By Michael Pavitt

Javier Fernandez became the first man since Alexander Fadeev to win three European titles in a row ©AFP/Getty ImagesSpain's Javier Fernandez claimed his third straight title with victory in the men's free programme at the European Figure Skating Championships at the Ericsson Globe in Stockholm today.

There was glory, meanwhile, for Russia's Olympic silver medallists Fedor Klimov and Ksenia Stolbova, who won the pairs short programme.

Fernandez opened his title defence to "The Barber of Seville" and delighted the crowd with a series of technical combinations, including a quadruple toeloop followed by a triple Salchow-triple toeloop.

The defence of the title he first won at the 2013 championships in Zagreb, Croatia and retained in Budapest, Hungary, last year took a turn for the worse as the Spaniard fell whilst performing a quad Salchow, but was able to recover to score a total of 262.49 points.

His points tally proved enough to become the first man since Alexander Fadeev of the then Soviet Union to earn three consecutive men's European titles, as second place finisher Maxim Kovtun was score of 235.68 could not overhaul Fernandez's mark.

Kovtun's second place finish did earn him his first major championship medal and the Russian was joined on the medal rostrum by his compatriot Sergei Voronov, whose 233.05 points ensured that he finished in the top three for a second year in a row, after winning silver in Budapest.

However, the attention was all focused on Fernandez's accomplishment and the Spaniard stated that "this medal is more important than a regular European medal because it's three times in a row."

"Maybe I didn't do my best performance ever but it's a little bit more special than other medals as since 1989 nobody has won three European medals in a row," Fernandez continued.

Fedor Klimov and Ksenia Stolbova's routine saw them win the short programme ©AFP/Getty ImagesFedor Klimov and Ksenia Stolbova's routine saw them win the short programme ©AFP/Getty Images

The Ericsson Globe in the Swedish capital of Stockholm will also be fondly remembered by Fedor Klimov and Ksenia Stolbova at the Russian pair delivered a fast paced and precise routine to win the pairs short programme.

The Olympic silver medallists led the competition at the halfway mark and the higher programme component marks in their martial-arts themed programme saw them edge out their fellow Russian's Alexander Smirnov and Yuko Kavaguti, who were just 1.5 points behind, with France's pairing of Morgan Cipres and Vanessa James in third.

"It's not so easy to skate to this music because you're looking for a kind of rhythm, and there's just the drums, and the choreography also is different because of that, but it does suit our fast skating style, and so we feel comfortable skating to this music," Klimov said after winning the programme.

"I don't know if it was our best skate, but the marks were fine."

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