Tuesday, 12 November, 2019

Zagitova shades Medvedeva in Olympic short programme

Olympic figure skaters break records Zagitova shades Medvedeva in Olympic short programme
Shannon Reynolds | 21 February, 2018, 13:28

The 15-year-old starlet from the Western Urals seduced the judges with her flawless routine to Black Swan, earning a massive 82.92 points.

Should she win gold in the final on Friday, she will be the second youngest ever to do so. For her free skate, to Afternoon of a Faun, she may be wearing a spangled green jumpsuit that has already prompted comparisons to Gumby.

The only Olympic veteran in the group also has a national title: In 2008, Mirai Nagasu, then 14, became the second-youngest USA champion (after Tara Lipinski) in history.

Canada's Kaetlyn Osmond was third on 78.87. "Every day I see Alina working so hard and she did her best today", added the 18-year-old who trains with the same coach as her compatriot.

Nothing seemed to disrupt Medvedeva's smooth path to Olympic glory until she suffered a broken foot and was beaten by Zagitova at the European Championships in January, her first loss in two-and-half years.

Figure Skating - Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics - Ladies Single Skating Short Program - Gangneung, South Korea - February 21, 2018 - Alina Zagitova, an Olympic Athlete from Russian Federation, performs.

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Zagitova, who led after Wednesday's short skate, and Medvedeva both have their sights on gold - which could be the first for Olympic Athletes from Russia (OAR) at the Pyeongchang Winter Games.

"Evgenia and I are very good off the ice but during the time on the ice and during competitions I personally get this feeling of rivalry".

"I'm trying not to think about medals", Medvedeva said. "I was like â€" Yeah, I want the same feeling.

Japanese skaters Satoko Miyahara and Kaori Sakamoto were in fourth and fifth, putting them within range of bronze. "It's a push forward", she said.

"We're not done yet". (This is the first time since 1976, when ice dance was added to the Winter Games, that Russian Federation has finished off the podium in that discipline.) That's expected to change after Thursday's free skate. At the team event, she was chosen for the free skate and crushed the field, miles ahead of the heralded performance of Mirai Nagasu of the United States.

The free program is on Friday.

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