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Russia's Medvedeva To Work With New Coach After Olympic Loss

Russian figure skating star Yevgenia Medvedeva during the Pyeongchang Olympics
Russian figure skating star Yevgenia Medvedeva during the Pyeongchang Olympics

Russian figure skating star Yevgenia Medvedeva is leaving her longtime coach Eteri Tutberidze to work with Brian Orser, the Canadian coach who guided Olympic champions Yuna Kim and Yuzuru Hanyu.

Medvedeva announced the change on May 7 in a statement from the Figure Skating Federation of Russia.

Medvedeva, 18, was favored to win gold at the Pyeongchang Games in February after capturing the past two world titles. But despite flawless routines in the short program and free skate, she was rewarded with silver while her friend and training partner Alina Zagitova won the gold.

Medvedeva plans to relocate to Toronto, but denied rumors that she might change citizenship, stating that she would continue skating for Russia.

Medvedeva worked for 11 years with Tutberidze, but their relationship appeared to sour after Zagitova, 15, bested her at the Olympics.

Tutberidze told Russian TV on May 6 that Medvedeva stopped answering her calls and messages last month. She said the skater suggested that Zagitova, because of her youth, should have been held out of senior events for one more year, which would have prevented her from competing at the Olympics.

Tutberidze called the suggestion "childish" and said she told Medvedeva: "We have to give everyone the same chance. You have to in sport. We don't have the right to hold a person back."

In her statement, Medvedeva thanked Tutberidze, who has a reputation as a taskmaster, for teaching her "many life lessons."

Of her switch to Orser, she said: "I hope that time will pass and everyone will understand that this was the only possible option."

"She is going to reinvent herself," Orser said. "Even though she has some amazing titles, I feel they are the tip of the iceberg, that there is so much more she can do."

Based on reporting by AP and TASS

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