Yevgenia Medvedeva wipes Yuna Kim off record books at Europeans

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Russian Yevgenia Medvedeva is looking like an overwhelming favorite for the Olympic women’s figure skating title. And looking like the most dominant women’s skater in 30 years.

Medvedeva, 17, broke Yuna Kim‘s world record for total score from the 2010 Olympics in tallying 229.71 points at the European Championships in Ostrava, Czech Republic, on Friday. Medvedeva already held the short program and free skate world records.

She prevailed by 18.32 points over countrywoman Anna Pogorilaya at Europeans. Italian Carolina Kostner, back this season after two years away, took bronze. Full results are here.

“I’m really happy I broke the world record, but it isn’t my main goal,” Medvedeva said. “My main goal, I think it is just to have fun and give fun for my fans.”

Medvedeva is strong across the board, but especially on her jumps, rarely falling. She landed eight clean triples in her free skate set to music and lyrics from “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close,” a 2011 film relating to the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

“I heard the reaction after each jump that I did, and then it was nice to see the standing ovation at the end,” Medvedeva said through a translator. “I’m working for these moments, like being on the podium, listening to the anthem. These moments are not very long, but they are worth all the hours I’m working on the ice.”

Medvedeva goes into the world championships in two months looking to become the first woman to repeat since Michelle Kwan in 2000 and 2001.

But even Kwan lost competitions in both of those seasons. Medvedeva, who has lost once in two seasons as a senior skater, could at worlds cap a two-year stretch not seen since German Katarina Witt‘s dominance in the 1980s.

At worlds, Medvedeva’s biggest competition may be her countrywomen. Russians are five of the top eight ranked skaters this season, along with Kostner, Japan’s Satoko Miyahara and Canada’s Kaetlyn Osmond.

Russia can only send three skaters to worlds, though, likely to be Medvedeva, Pogorilaya and either Sotskova or Yelena Radionova.

The top U.S. skater this season, Ashley Wagner, faces a challenge to repeat her world silver medal from last season. She ranks ninth in the world this season and was beaten by 17-year-old Karen Chen at the U.S. Championships last week.

MORE: U.S. worlds team could be its strongest in a decade

Laurie Hernandez plans on competing in 2019, agent says

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Olympic gymnastics champion Laurie Hernandez plans on competing in 2019, her agent said.

Hernandez has not competed since taking team gold and vault silver at the Rio Olympics, followed by winning “Dancing with the Stars” later that fall.

She said in October that she hoped to compete in 2018 but would not rush a comeback. Hernandez since decided not to compete at the U.S. Championships this August.

No member of the Final Five has competed at the elite level since Rio, though Madison Kocian is in her sophomore season at UCLA and Simone Biles plans to return this summer.

Aly Raisman said in September 2016 that she planned to take one year off, then return to training for a Tokyo 2020 run. But her focus shifted in the last year to something more important — taking on USA Gymnastics and the U.S. Olympic Committee after Larry Nassar sexual-abuse crimes.

The last member of the Final Five, 2012 Olympic all-around champion Gabby Douglas, has not said in widely reported comments if or when she will return to competition.

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Sonja Henie record at stake; figure skating worlds pairs preview

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When Aljona Savchenko won her first gold medal at her fifth Olympics with her third different partner in PyeongChang, she said she “wrote history.”

She can write some more this week.

Savchenko, who at 34 became the oldest female figure skating champion in Winter Olympic history, and partner Bruno Massot are the only pairs medalists from PyeongChang who are back for the world championships in Milan.

The Germans headline the field for the short program Wednesday and free skate Friday.

MORE: World Champs TV Schedule

Savchenko can tie Norwegian Sonja Henie for the female record of 11 world championships medals. She can grab a share of second on the all-time pairs list with a sixth world title, four shy of Soviet Irina Rodnina‘s record.

Savchenko, who won four crowns with now-retired Robin Szolkowy, goes for her first world title with Massot. They’re clear favorites.

Olympic silver medalists Sui Wenjing and Han Cong withdrew from worlds due to Sui’s foot injury. Olympic bronze medalists Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford retired.

It’s arguably a surprise that Savchenko and Massot chose to compete in Milan. They’re the first Olympic pairs champions to compete at a post-Olympic worlds since 1992.

Their top challengers are Russians Yevgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov, who outscored Savchenko and Massot in the Olympic short program but dropped off the podium in the free skate with a fall on their throw.

U.S. champions Alexa Scimeca Knierim and Christopher Knierim, 15th at the Olympics, made the top 10 in all of their four world championships appearances with a best finish of seventh. The last U.S. pairs medal came in 2002, the nation’s longest drought in any figure skating discipline.

The Knierims were the only U.S. pair in PyeongChang, but in Milan they’re joined by Deanna Stellato and Nathan Bartholomay.

Stellato earned singles silver at the 2000 World Junior Championships, then retired at age 17 due to hip injuries. She came back at age 32 in 2016 in pairs and, with the Sochi Olympian Bartholomay, took bronze at this year’s nationals.

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MORE: Best figure skating moments from PyeongChang