‘The pain gave me strength’: Russian star Medvedeva reveals World Championships injury battle
Two-time world champion Medvedeva, 19, lay fourth heading into the free program, but produced a strong routine to put her into third, behind Russian Olympic champion Alina Zagitova and rising Kazakhstan star Elizabet Tursynbayeva.Also on rt.com Russian figure skating star Alina Zagitova wins gold at world championships
While she could not reclaim the title she won in 2017, Medvedeva’s third place went some way towards reversing what has been a challenging season.
Afterwards, the Olympic silver medalist said she had been struggling with injury in Saitama but had drawn on her reserves to pull through.
“Today I’m proud of myself, of my team,” she told journalists. “Today was a tough day, there were lots of things I had to come through, but we did it… today was very tough and very painful.
“In the warm-up for the short program it seems I pulled my hip, yesterday and today it became worse.
“The pain gave me strength to go further, I got angry, drew on my reserves and did everything that I could,” she added.
The Russian star thanked her Canadian team of Brian Orser and Tracy Wilson, having made the controversial decision to switch to training in Canada following her Olympic disappointment in South Korea last year.
“In the last year I’ve been racked by a lot of doubts, but when I was training, I turned round, saw Brian, Tracy, and Misha (choreographer Misha Ge), and knew that I wasn’t alone.
“We came through this together,” she added.
Medvedeva’s reaction to her season’s best total of 223.80 points was also among the most heartwarming moments to emerge from this year’s championships in Japan.
Flanked by Orser and Wilson, the Russian broke into a shocked smile on hearing the judges' scores before covering her hands in her face, letting out squeals of delight.
There has been speculation of a rift between Medvedeva and new Russian world champion Zagitova, both of whom trained under the respected eye of Eteri Tutberidze before Medvedeva made her Canada switch.
But there was no sign of tensions at the presentation ceremony in Japan, where the pair hugged near the podium before Zagitova was awarded gold.