March 22, 2018

Here's How The Russians Just Dominated Women's Figure Skating

23 February 2018, 01:47 | Christie Tate

Winter Olympics women's figure skating results

Evgenia Medvedeva Women's Figure Skating Winter Olympics 2018

Alina Zagitova secured a first gold medal for the Olympic Athletes from Russia (OAR) team at the Pyeongchang games on February 23, edging out her team-mate Yevgenia Medvedeva in the women's figure-skating competition. Both skaters are shrewd point-getters: Medvedeva performs most of her jumps with a Tano variation, the overhead arm that adds to the jump's difficulty; Zagitova has back-loaded her free skate, saving all the jumps for the second half of the program, when successful elements earn bonuses.

The performances of Zagitova and Medvedeva in Pyeongchang reasserted the dominance of Russian women figure skaters on the worldwide stage with third-placed Canadian Kaetlyn Osmond more than seven points behind Medvedeva on 231.02. Quizzed about her maturity and serious nature Zagitova replied after her record-breaking short programme on Wednesday: "I am very calm, I don't show emotions, I don't splash them around". Nagasu is soaking up the attention but staying focused on her goal of medaling.

Zagitova carved her name in Olympic folklore aged 15 years and 281 days. Nagasu was ninth, with Chen 10th and Tennell 11th. "Not long after the last Olympics, I didn't even know that I would be competing at this one".

Osmond's routine to "Sous le ciel de Paris" earned her a season's best score from the judges.

In the last four skating seasons, 10 Russian Federation women have won nearly 60% of the major worldwide medals.

Victory came despite her first triple Lutz missing a planned progression into a triple loop.

Chen was clutch at last year's worlds, finishing fourth to help the USA get three Olympic spots.

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SWEETEST FLASHBACK | Just before the United States of America's Bradie Tennell began skating to selections from the Cinderella soundtrack, we were treated to a precious childhood photo of Tennell dressed up as the iconic Disney princess. She'll have to find a way to lay down two flawless programs to make the podium.

Canada's Kaetlyn Osmond won bronze. And even though we couldn't see Gannon's face when he realized that Medvedeva had only managed the silver, I can imagine his jaw was on the floor, mirroring every other viewer watching from home.

"I went back to my training", Osmond said about her approach to the free skate, a program that has been troublesome for her this season. The women haven't won an individual medal since Sasha Cohen's silver medal in 2006.

The balance of the sport's power has shifted east, where it is likely reside for some time to come in the gleaming blades of Russian Alina Zagitova, whose audacious free skate ended in her being crowned the youngest women's champion since Lipinski. She continues to up her scores.

Russians in Pyeongchang are competing as neutrals, a penalty imposed over allegations that the nation had systematically manipulated anti-doping testing at the 2014 Sochi Games. Zagitova handled the free skate.

The third American, Karen Chen, put her hand down on her opening jump, which was supposed to be done in combination.

"I was in shock, because I was ready to (do) everything on the first try".

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