Alina Zagitova wins ice princess duel with Evgenia Medvedeva for Russia’s first gold

Vastavam web: Teenage figure skater Alina Zagitova prevailed in her duel with Evgenia Medvedeva to claim Russia’s first gold medal at the Pyeongchang Olympics today.The 15-year-old took the women’s title for the Olympic Athletes from Russia by a slender margin of just 1.31 points from her friend, compatriot, training partner and arch rival.”I can’t believe I’m the champion. It’ll take some time to sink in,” said Zagitova, who beat two-time world champion Medvedeva despite both scoring matching 156.65 points in the free-skating today.

“I’m happy I handled my nerves well. My hands were shaking but my body did everything that I trained for,” she added.Medvedeva, who broke her foot and was sidelined for two months from October, was unable to finish a television interview she was so distraught.An Olympic official followed her round with a box of tissues.”I didn’t think and I don’t want to think about my injury,” she said.”I don’t want to look back. I did great work today and did my best.”The gold and silver OAR medallists were later seen embracing in a warm hug.She had got the better of Medvedeva in last month’s European Championships, and came out on top again to become the second youngest Olympic ladies champion after American Tara Lipinski in 1998.

And displaying the composure of someone far beyond her years she produced a flawless four minutes free dance set to Austrian composer Ludwig Minkus’s score to the ballet Don Quixote, about the fictional Spanish nobleman.Despite falling short of the personal best free dance from the opening week’s team event in which the OAR took silver she did enough to take the title.And when the Gangneung Ice Arena announcer came over the tannoy with a hush descending on the near capacity 12,000 crowd to say “Alina Zagitova has scored 156.65 points” there wasn’t a happier person in South Korea.

When she is presented with her gold medal later it will not be to the sound of the Russian national anthem nor with the Russian flag being hoisted but to the Olympic anthem and with the Olympic flag flying.