15-year-old Alina Zagitova set the new highest score ever recorded in the ladies’ short program on Tuesday night to lead the field, including her training partner Yevgenia Medvedeva, who sits second. Both Olympic Athletes from Russia train in Moscow, and are separated by just 1.31 points. Canada’s Kaetlyn Osmond finished third in the short program with 78.87 points.
Zagitova performed her short program to music from “Black Swan” and turned into the creature by the end of the program: watch her swipe her dress to make the colors change right as she hits her last pose. Zagitova executed a clean triple Lutz-triple loop, a triple flip and a double Axel to score 82.92 points, the newest short program score ever seen.
Medvedeva finished close behind with 81.61 (originally a high-scoring short program before Zagitova skated). Medvedeva’s short program, set to Chopin’s Nocturne, featured a solid triple flip-triple toe jump combination, triple loop and double Axel. The concept of the program is about the “flight of the soul” as it leaves a person’s body at the point of “clinical death.” She tallied 81.61 points.
Earlier at the Winter Olympics, Mirai Nagasu became the first American woman to land a triple Axel on Olympic ice. She helped the U.S. squad earn a bronze medal in the team event, tweeting later, “they honestly feel like gold.” She placed fourth at the Vancouver Olympics eight years ago before missing the Sochi team in 2014.
Nagasu attempted the jump again in Tuesday’s short program, set to Chopin’s Nocturne. She fell on the jump and but skated clean for the remainder of the program. She is the top ranked U.S. woman headed into the free skate with 66.93 points.