the atmospheric Center Bell Arena, while the dethroned defending champions Riku Miura/Ryuichi Kihara from Japan took silver (217.88). Stellato-Dudek, moved to tears, became the oldest world champion in figure skating at the age of 40.

Annika Hocke/Robert Kunkel rounded off the strong German performance. The Berliners also improved their personal best and climbed to fifth place with 198.23 points. “That’s what we wanted,” said Hocke: “It was so much fun.”

In the footsteps of Savchenko/Massot

Hase/Volodin had also laid the foundation for success the day before with a successful short program. As fourth place in the last group of the evening, the duo entered the race for the medals in the free skate. The Berliners ran a strong, although not flawless, free skate. Hase slipped during the triple Salchow and fell, but didn’t let that deter him. In the end it was enough for Germany’s first World Cup medal in six years. In 2018, Aljona Savchenko/Bruno Massot won gold.

Now the German Ice Skating Union (DEU) has a new dream couple – right? After all, Hase/Volodin had already won the Grand Prix events in Espoo and Osaka, and they also won the prestigious Grand Prix final in Beijing. Now the crowning moment of a season followed with World Cup bronze. But it wasn’t free from flaws. At the European Championships, a botched freestyle cost the medal that was believed to be certain. “We are still a very fresh couple,” said Hase before the start of the World Cup. Elements look good, “but there is still a lot of room for improvement. We still had a few wobbles, we have to be more consistent.”

Looking back, the European Championship setback served as an important wake-up call. “We had less stress than at the European Championships. This time we were also in really good mental shape,” said Hase. The journey together is far from over. The biggest goal can already be seen on the horizon. Performance is expected to reach its peak at the 2026 Olympic Games in Milan and Cortina.

However, the biggest hurdles to joint Olympic success lie away from the ice surface. The Russian Volodin, who is starting for Germany, needs a German passport. The prerequisite for this is, among other things, a German test, which he would currently not pass. A teacher is supposed to remedy the situation in the future, and Hase is also at Volodin’s side. They have proven that they can handle pressure.

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