The ladies event closed out an exciting week in Boston and the audience was treated to one of the strongest nights of skating in recent memory. In the final flight alone, there were eight triple-triple combinations or sequences, and five clean performances.
In the end, it was Russia’s Evgenia Medvedeva, third after the short program, who came out on top, earning a World record score of 223.86 points for her performance. “Today I was actually less nervous than usual, and I felt very comfortable,” the 16-year-old said. “I was focused and took one element at a time.”
Medvedeva claimed gold by landing two triple-triple combinations (seven triples in all), and crushing the rest of the field with her technical mastery. However, Medvedeva is not just a jumping bean — she is a skilled performer, who had the audience eating out of her tiny hand. “Right now I don’t have any emotions,” she said of the win. “I left everything on the ice in my performance. I think I won’t realize soon that I won. One year ago I was still skating in juniors.”
Closing out the competition on home ice, Ashley Wagner finally quieted her naysayers, and snagged a podium finish in her sixth appearance. Wagner landed seven triple jumps — two of which were deemed under-rotated — but otherwise executed a strong program to capture the silver medal. “When I finished, I did not think about the placement,” she said. “I was just so happy to have this moment in front of the home audience. I had two great programs. This was my favorite performance of all time, this program speaks to me on so many levels — it’s very true to my heart.”
Wagner looked pensive as she took her starting position, but as her “Moulin Rouge” music began, she was a lady transformed. With the weight of a nation on her shoulders, Wagner stood up to the pressure to deliver the performance that she had been looking for perhaps her entire career. “It hasn’t hit me yet,” said the 25-year-old who earned a combined score of 215.39. “Here I am, the silver medalist in the entire world, it’s insane! It’s been a 10-year drought, so to be able to breakthrough that, to be on the podium, I’m elated, I’m excited, and I feel like I’ve worked my butt off this season to be here.
Finishing in third place was Anna Pogoloraya, who dropped one position after finishing second in the short program. Known for alternating erratic and amazing performances, Pogoloraya put together perhaps the finest program of her young career. Like Medvedeva and Wagner, the bronze medalist landed seven triple jumps in her “Scheherazade” program. She finished with 213.69 points overall.
“There were not too many mistakes in my program, but it was an improvement from the start of my season this year,” she said. “My coach said good job for standing up on everything, and now we gear up for the next season.”
Gracie Gold, first after the short program, continued her history of not being able to hold it together when the stakes are high, and finished in fourth place. Gold fell on the back half of an opening triple Lutz-triple toe loop combination, and later doubled a second Lutz attempt. However, she earned 211.29 points, a new personal best. “It was a really unfortunate and sad experience,” Gold said. “I feel really ashamed of how I skated and I want to apologize to my country and to the crowd here; there’s really no excuse for it. It just shows that I’m not up there with the rest of the world, but maybe in the future I can be a better skater.”
Japan’s Satoko Miyahara finished in fifth, while 2016 European silver medalist Elena Radionova ended up in sixth.