Russia's new ice queen Valieva sets short program record

Russian teenager Kamila Valieva shored up her status as favorite for women's figure skating gold at the upcoming Beijing Winter Olympics with a record-breaking short program on Friday.
The 15-year-old, competing at the Russian Grand Prix, earned a score of 87.42 points for her opening routine on the Sochi ice - shattering the previous mark (85.45) by almost two points.
The 2020 world junior champion now holds a full hand of records, adding this to her best ever scores in the free program (180.89) and total (265.08) at Skate Canada in October.
The Eteri Tutberidze-disciple leads fellow Russian Elizaveta Tuktamysheva (80.10) by a gaping seven points going into Saturday's free routine at the venue of the 2014 Winter Games.
Mariah Bell of the United States is third with 69.37 pts.
Sochi is the last of the six events on the Grand Prix circuit.
The six best performers from each category qualify for the Grand Prix Finals in Oskaa, Japan, on 9-12 December, ahead of the 2022 Beijing Games in February.
Japan's Kazuki Tomono led the men's competition with 95.81pts from Georgia's Morisi Kvitelashvili (95.37)/

© 2021 AFP
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