Olympic champion Zagitova wins figure skating gold in Helsinki
Fellow Russians Zabiiako, Enbert collect pairs title
Olympic champion Alina Zagitova of Russia returned to gold medal-winning form in the Helsinki stage of the figure skating Grand Prix series on Saturday.
Zagitova was a surprising fifth place at the world championships, but she appeared entirely assured except for awkwardly landing the second half of a triple lutz-triple toe loop.
"I'm not happy with my short program in this competition. The free skating was better but still not ideal," Zagitova said.
Watch Zagitova's free program:
Fellow Russian Stanislava Konstantinova won her first Grand Prix medal with silver, and Japan's Kaori Sakamoto powered to a bronze after starting the day in seventh place.
Russians also score pairs, ice dance titles
Russians Natalia Zabiiako and Alexander Enbert won their first Grand Prix pairs title, vaulting ahead of Italy's Nicole Della Monica and Matteo Guarise, who led after the short program. The Russians neatly executed their opening triple twist lift and their triple-double-sequence was precise, but Enbert fell on a triple salchow.
Watch Zabiiako and Enbert capture the title:
"Was a very pleasant day for us, which is kind of unusual for us because usually we skate the short program much better," Enbert said.
The Italians were out of synchronization on their jumps.
Those errors didn't seem to weigh on the pair's mood.
"We had some fun, we enjoyed skating," Guarise said. "It's our goal — to be happy and make other people happy."
Another Russian pair, Daria Pavliuchenko and Denis Khodykin, won their first Grand Prix medal by taking bronze.
Russians Alexandra Stepanova and Ivan Bukin won the ice dancing gold. Silver went to Charlene Guignard and Marco Fabbri, and Americans Lorraine McNamara and Quinn Carpenter took bronze.
Watch Stepanova and Bukin capture gold: