Teenage Russian Skating Sensation Hunts Sochi Gold After Euro Triumph

BUDAPEST, January 18 (R-Sport/RIA Novosti) – Teenage Russian figure skating sensation Julia Lipnitskaia won the European championships at her first attempt late Friday and immediately set her sights on a gold medal at the Winter Olympics to be held in Sochi next month.

Lipnitskaia, 15, became the youngest European champion after overhauling compatriot Adelina Sotnikova with a spectacular routine set to music from the holocaust movie “Schindler’s List.” She scored a season’s best of 209.72 points, six points ahead of Sotnikova.

“If you think about it really hard, then it’s possible to win in Sochi,” said Lipnitskaia in a typically bullish tone. “Even Kim Yuna (the Korean reigning Olympic champion) showed that she doesn’t always skate ideally. … With such a skate as today, I believe I could make the podium at the Olympics.”

The performance is all but guaranteed to secure Lipnitskaia one of Russia’s three entries into the women’s figure skating competition at the February 7-23 Games in the Black Sea resort of Sochi.

Defending champion Carolina Kostner had to settle for third with 191.39 points.


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