Zaccardi: Peaking at right time critical for Alina Zagitova, Yevgenia Medvedeva

Les JO en bref

Russian figure skater Alina Zagitova has set a new world record in the short program at the Winter Olympic Games in South Korea's PyeongChang, earning 82.92 points.

With the gold medal on the line, the women take to the ice in the final figure skating competition at the 2018 Winter Olympics.

RECORD-BREAKING Alina Zagitova, 15, stole the show in figure skating on Wednesday as America's Lindsey Vonn wound up her Olympic downhill career by becoming the oldest female alpine ski medallist in Games history.Zagitova was breathtaking in the Russian-dominated short programme, breaking the world record set just minutes earlier by her team-mate, 18-year-old Evgenia Medvedeva.

For Zagitova, that's meant putting seven triple jumps, two double axels, and a double toe loop in the final two minutes of her four-minute free skate.

Medvedeva, 18, was unbeaten from December 2015 through this past fall, winning 10 worldwide titles including the 2016 and 2017 World Championships, leaving many to believe she was indeed "undefeatable" in the Olympic Games women's competition, which opens with the short program Wednesday (Tuesday on the West Coast).

Medvedeva holds the world record for the free dance and combined, but the Muscovite knows she will have a herculean fight on her hands to deny Zagitova. "I want to give it my best and enjoy my free skate". "It was not my best, but it was OK", she said. "It was a special sort of challenge for me and I'm excited for [the free skate]".

Alina Zagitova stamped herself as at least the Olympic co-favorite after upsetting a still recovering Medvedeva at last month's European Championships.

Olympic Athletes from Russian Federation have yet to win a gold medal at the games, but both skaters shrugged off the prospect of changing that. She scored a personal best. Thompson will be competing in her first major race after she tore the ACL and MCL in her right knee during training in December, while Serwa sustained a knee injury in 2016.

On paper, Zagitova has more potential points in her programs due to a decision to move all her jumps to the second half of her program.

"I'm happy to have a clean skate and really grateful to myself for that", the 15-year-old said via a translator.

Medvedeva, who trains with Zagitova under star Russian coach Eteri Tutberidze in Moscow, said she felt tense during the team event last week.

As for the United States, nine days after becoming the first US woman and third overall to land a triple axel in the Olympics, Mirai Nagasu came down on two feet on her opening triple axel, then fell to the surface. The 19-year-old said she was inspired by the gold and silver medals her countrymen Yuzuru Hanyu and Shoma Uno won in the men's program. This is Zagitova's first season competing as a senior (or elite-level) skater.

It was a tough short program for the Team USA ladies. "Of course, I would have loved a gold medal but, honestly, this is awesome and I'm so proud". Karen Chen, 18, was fourth at the world championships past year. "It wasn't my best, but I am glad that I was the first one out there".

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