Zagitova wobbles but leads European champs short program

Russia's Alina Zagitova performs in the ladies short program at the ISU European figure skating championships in Minsk, Belarus, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2019. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)
Russia's Alina Zagitova performs in the ladies short program at the ISU European figure skating championships in Minsk, Belarus, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2019. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)
Switzerland's Alexia Paganini performs in the ladies short program at the ISU European figure skating championships in Minsk, Belarus, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2019. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)
Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov of Russia perform their pair short program at the ISU European figure skating championships in Minsk, Belarus, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2019. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)
Vanessa James and Morgan Cipres of France perform their pair short program at the ISU European figure skating championships in Minsk, Belarus, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2019. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)
Russia's Alina Zagitova performs in the ladies short program at the ISU European figure skating championships in Minsk, Belarus, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2019. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)
Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov of Russia perform their pair short program at the ISU European figure skating championships in Minsk, Belarus, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2019. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)
Switzerland's Alexia Paganini performs in the ladies short program at the ISU European figure skating championships in Minsk, Belarus, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2019. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)
Russia's Alina Zagitova performs in the ladies short program at the ISU European figure skating championships in Minsk, Belarus, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2019. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)
Russia's Sofia Samodurova performs in the ladies short program at the ISU European figure skating championships in Minsk, Belarus, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2019. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)
Russia's Sofia Samodurova performs in the ladies short program at the ISU European figure skating championships in Minsk, Belarus, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2019. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)
Vanessa James and Morgan Cipres of France perform their pair short program at the ISU European figure skating championships in Minsk, Belarus, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2019. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)

MINSK, Belarus — Olympic figure skating champion Alina Zagitova wobbled but still took the lead in Wednesday's short program at the European Championships.

The defending champion from Russia survived an under-rotated triple loop and a shaky landing on a triple flip to score 75 points — a relatively low score by her standards but still more than second-place teammate Sofia Samodurova with 72.88.

"I was just focused on having a clean skate," said Zagitova, who was recovering from a disappointing fifth-place finish at last month's Russian nationals. "I was deliberately trying not to show my emotions and I don't plan to until the free skate. There were some flaws but they can be fixed. Now I need to get focused as much as possible for the free skate."

American-born Swiss skater Alexia Paganini is third with 65.64 points, 0.03 ahead of Viveca Lindfors of Finland. Paganini is looking to become Switzerland's first European medalist since Sarah Meier won the title on home ice in 2011.

Russian hopes of a podium sweep took a hit when Stanislava Konstantinova fell, scoring 56.76 for 11th. The free skate is Friday.

Olympic silver medalist and two-time European champion Evgenia Medvedeva isn't competing after failing to make the Russian team at nationals.

France's Vanessa James and Morgan Cipres — unbeaten this season — lead the pairs competition in the short program with a clean skate and a score of 76.55. That was just enough to beat the two-time defending champion Russians Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov, who scored 73.90 with what Morozov called a "middling" skate after Tarasova made a mistake on a triple toeloop.

Italy's Nicole della Monica and Matteo Guarise are in the bronze-medal position ahead of Thursday's free skate on 73.70 ahead of two more Russian pairs.

___

More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Must Read

Fourcade, Dahlmeier defend biathlon world titles...

Feb 12, 2017

Martin Fourcade won the men's pursuit world title for the fourth time on Sunday, hours after Laura...

Dahlmeier wins individual race for 3rd biathlon...

Feb 15, 2017

Laura Dahlmeier won the women's individual competition Wednesday for her third gold medal and...

Austrian official does not expect new contract...

Sep 5, 2017

Austria coach Marcel Koller may be in charge of the national team for the last time against Georgia

Serbia loss gives Wales and Ireland fresh hope in...

Oct 6, 2017

Serbia has failed to clinch a World Cup berth in Vienna and has lost to Austria instead, giving...

Brignone takes World Cup GS, Italy women's 1st...

Dec 29, 2017

Federica Brignone takes women's World Cup giant slalom to give Italian team 1st win of season

Search

About Us

From transfer news, tactical analysis to predictions, get only the best of the world of sports daily with Daily Sports Club.

Contact us: sales[at]dailysportsclub.com

Subscribe Now!