Russian 15yo breaks world record with majestic routine

Posted February 23, 2018

Teen figure skaters Alina Zagitova or Evgenia Medvedeva nearly certainly will take gold in one of the Winter Games marquee events after they went 1-2 in the women's short program Wednesday with the highest scores ever. The first-ever Russian gold medal in ladies' figure skating wasn't captured until Sochi 2014, when Adelina Sotnikova pulled off the feat.

Zagitova had broken the world record short program score set by Medvedeva just a few minutes earlier.

The new figure skating short program world record holder Alina Zagitova once nearly transitioned to pair's skating.

When Alina Zagitova takes the ice for the women's free skate here on Friday, she will perform a program that some in the sport consider radical: all of her jumps are in the second half of her skate.

The women's free skate is set for Friday.

"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", Zagitova said. "My goal is to have a clean free skate and be satisfied with myself inside". "If somebody had told me that two or three or even one year ago, I would have been very surprised".

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I see four other major contenders.

Another is extending the arms above the head while jumping-a move which raises a skater's center of gravity, increasing its difficulty-a move employed by Zagitova and Medvedeva.

Miyahara arrives at her first Winter Olympics as the four-time Japanese national champion.

Nine days after becoming the first US woman and third overall to land a triple axel in the Olympics, Mirai Nagasu came down on two feet on the jump, then fell to the ice. She is the top ranked USA woman headed into the free skate in ninth place with 66.93 points.

But Zagitova, who could become the second-youngest Olympic champion after Lipinski, doesn't mince words when asked what distinguishes her skating from the rest of the field.

Both Zagitova and Medvedeva are already medalists in PyeongChang, capturing silver for their contributions to the team event. Sidelined for two seasons by back injuries, the 20-year-old emerged seemingly out of nowhere to win bronze at Skate America in November, and she hasn't looked back since.

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Fifteen-year-old Zagitova, who won the 2018 European Championship and is the Grand Prix Final champion, said, "Emotions are running high". No other female skater - not Zagitova, not Medvedeva - had gone fall-less this season.

Americans Nagasu and Tennell wish their recent success could have carried over into the short program. She uncharacteristically fell on her opening triple-triple combination, which left her with 64.01 points.

Five triple loops, just because she could. That capitalizes on a scoring system that awards a 10% bonus to hard moves performed toward the end, based on the idea that it's easier to land jumps early in a program when the skater is fresh. The 23-year-old picked up silver at the 2017 world championships, breaking the Canadian record in the process.

"I am mad about it", Nagasu said, referring to the Axel.

Tennell, the 2018 US national champion, skated first to open up the ladies' short program event. "It wasn't my best, but I am glad that I was the first one out there".

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