Adelina Sotnikova won Russia's first ever women's Olympic figure skating gold in dramatic circumstances on Thursday as defending champion Kim Yu-Na was dumped into the silver medal position.
|Kim Yu-na poses with Russia's gold medalist Adelina Sotnikova and Itakly's bronze medal winner Carolina Kostner. (Yonhap)|
The 17-year-old took her first major title ahead of South Korean superstar Kim with Italy's Carolina Kostner winning the bronze after the free skating final.
"All the sacrifices were worth it because the feelings I'm having now are difficult to describe," said Sotnikova.
Despite an error when she two-footed a double loop in her combination jump the teenager improved her free skate score by a massive 18 points to take a third title in Sochi for hosts Russia, to shouts of "Spassiba, Spassiba'(thanks) resounding around the Iceberg Skating Palace.
She achieved the second best score ever in the free skate and was just 0.11 off the world record mark Kim achieved on her way to gold in Vancouver four years ago.
In contrast, both Kim and Kostner gave error-free performances.
"I just have faith that the judges made the right decision," said former world champion Kostner.
Kim said: "I'm so happy to be here. That was my last competition as a skater. I did a clean short and a clean long."
Kim had been bidding to become just the third woman to win back-to-back titles after Norway's Sonja Henie, triple winner between 1928 and 1936, and Germany's Katarina Witt in 1984 and 1988.
She had watched in tears as the scores came up putting her second 5.48 points behind four-time Russian national champion Sotnikova, who finished runner-up at the Europeans behind countrywoman Julia Lipnitskaia last month.
Lipnitskaia,15, finished fifth on Thursday.
Witt, who earlier in the day had said she hoped Kim would become a double gold medallist, told German TV in the immediate aftermath of the result: "I don't understand it -- I am little bit stunned." (AFP)