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Alina Zagitova gives Russia first Pyeongchang gold

Photo: Sputnik/Vladimir Pesnya

 

Teenager Alina Zagitova edged compatriot Evgenia Medvedeva with a stunning free skate on Friday that earned Russia a first gold at the Pyeongchang Games, Reuters reported.

The 15-year-old, who led Medvedeva by just over one point after a record-setting short program on Wednesday, effortlessly executed every element of her jump-packed free skate, earning 156.65 points for the performance and 239.57 overall.

Skating to Don Quixote by composer Leon Minkus in a flashy red tutu, Zagitova held on for her opening jump, a triple Lutz, and went on to land another six triple jumps.

Medvedeva, who trains with Zagitova under the same coaches, won silver with a spectacular skate that put her 1.31 points behind Zagitova overall.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has sent the skaters and their coach Eteri Tutberidze telegrams congratulating them on “brilliant results and very beautiful performances at the 2018 Games”, the Kremlin said in a statement.

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.

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