Evgenia Medvedeva, the reigning world champion set a new world record in the women’s figure skating short programme in the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang. The 18-year old is competing in her first Olympics and was awarded 81.06 points for her performance that helped the OAR (Olympic Athletes from Russia) into second place, behind Canada.
A broken foot had forced the athlete to drop out of the Grand Prix Final last year and a doping scandal cast doubt on whether the Russians would be allowed to participate in the Winter Olympics at all.
Medvedeva, who had to face a lot of complications to make it to the winter games said that her injury and the uncertainty surrounding Russian Olympians had just made her and her team mates stronger. “I competed to feel the magic of the Olympics,” she said.
The top five teams – Canada, OAR, the United States, Italy and Japan advanced to the final round of the team event after the women’s short programme.
The United States were placed third, trailing Canada and the OAR, after solid performances by 20-year-old Bradie Tennell and the husband-wife pair of Chris and Alexa Scimeca Knierim.
In the pairs free skate, Canadians Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford displayed a solid performance but did not cleanly land their throw quad Salchow, an element that pushes the technical limits of the sports. The pair earned 148.51 points. “It’s nice to have a strong performance but not a perfect one here, so we have room left to improve for the individual event,” Radford told Reuters.
Italy’s Valentina Marchei and Ondrej Hotarek skated a personal best score of 138.44 points, helping Italy into fourth place, while Olympic Athletes from Russia Natalia Zabiiako and Alexander Enbert finished third with 133.28 points.