MOSCOW (Reuters) - French ice dancers Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron took the lead at the European Figure Skating Championships on Friday with an upbeat short dance that puts them on pace to win their fourth consecutive European title.
Dancing to music by British singer Ed Sheeran, the two-time world champions had a solid performance that gave them a comfortable lead with 81.29 points, less than one point away their personal best in the short dance.
Papadakis said the pair, who last year became the first ice dancers to break 200 points, had made a few errors and been slightly out of sync on their twizzles.
"It's not something that happens often and it's very frustrating," she told reporters. "I guess we will have to work on that."
Russians Alexandra Stepanova and Ivan Bukin finished nearly six points behind their French rivals after an energetic performance on home ice.
Italians Anna Cappellini and Luca Lanotte finished third with 74.76 points.
On the men's side, Spain's Javier Fernandez will look to secure his sixth consecutive European title when he competes in the free skate later on Friday.
(Reporting by Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber; Editing by Christian Radnedge)