Alina Zagitiova (RUS)
Russia’s World Junior Champion Alina Zagitova edged out teammate and two-time World Champion Evgenia Medvedeva for a narrow lead in the Ladies Short Program at the ISU European Figure Skating Championships 2017 in Moscow on Thursday. Five-time European Champion Carolina Kostner of Italy placed third in the first segment of the competition.
Performing to “Black Swan”, Zagitova reeled off a triple Lutz-triple loop combination, a triple flip, double Axel as well as difficult spins and footwork. The 15-year-old, the youngest competitor in the event, set a new personal best of 80.27 points, not far off Medvedeva’s record score.
“I think there is still room of improvement for me, but it was the best short program of the season. It’s my first Europeans, but I was able to calm down and I was able to show what I have worked on with my coaches. I am very pleased to finally have skated a clean short program. Since Russian Nationals I’ve been focusing on consistency in practice and on polishing all elements,” the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final Champion commented.
Evgenia Medvedeva (RUS)
Medvedeva opened her lyrical program to Frederic Chopin’s “Nocturne” with a level-four flying camel spin and smooth footwork before hitting a triple flip-triple toe and a triple loop. However, the two-time World Champion stepped out of her double Axel. She scored 78.57 points.
“Of course, I am not completely satisfied. There were many moments where I need to do better. I understand that very well so now I need to work,” the two-time and reigning European Champion said. “I did not feel the injury, everything has healed. I was in a cast for three weeks. It was a removable cast so I had it maybe be a little longer. There a lot of people that made it possible for me to get back on to the ice and I think I realized that it is the treasure of my life to be able to go out and skate,” the 18-year-old continued.
Kostner put out an exquisite performance to “Ne me quitte pas” that was highlighted by a triple flip-triple toe combination, triple loop, double Axel and level-four spins and footwork. The five-time European Champion posted a new personal best with 78.30 points. “I am very satisfied with my performance although if you go in the detail you see things that you have done better in practice and there are still things to correct. It is not easy skating first in the group. You don’t get to come off the ice and regroup, it’s like you are just thrown on the ice. I was repeating to myself like a mantra: you are ready, you are ready. I have this vision of skating I want to pursue and I just have crazy courage to put pieces by pieces together and I’m grateful for every day,” the 2012 World Champion shared.
Carolina Kostner (ITA)
ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final silver medalist Maria Sotskova (RUS) two-footed her opening triple Lutz but recovered to complete a triple flip-triple toeloop to place fourth at 68.70 points. Nicole Rajicova (SVK) came fifth with a solid performance (61.01 points) followed by Anita Östlund (SWE) at 56.04 points.