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Russia’s Polina Tsurskaya triumphed by a distance the ladies’ figure skating at the Lillehammer 2016 Winter Youth Olympic Games on Tuesday and won gold with a score of 186.04. Maria Sotskova won silver to make it a Russian double.
“I’m very satisfied that I did everything I was supposed to do,” said Polina Tsurskaya. And added that she was proud “that my national anthem was playing because of me. Because of my achievements, we did well in the Youth Olympic Games.”
Maria Sotskova, also from Russia, struggled with a disappointing short program on Sunday, but in an impressive comeback in the free program she recovered from eighth position to climb the podium at the Hamar Olympic Amphitheatre to collect the silver medal thanks to a score of 169.50.
Sotskova, who also finished in second position behind Tsurskaya at the Junior Grand Prix 2015/16 final, said nerves had got the better of her before skating the free program.
“I am really happy, because my performance was not so perfect. I thought I wouldn’t take a medal. I’m happy I took silver. I was so nervous, but my family will be very proud,” she said.
“Everybody [in my team] was so nervous after my first performance [short program] and now it’s like ‘phew’. I had problems in the short program, it was difficult for me, every day I thought about it. I was so sad.”
A fall affected the silver-medal chances of Kazakhstan’s Elizabet Tursynbaeva. Photo: YIS / IOC Jon Buckle
Kazakhstan’s Elizabet Tursynbaeva, who was lying second after the short program, won the bronze medal with 167.88 points after a fall that cost her two deductions.
“It was a good experience for me, it was a good competition. I had an injury and I almost couldn’t practise. I’m just so happy I won a medal,” she said.
Yuna Shiraiwa, who finished Sunday's short program in first place, missed out on a podium place by 1.22 points. When she fell on a triple loop towards the end of her free program, she knew that a medal had just slipped out of her hands and the Japanese left the rink in tears.
Written by YIS / IOC EMMA LUPANO with IOC Young Reporter Emily Bayci
Emma Lupano is a reporter for the Lillehammer Youth Information Service ‘YIS’. Milan-based Emma has worked at the last five Olympic Games and also covered the Innsbruck 2012 and Nanjing 2014 YOGs. A China specialist, she has worked as a freelance journalist from Beijing for four years.