Alina Zagitova (OAR) ©Getty Images
European Champion Alina Zagitova (OAR) upset two-time World Champion Evgenia Medvedeva (OAR) to win the Ladies Short Program with a new highest score at Gangneung Ice Arena on Wednesday. World silver medalist Kaetlyn Osmond of Canada is currently ranked third.
Performing to ‘Black Swan’, Zagitova nailed a rare triple Lutz-triple loop combination, a triple flip, double Axel as well as level-four spins and footwork. The combination alone was worth 13.71 points and the World Junior Champion set a new personal best and record score with 82.92 points. "I was very happy when I saw the score, but I did not expect it. Now my name will be connected to that record," the 15-year-old said. But she still was not completely satisfied. "From the score, this is the best performance of my life, but there is still room to grow. I could have more speed going into the jumps, the landings of the jumps could have been smoother, there could have been more emotions," Zagitova added.
Just a few minutes earlier, Medvedeva had delivered an outstanding performance of her program to a Nocturne by Frederic Chopin that included a triple flip-triple toeloop combination, a triple loop, double Axel and difficult spins and steps. The two-time World Champion established a new personal best and highest score with 81.61 points, but it held only until Zagitova topped it.
Evgenia Medvedeva (OAR) ©Getty Images
"Today I felt better than in the team event, but I still could have had a higher score if the (jump) combination would have been better. The analysis starts already during the performance,” Medvedeva noted. “I’m trying not to think about medals. My main goal is to show a clean free skate and to be satisfied with performance inside,” the 18-year-old continued.
Osmond’s powerful performance to ‘Sous le ciel de Paris’ and ‘Milord’ was highlighted by a triple flip-triple toe combination, a triple Lutz and strong spins. The World silver medalist picked up a personal best of 78.87 points. "It means so much I have been fighting to keep this program and improving it at each event. I was a little upset after the team event short program, but to come out here, not long afterwards and do this program and do a personal best and season's best it's really important to me," the multiple Canadian Champion shared.
Kaetlyn Osmond (CAN) ©Getty Images
A clean performance to ‘Memoirs of a Geisha’ by Satoko Miyahara (JPN) left her in medal contention in fourth place on 75.94 points. "I wanted to be more expressive and more open. And I hope I can do that in the free program,” Miyahara commented. "I thought I would be more nervous. It was not so bad for me. It was very special and on this dynamic stage and I am happy to skate here."
2018 Four Continents Champion Kaori Sakamoto (JPN) came fifth with a strong performance to ‘Moonlight Sonata’ (73.18 points). 2014 Olympic bronze medalist Carolina Kostner (ITA) reduced her combination to a triple flip-double toeloop and put her hand down on the triple loop to finish sixth on 73.15 points. “It was not my best skate today, unfortunately. Sometimes it's like that. The competition is not over and everything that comes is fine,” the 2012 World Champion said. 2017 World bronze medalist Gabrielle Daleman (CAN) stumbled on her triple-triple toeloop combination to finish seventh 68.90 points. Mirai Nagasu (USA) attempted a triple Axel, but fell. She sits in ninth place on 66.93 points.
The top 24 advanced to the Free Skating on Friday.