15-year-old figure skating star Kamila Valieva breaks short program record

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Kamila Valiyeva, a 15-year-old Russian, has once again shown why she is the Olympic favorite, leading the Rostelecom Cup short program with the highest score in history.

Valiyeva notched a triple Axel en route to 87.42 points in Sochi, Russia, outrunning her compatriot Elizaveta Tuktamysheva by 7.32 before the free skate on Saturday.

She broke the short program record of 85.45 held by another Russian, Aliona kostornaya.

“I almost did my best today. There is always room for improvement, the [triple Lutz-triple toe loop combination] was not that great, ”said Valiyeva, according to the ISU,

Valiyeva, who has won her previous two competitions this fall with world record total scores, is almost certain to qualify for the Grand Prix final in December. She could be joined by up to five other Russian women in the field of six skaters at this event.

The Rostelecom Cup is the last of six events in the Grand Prix series leading up to the final, which will take place in Osaka in two weeks. The final is the most important international event leading up to the Olympic Games in February and the best indicator of favorites for medals.

ROSTELECOM CUP: Results | Broadcast schedule

Earlier Friday, Kazuki tomono was the surprise leader of the men’s short program in Sochi. Tomono, a 23-year-old whose best result at the Japanese championships was fourth, landed two quadruple jumps to put him in the lead for one of the country’s Olympic spots.

russian favorites Mikhail Kolyada and Yevgeny Semenenko were fourth and seventh, boosting America Jason brownchances of qualifying for the Grand Prix final.

Men’s peloton are missing Olympic medal favorites this week, including two-time Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu, who was listed but retired earlier this month with an ankle injury.

In pairs, reigning world champions Anastasia michina and Alexander Galliamov took second on the court after a side-to-side jump error. They follow their Russian compatriots Daria pavliuchenko and Denis khodykin by 0.27 before free skating.

Reigning World Champions Victoria sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov from Russia dominated the rhythmic dance with a score (86.81) beaten only this season by the quadruple world champions Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron of France.

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