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Figure skater Meier becomes European champion

Meier can't believe her good fortune


Sarah Meier earned an emotional victory in front of her home fans in the Swiss capital, Bern, to become the European figure skating champion on Saturday.

Skating her farewell performance before retiring, the 26-year-old Swiss claimed her first major title with an error-free performance after her rivals fell out of contention.

Meier scored a total of 170.60 points, edging defending champion Carolina Kostner of Italy by just over two points. Kiira Korpi of Finland took bronze at 166.40.

"It was so hard for me because it was so emotional," said Meier, who buried her face in her hands on completing a career-defining routine. "Before the free skate I was so nervous. I tried to concentrate and now all the emotions come out."

Meier was the last to skate, and dealt with rapidly rising tension in the arena as the home fans' expectations grew.

Kostner, a three-time champion, lost her victory chance with a series of falls in the short program and free skate. Her technical skills meant she scored best in the free skate and rose from sixth after the short program on Friday.

Meier earned European silver behind Kostner in 2007 and '08.

Korpi, who won bronze four years ago, led after the short program but fell attempting to land a triple loop. and agencies


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