Russia’s Evgenia Medvedeva jumped and spinned to her second consecutive World title and set new record scores on the way. Canada’s Kaetlyn Osmond and Gabrielle Daleman took the gold and silver medals. Canada for the first time has two Ladies on a World podium.
Medvedeva skated first out of the top three and set the bar high. The two-time European Champion reeled off seven triples including a triple flip-triple toe combination and triple Salchow triple-toe combination plus two double Axels and level-four spins and footwork in her routine to “Extremly Loud and Incredibly Close”. The 17-year-old not only impressed with her flawless technique, but also with her expression and ease on the ice. At the end of the performance the defending World Champion remained for a few seconds in the somber mood of her program, then a smile lit up her face. Medvedeva achieved a new highest score of 154.40 points, surpassing her previous record score set at the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final in December. The Muscovite totaled 233.41 points, another record score. “I was a little bit nervous in the six minutes warm up, but before my skate I told myself, ‘Evgenia, you need to keep calm’. My main goal is just to enjoy my skating and to skate clean. Like last year, I felt absolutely calm, not euphoric (at the end). But I am absolutely thrilled. I did everything I can do and I felt relief”, the ISU Grand Prix Final Champion shared.
Osmond, who skated last out of the 24 Ladies in the Final, opened her program to “La Boheme” with a big triple flip-triple toe combination and then saved the landing on the double Axel-triple toe. The Canadian Champion went on to complete three more triples and only doubled a loop to score a personal best of 142.15 points and accumulated 218.13 points overall to win her first ISU Championship medal. “It felt incredible. I could never have been able to imagine closing the World Championships (competition) for the ladies. I love skating last, it’s my most favorite position, and I’m so glad that I was able to deal with it”, the ISU Grand Prix Finalist said. “To be able to stand on the podium and see one Canadian flag being raised is one thing, but to see two it feels that you are not alone. Figure skating is such an individual sport, but to see another teammate on the podium with you is just unbelievable”, she added.
Daleman’s routine to “Rhapsody in Blue” featured seven triples, only the triple Salchow-double Axel sequence was somewhat shaky. The Four Continents silver medalist improved her personal best significantly with 141.33 points and accumulated 213.52 points to take her first World medal. “I just did what I do every day, taking one element at a time and I absolutely said to myself: you can do this. I skated with so much love and heart and just pulled it off. I have worked so hard for this, I’ve dreamed of being a World medalist for so many years and this year I finally believed in myself”, the 19-year-old told the press.
There were many more memorable performances in the Ladies Free Skating. Karen Chen (USA) came fourth in her debut at the ISU World Figure Skating Championships (199.29 points). Four Continents Champion Mai Mihara (JPN) rallied back from a disappointing Short Program, moving up from 15th to fifth place (197.88 points). Five-time European Champion Carolina Kostner (ITA) finished sixth in her comeback after sitting out the past two seasons (196.83 points). 2016 World silver medalist Ashley Wagner made a few minor errors to place seventh (193.54 points). However, 2016 World bronze medalist Anna Pogorilaya dropped from fourth to 13th after multiple errors (183.37 points).
The ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2017 continue Saturday with the Men’s Free Skating and the Free Dance