Alina Zagitova, 15, wins Olympic figure skating title for OAR's first gold

Les JO en bref

Gold medalist Olympic athlete fromRussiaAlina Zagitova poses for photos during medal ceremony of ladies' single skating of figure skating at the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games at Medal Plaza, PyeongChang, South Korea, Feb. 23, 2018. Both skaters are shrewd point-getters: Medvedeva performs most of her jumps with a Tano variation, the overhead arm that adds to the jump's difficulty; Zagitova has back-loaded her free skate, saving all the jumps for the second half of the program, when successful elements earn bonuses.

Canada's Kaetlyn Osmond claimed bronze in a personal best performance to "Black Swan".

Fifteen-year-old Alina Zagitova stole the show in figure skating on Wednesday as American skier Lindsey Vonn took bronze in her final Olympic downhill and Norway's Marit Bjoergen became the most successful athlete in Winter Games history. She's won the last two world championships and - until last month - hadn't lost at any competition she'd skated in since the fall of 2015.

The exclusions were the result of investigations by the International Olympic Committee that found Russian Federation had run a huge state-sponsored doping programme when it hosted the Winter Games in 2014.

Medvedeva seemed well on her way to Olympic gold as she went unbeaten for two seasons. One guesses she will be tormented for days, if not weeks, thinking about whether there was one slight adjustment that could have made the difference.

Five-time European champion Carolina Kostner, who has spent more than a decade competing at the highest levels, thinks the Russian dominance is cyclical.

Kaori Sakamoto (209.71) finished in sixth.

With that in mind, she insisted over her coach's objections that she'd live in the athletes village and immerse herself in the Olympic experience.

"I will work for it", said Medvedeva, who recovered from a stress fracture earlier in the season to shine on the Olympic stage.

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Zagitova skated a program largely free from mistakes, exhibiting fluidity and technical brilliance.

It's a testament to the strength of her teammates, Medvedeva and Zagitova, that Sotskova flies under the radar.

"All day I was terrified, I was so nervous", she said.

Medvedeva wasn't at her best, yet her mark was a record 81.61. Mirai Nagasu finished fourth at the 2010 Vancouver Games, as did Gracie Gold four years ago in Sochi. "It is because I realise that I am enjoying the process, these four minutes are historical and they only belong to me and the whole world is watching only me for those four minutes".

I cried a lot, for three days I didn't practise, it made me realise how much I loved skating. However, with her physical abilities and determination, she could have become a good pair skater, I think. "It is very surreal to be the best in the world at something you put your heart into." said Serwa.

"If I had the tenacity to do all my jumps in the second half, I'd get that done", Nagasu said.

Chen and Tennell are expected to keep skating and will need vast improvement to catch up to the Russians, Japanese and Canadians who have come to dominate the women's event.

American women, by contrast, have struggled in the 12 years since Sasha Cohen won the country's last Olympic medal in Turin.

"It's hard to understand, actually", Bjoergen said.

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