Medvedeva's record free skate seals title

Evgenia Medvedeva nailed each of her seven triple jumps and two double Axels to score 150.10 for her free skate to win the title with an overall 223.86, cementing her status as the new star of women's skating.
Evgenia Medvedeva nailed each of her seven triple jumps and two double Axels to score 150.10 for her free skate to win the title with an overall 223.86, cementing her status as the new star of women's skating. PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

BOSTON • Russian teenager Evgenia Medvedeva underscored her status as the new star of women's skating on Saturday with a record- breaking victory at the World Figure Skating Championships.

The 16-year-old broke the record for the highest free skate score ever, amassing 150.10 points to surpass by 0.04 the mark set by Kim Yu Na at the 2010 Olympic Games.

The teenager also scored a notable first by becoming the first world junior champion to win the senior title the following year.

Her spectacular performance set to the soundtrack of Madonna's film W.E. launched her from third after the short programme to the top of the podium with 223.86 points.

Medvedeva - heavily tipped to win gold heading into the competition - lived up to expectations and then some, nailing every one of her seven triple jumps and two double Axels.

"I don't have any emotions right now. I left it all on the ice with my performance today. I think I won't realise soon that I won. One year ago I was still skating in juniors," she said through an interpreter.

"I was actually less nervous than usual and I felt very comfortable out there. I was focused and I took one element at a time.

"This is really an incredible moment for me and it's going to be a remarkable moment in my life," added Medvedeva, who also won the Grand Prix and European titles this season.

When advised that her score was record-setting, the teen could only say "Wow".

Veteran Ashley Wagner of the United States skated last and into the silver-medal position with an emotionally-charged performance to the Moulin Rouge soundtrack.

She succeeded with seven triple jumps woven into masterful choreography which earned 142.23 on the night - her total score 215.39.

It was almost impossible to hear the music as Wagner entered her final combination spin, with the capacity crowd at TD Garden in full roar and on their feet.

"This was absolutely incredible. I don't think anyone can prepare you for skating last at the world championships after your rivals have skated a great performance," the 24-year-old said.

Bronze went to unheralded Russian Anna Pogorilaya who also skated her programme without any significant faults. Her finale earned 139.71, giving her a total of 213.69.

Overnight leader Gracie Gold of the US saw her medal hopes evaporate with a fall on her opening jump combination and a planned triple Lutz turned to a double. Her free skate to Stravinski's Firebird lacked its usual sizzle and she finished fourth with 211.29 overall.

Japanese superstar Mao Asada redeemed her sub-par short programme with a sophisticated and technically superb performance to Madame Butterfly. She opened with a soaring triple Axel, although her free foot touched down briefly on landing.

Her only significant fault was turning a planned triple Lutz into a double, but it cost her dearly. She scored 134.43 for the free skate and 200.3 overall, moving up two spots into seventh.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 04, 2016, with the headline 'Medvedeva's record free skate seals title'. Print Edition | Subscribe