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.Follow @nzaccardi