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Drama on the ice in Zagreb as youngsters try to fill Korpi's skates

With last year's silver medallist on the injured list, two young Finnish women skaters face daunting challenges at the European Championships in Croatia.

Alisa Mikonsaari harjoittelee jäällä.
Alisa Mikonsaari Image: YLE Etelä-Karjala

Finns Juulia Turkkila and Alisa Mikonsaari face an uphill battle at the European Championships in Zagreb.

In Friday's short programme, both will be fighting for berths in Saturday’s free programme. Only 24 of the 36 competitors will make it into the weekend rounds.

Turkkila and Mikonsaari, who are 18 and 19, will also be trying to secure two places for Finland at next year's European championships. Seventeen-year-old Rosaliina Kuparinen is also along as a possible replacement skater.

Korpi hopes for recovery by Worlds

Mikonsaari is a replacement for Finland's top female skater, Kiira Korpi, who is recovering from an Achilles tendon injury. The 24-year-old won silver at last year’s Europeans in Sheffield.

Kiira Korpi
Korpi Image: YLE
She told Yle this week that she expects to be in shape in time for the world championships in Ontario, Canada, in mid-March.

Meanwhile, 2009 European Champion Laura Lepistö, who retired from competitive sports last year at the age of 23, is serving as an Yle commentator and blogger in Zagreb.

Yle will broadcast the competition beginning at 3pm Friday on TV2, switching over to TV1 at 5.10pm, then back to TV2 at 6.40pm.

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