Two Countries Dominating Figure Skating -- Photodesk

Kaetlyn Osmond's Olympic figure skating bronze breaks Canadian medals record

Alina Zagitova, an Olympic Athlete from Russian Federation, has set a world record in figure skating's women's singles short program, topping a record set only 15 minutes earlier by her team-mate Yevgenia Medvedeva.

With the gold medal on the line, the women take to the ice in the final figure skating competition at the 2018 Winter Olympics.

Zagitova beat the previous record in the short program set at the Olympics by another Russian figure skater Evgenia Medvedeva (81.61) just 10 minutes earlier.

Should she win gold in the final on Friday, Zagitova will be the second youngest to do so. Her world record winning program is built around the theme of "clinical death", and in the past she's courted controversy by skating to a track from "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close" that included audio from the September 11 terrorist attacks. When Medvedeva returned to competition at the European Championships, it was Zagitova, the World Junior Champion, who edged out the her training mate for the title. Once again, it was Zagitova who came out on top, heading into Friday's free skate with a slight advantage over Medvedeva.

"I could have had more speed going into the jumps, the landings of the jumps could have been smoother, there could have been more emotions", she said. Zagitova executed a clean triple Lutz-triple loop, a triple flip and a double Axel to score 82.92 points, the newest short program score ever seen. "When I saw on the gondola the sun rising up, I felt good".

Grigory Dukor / Reuters Gold medallist Alina Zagitova of Russian Federation (R) and silver medallist Evgenia Medvedeva of Russian Federation attend the ceremony ISU European Championships 2018 victory ceremony. She scored a personal best. After the field of 30 skaters was narrowed down to 24, it's time to crown the gold medalist after the free skate. She is the top ranked USA woman headed into the free skate in ninth place with 66.93 points.

"I knew this was my day", she said.

Medvedeva, 18 years old and unbeatable from November 2015 to January 2018, once looked like an Olympic gold medal super favorite.

Medvedeva won the short program in the Olympic team competition last week.

As for the United States, 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 her opening triple axel, then fell to the surface.

Not so anymore. Japan's Kaori Sakamoto, for example, is now in fifth place, after a short program which included a triple flip-triple toe loop combination, triple loop, and double axel in the latter part of her skate. This is Zagitova's first season competing as a senior (or elite-level) skater. She will need to be rock-solid on those triple axels if she wants to become the first American woman to medal since Sasha Cohen in 2006.

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

"I'm not one of those women who can stop a horse at a gallop and enter the burning house", she told a Russian skating magazine.

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