Winter Olympics: Sadness as Russian skate star Julia Lipnitskaia stumbles
SOCHI, RUSSIA (AFP) - Skating star Julia Lipnitskaia said she was sad for disappointed home fans, as Russia turned their focus for a first Olympic women's figure skating gold to fellow teen Adelina Sotnikova.
The crowd had been looking to Lipnitskaia, winner of the team gold, to lift spirits on Wednesday, hours after Russia crashed out of the ice hockey tournament in a shock quarter-final defeat by Finland which prompted jeers.
But a fall left the 15-year-old sitting fifth behind South Korea's Kim Yu Na, with another Russian teen 17-year-old Sotnikova, surprising by taking second spot in the short programme.
"I feel sad," said the shell-shocked Lipnitskaia, looking childlike and mystified as she was comforted by her coach Eteri Tutberidze in the kiss-and-cry. "On the ice it was very hot. I am not seeking excuses but it was hard to breathe. I don't know what happened. My preparation was all fine. I wasn't nervous. I can still fight for a medal tomorrow."