The Figure Skating Federation of Russia had a very good Friday at the 2021 ISU World Figure Skating Championships.
Anna Shcherbakova capped off a memorable week by winning gold in the women's individual competition. She came into the day in the driver's seat after posting a score of 81.00 in the short program on Wednesday.
After Elizaveta Tuktamysheva moved into the lead following her run with a combined score of 220.46, Shcherbakova only needed a score of 139.47 in her free skate to take home the title.
The 16-year-old had no problem hitting that mark. She received a score of 152.17 for her routine for an easy win.
This marks Shcherbakova's first win in her first appearance at the World Championships. She previously won silver at the junior championships in 2019.
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Figure Skating⛸️ - Anna Shcherbakova wins the ladies' singles world title 2 days before her 17th birthday. She is the 3rd woman in last 5 editions to win this title before turning 17, after this happened only once in the 18 editions prior to this run. #WorldFigure #Stockholm2021
Rounding out the top three in the women's singles competition were Shcherbakova's fellow countrywomen, Tuktamysheva and Alexandra Trusova. Tuktamysheva, 24, is the veteran of the group. She previously won gold at the 2015 World Championships.
Before Shcherbakova capped off her masterful showing in Stockholm, Figure Skating Federation of Russian duo Victoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov are one step away from winning gold in ice dancing.
Sinitsina and Katsalapov received a score of 88.15 points for their rhythm dance.
Chasing Sinitsina and Katsalapov for the top spot are two American teams. Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue are in second place with an 86.05, followed by Madison Chock and Evan Bates in third place with 85.15 points.
Chock and Bates did leave points on the ice during their routine. They both scored a level three on their twizzles. Chock only got to level three on the pattern steps, while Bates was at a level four. They remain very much in the mix for gold, so it wasn't a devastating blow. But those missed chances could come back to haunt them on Saturday.
Sinitsina and Katsalapov are chasing their first gold medal at the World Championships. They won silver at the 2019 event behind the France powerhouse duo of Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron.
Papadakis and Cizeron announced in January they wouldn't participate in the World Championships this year in order to prepare for the 2022 Olympics in Beijing, China.
Hubbell and Donohue, who finished third at the 2019 World Championships, are still within shouting distance of the top spot heading into the free dance.
Hubbell and Donohue's score on Friday is their best in the rhythm dance at the World Championships. Their previous high-water mark was 83.09 in 2019 en route to a bronze medal.
“We are very proud of ourselves,” Hubbell told reporters. “We were pretty present today and we just really focused on each other coming back to the performance, so we are happy to give that strong performance at the worlds championship.”
The Americans do have their work cut out for them, both because of how cohesive Sinitsina and Katsalapov are dancing right now and the difficulty of trying to make up the points necessary to vault into the lead.
There hasn't been a pair leading after the rhythm dance section at the World Figure Skating Championships that has failed to win gold since Chock and Bates in 2015. They came in second after Papadakis and Cizeron posted a score of 112.34 in the free dance to jump three spots.
Saturday's free dance session will determine this year's ice dance champions. The men's singles final will also be decided tomorrow.