Figure skating - Medvedeva shows mental strength to match sublime
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[April 01, 2017]
By Pritha Sarkar
HELSINKI (Reuters) - Evgenia Medvedeva
may or may not be familiar with the Rudyard Kipling poem 'If' but
her ability to keep her head when all around her were losing theirs
certainly helped the Russian to a second straight world title on
Drawn to go on the ice after Anna Pogorilaya in the free skate at
the world figure skating championships, the 17-year-old Medvedeva
stood rinkside as her team mate's routine went into a tailspin.
As Pogorilaya fell - over, and over and over again - Medvedeva could
easily have been distracted by the hullabaloo going on around her.
Even when the routine from hell had ended, there was no end to the
commotion with the crowd chanting "An-na! An-na! An-na!" as a
red-faced Pogorilaya spilled a flood of tears.
There is a reason, though, why Medvedeva has won 10 titles in a row
stretching back to December 2015 and it became abundantly clear on
"Before I compete, I am so closed in on myself that I donít notice
even if someone is talking to me," said Medvedeva, who became the
first woman since Michelle Kwan in 2001 to win back-to-back world
"I shut out everything around me ... because on the ice I have a job
to do and I need to focus.
"I saw something was going on but in the next second I had already
forgotten about it. I didn't even know if it was tears of joy or
tears of grief as I had no idea how she had skated."
Since winning her first major title at the 2016 European
championships by 5.46 points, the gap between Medvedeva and the
chasing pack has been widening at an alarming pace.
Medvedeva won the 2016 worlds by 8.47 points and this
year's Europeans by 18.32 points.
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Evgenia Medvedeva of
Russia reacts after her performance. REUTERS/Grigory Dukor
While Friday's winning margin over Canadian Kaetlyn Osmond in
Helsinki was 'only' 15.28 points, her points tally was a world
With poise and artistry oozing out from every pore, rivals might be
wishing they could invent new rules to somehow rein in her talent.
No matter what obstacle or distraction has been placed in front of
her to date, though, Medvedeva has found a way to overcome it.
Hence it would have come as little surprise to her rivals when
Medvedeva revealed that she eventually hopes to do something no
woman has yet achieved -- land a quadruple jump.
"I have not done a quad in training yet ... but the plan exists
because figure skating should move forward," she said.
"You should try something new. I think I will try a quad and most
probably that will be a Salchow."
(Editing by Nick Mulvenney)
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