GANGNEUNG, South Korea (AP) — If you think Yevgenia Medvedeva will cruise to the Olympic gold medal in figure skating, think again.
Medvedeva’s 15-year-old training partner, Alina Zagitova, proved she can challenge for the gold. Zagitova won the team event free skate by 20 points on Monday, scoring only 2.38 points short of Medvedeva’s record.
That should set up a tantalizing all-Russian contest for the women’s gold on Feb. 21 and 23. Still, Zagitova swears there’s no rivalry with Medvedeva, who broke her own record in the team short on Sunday.
“Zhenya congratulated me, and I congratulated her yesterday,” Zagitova said, referring to Medvedeva by her Russian nickname. “We’ve really bonded during these competitions.”