TALLINN, Estonia (AP) — Kamila Valieva broke her own world-best score in the women’s short program to take the lead Thursday at the European figure skating championships.
The 15-year-old Russian, widely considered to be a favorite for the Olympic title next month, landed four triple jumps, including a triple axel, and scored 90.45 points to lead by 14.
Skating to “In Memoriam” in a program dedicated to her late grandmother, Valieva beat the previous best of 87.42 she set at the Russian round of the Grand Prix series in November.
Loena Hendrickx of Belgium took a surprise second place with 76.25 points to stop Russia from taking the top three spots, as it did in the men’s and pairs short programs on Wednesday. The free skate is Saturday.
Alexandrova Trusova is in third place with 75.13 points after recovering from a fall on her opening triple axel, and Anna Shcherbakova scored 69.05 for fourth after a costly fall on the first jump of what should have been a triple-triple combination.
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