Reigning world figure skating champion Evgenia Medvedeva of Russia won the season-opening Grand Prix event in Moscow at the weekend, laughing off a fall on a double axel in the process.
Medvedeva, who has remained unrivaled over the last two years, started her Olympic campaign with a solid victory at the Rostelecom Cup in the Russian capital, beating second-placed Carolina Costner of Italy by more than 16 points.
The 17-year-old Russian, who was six points ahead of her closest competitor after the short program, confirmed her lead by delivering a near flawless performance on Saturday, despite the double axel slip-up, during which she landed on her hands.
Medvedeva brushed off the mistake at the end of her ‘Anna Karenina’ routine, before saluting the buoyant home crowd.
“I’m pleased with my performance,” Medvedeva said after her free-skate performance.
“I treat my fall on the double axel ironically. There were mistakes during my training sessions, but not on that element. It’s just moral weakness, I let my brain down, which I shouldn’t have done. I think this mistake will be useful, I will learn a lesson from it,” the two-time world and European title holder added.
This error didn’t affect the final score, as Medvedeva’s other immaculate jumps, as well as brilliant footwork, were merited 150.46 points – enough to celebrate a home-soil victory in Moscow.
Wakaba Higuchi of Japan rounded up the top three finishers at the Grand-Prix curtain-raiser in Russia.
Medvedeva is on a major winning streak, having not lost since November 2015. She is the uncontested favorite to clinch the gold in the ladies singles event at the upcoming Winter Olympics in South Korea in February.
The men’s competition at the Rostelecom Cup was dominated by Nathan Chen of the United States, who outclassed defending Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan, who settled for silver.