Alina Zagitova beat out fellow Olympic Athletes of Russia competitor Evgenia Medvedeva by just 1.31 points for the gold medal in ladies' figure skating.
While 30 women entered the competition at the 2018 Winter Olympics, these two stood above the rest after each topped the previous world record in the short program. Zagitova entered the second day with a 1.31-point lead, and she held on with a 156.65 in the free skate to give her a total score of 239.57.
Kaetlyn Osmond of Canada took home the bronze medal Friday in Pyeongchang, South Korea (Thursday in Eastern Time).
Ladies' Figure Skating Final Results
1. Alina Zagitova (OAR) - 239.57
2. Evgenia Medvedeva (OAR) - 238.26
3. Kaetlyn Osmond (CAN) - 231.02
4. Satoko Miyahara (JPN) - 222.38
5. Carolina Kostner (ITA) - 212.44
6. Kaori Sakamoto (JPN) - 209.71
7. Choi Dabin (KOR) - 199.26
8. Maria Sotskova (OAR) - 198.10
9. Bradie Tennell (USA) - 192.35
10. Mirai Nagasu (USA) - 186.54
Full results available at Olympic.org.
Medvedeva entered as the presumed favorite after winning the last two world championships. However, the 15-year-old Zagitova has been a star all year, and this continued in South Korea.
The two gained some separation in the field in the short program, but it all came down to the free skate.
Zagitova went before Medvedeva, but she didn't seem to feel any pressure with a nearly flawless performance:
She smartly back-loaded the jumps in her program, gaining bonus points for her combinations that took place in the second half of the skate. Her triple lutz, triple toeloop combination was the most impressive element of the night.
After a strong showing by Osmond to get onto the medal stand, Medvedeva took the ice needing a massive score to get into first.
The Russian gave it everything she had:
The two ended up with the exact same free skate score, but Zagitova had the advantage with the short skate to win the gold medal.
There was plenty of debate about the judges' scoring, including this tweet from USA Today's Nancy Armour:
Italy's Carolina Kostner, who won bronze in this event four years ago, finished in fifth place in her fourth Olympics.
It was a disappointing finish for the U.S., which had three competitors qualify for the free skate but no one on the podium. Bradie Tennell was the top finisher in ninth place.
After earning at least one medal in 11 straight Olympic Games in ladies' figure skating, the United States has now failed to medal in the last three competitions.
Christine Brennan of USA Today discussed the historic struggles:
Team USA earned bronze in the team competition but only added one more figure skating bronze (in ice dance) the rest of the time in South Korea.
This was the last figure skating event in Pyeongchang, which means for these athletes, all that is left is enjoying the closing ceremony and moving on to the next major competition.