Dominant Zagitova leads after short program at European Figure Skating Championship
Despite committing minor errors which slightly affected the skater’s technical score, Zagitova took the lead in Minsk, surpassing second-ranked teammate Sofia Samodurova by more than two points.
Samodurova executed her short program with a new personal best of 72.88 points. She even managed to beat Zagitova’s technical score by less than a point, but her components score didn’t allow her to leapfrog the defending European champion in the final protocol.
Skating to the famous “Phantom of the Opera” tune, Zagitova captivated the crowd with her mesmerizing routine which was awarded 75 points from the judges.
However, the reigning Olympic champion under-rotated her signature triple lutz triple loop combination, an error which didn’t go unnoticed by the judges, who deducted several points from the final score.
Zagitova, who has made a habit this season of setting new world records during her performances, failed to beat the current world best result of 82.51 points posted by Japanese talent Rika Kihira last December.
Swiss skater Alexia Paganini, who delivered clean skating on Wednesday, sits third with a result of 65.64 points.