Yevgenia Medvedeva rough season hit another stumbling block Friday. She placed 14th in the short program at the Russian Championships.
The Olympic silver medalist and two-time world champion botched her opening combination and then fell on a double Axel (video here). She scored 62.24 points, 18.38 behind Olympic champion Alina Zagitova in the deepest national competition in the world.
The second-, third- and fifth-place finishers in the short are all 14- and 15-year-olds that aren’t eligible for senior international events this season. This is key, as Medvedeva is vying for one of three Russian spots at January’s European Championships and March’s world championships.
Zagitova and 2015 World champion Elizaveta Tuktamysheva, who is out with pneumonia, would seem obvious candidates for two spots at Euros. Medvedeva’s primary competition for a spot are Stanislava Konstantinova, who was fourth in the short, and Sofia Samodurova, who was sixth.
Samodurova had the best fall Grand Prix season of the trio, placing fifth at the Grand Prix Final in her first senior international campaign.
Russia has in the past named its world championships team after the European Championships, making the latter another selection event.
Medvedeva went undefeated for two years from 2015 to 2017 but hasn’t won in more than a year, placing second, third or fourth at her last five events since suffering a broken bone in her foot in fall 2017. She has fallen in all four of her competitions this season.
Training partner Zagitova edged Medvedeva for gold in PyeongChang by 1.31 points, after which Medvedeva moved from Moscow to Toronto to train under Brian Orser.
Orser, who has stressed patience as Medvedeva processes technique changes for the second act of her career, encouraged Medvedeva after Friday’s skate. They conversed in the kiss and cry as fans would not stop applauding her during the wait for her scores.
“Stand up and wave,” Orser urged her. She obliged, smiling, The scores came up. She nodded and repeated her placement, “14th.”
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