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Russians sweep top 3 in women’s short program at Euros

January 24, 2020 GMT
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Alena Kostornaia of Russia competes during the women's short program competition at the ISU European figure skating championships in Graz, Austria, Friday, Jan. 24, 2020. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)
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Alena Kostornaia of Russia competes during the women's short program competition at the ISU European figure skating championships in Graz, Austria, Friday, Jan. 24, 2020. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)

GRAZ, Austria (AP) — Russia swept the top three places in the women’s short program at the European figure skating championships on Friday.

Alena Kostornaia leads with 84.92 points ahead of Saturday’s free skate, with Anna Shcherbakova second on 77.95 and Alexandra Trusova third on 74.95.

That puts Russia on track to finish 1-2-3 in the women’s competition at the European championships for the first time since 2016.

All three of the leading skaters are in their first season of senior competition and share the same coach, Eteri Tutberidze. Kostornaia is unbeaten this season, including a win at the Grand Prix Finals.

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Their rise has displaced skaters like Olympic gold medalist Alina Zagitova, who said last month she was taking a sabbatical to find new motivation.

The closest non-Russian challenger is Alexia Paganini of Switzerland in fourth place on 68.82.

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