TUKTAMISHEVA (RUS) savours Ladies' Figure Skating Gold as her great rival settles for Silver
INNSBRUCK, Jan 18 - She has had to settle for second place so often as her compatriot and rival grabbed the glory, but on Tuesday night it was Elizaveta TUKTAMISHEVA's (RUS) time to shine as she won Gold in the Ladies' Figure Skating.
The Russian produced a stunning routine in the Ladies' Free Programme at the Olympic Ice Stadium, to take her total to 173.10 points and ensure she walked away with the Gold medal at the Innsbruck 2012 Winter Youth Olympic Games.
And, as has not often been the case so far in the tale of these two Russian Figure Skating prodigies, it was Adelina SOTNIKOVA (RUS) who was forced to settle for Silver, having scored 159.08 points.
China's Zijun LI, with 157.70, claimed the Bronze medal.
For TUKTAMISHEVA, getting the better of her rival, and on such a stage, was a moment to truly savour.
“It is amazing [to beat SOTNIKOVA],” TUKTAMISHEVA said. “It is a great feeling.”
Her skate was not perfect, but her rival’s errors were worse.
“I did not do my best performance," TUKTAMISHEVA said. "I had some mistakes and I could have done better, but I am still proud that I won Gold.”
TUKTAMISHEVA, who scored 173.10, fell after a jump in the beginning of her routine. “It was like I was flying in the air, and then oops, I fell on the ice.”
The Gold medallist admitted skating at Innsbruck 2012 as one of the top-rated athletes was challenging.
“It was difficult to come here being considered one of the leaders, this made me feel pressured,” TUKTAMISHEVA said. “You need to perform well having this status. I am glad somehow I could cope with my nerves.”
Silver medallist SOTNIKOVA admitted she had not reached her usual high standards, and was at a loss to explain it.
“I did not understand what happened, but something made me nervous," she said. "I was trying to skate and enjoy, but eventually I did terrible. It was something mental.”
Having missed a number of jumps, SOTNIKOVA was extremely honest in her assessment of how she had performed.
“After my first jump was not successful, I tried to forget about it and to continue my performance," she said. "Then, when I tried another jump and I could not do it, I tried to continue and go."
“I skated so bad I had never seen before in my life."
“I did not skate well enough to be on the podium,” she said. “I am disappointed, my Short Programme was clean, this bad skating really upset me.”
In sharp contrast, China’s Zijun LI, who claimed Bronze with her season’s best total, was delighted.
“I am very happy for this medal, I skated very well today," she said. "I performed my level. Now I hope to continue improving, competition after competition.”