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Russian Yulia Lipnitskaya steals spotlight in women's figure skating

Sunday, 9 February 2014 - 2:56pm IST | Agency: IANS

Russia's Yulia Lipnitskaya took the lead in the women's short programme of figure skating team event as she scored her seasonal best result at the Winter Olympics here.

The 15-year-old dominated the rink as she beat Olympic silver medallist Mao Asada of Japan with an outstanding score of 72.90 points. Skating to the music 'You Don't Give Up on Love', the reigning European Champion showed her talent and passion in an almost perfect performance Saturday, reports Xinhua. "I did what I wanted to do on the ice today. Of course, there was a bit of worry but thank God, I coped well with everything I had to do. I knew I had to be calm, I had to do it all for the team," Lipnitskaya said.

Mao, 23, fell onto the ice when she missed the triple axel with a result of 64.07 points, 6.77 short of Carolina Kostner of Italy, the bronze medallist of the European Championships in January. "My score reflected the jump I messed up. It didn't go the way it had been in training. I couldn't land one in the six minutes of warm-up and that carried over into the competition. I couldn't skate the way I'm capable of skating. I told my teammates I'm sorry. But I am glad we went through. I was unbelievably nervous and felt more pressure than expected. It just wasn't my performance. I've got to settle my nerves," said Mao.

Lipnitskaya, the youngest figure skater to compete here, thanked the audience who cheered throughout her programme. "I've never seen anything like the atmosphere out there today. There wasn't any silence for a single second. That kind of support made me so happy. My coach told me to try to listen to the music all the way through and after the jumps it was so loud but thank God I could hear a bit. And I could hear all the shouts of 'Julia' and 'Russia' and they really helped me," she said.

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