Evgenia went first, skating to a program whose theme is just some light clinical death (hey, she's Russian) and set yet another new world record.
Three skaters later came her training comrade, 15-year-old Zagitova, who put down a more hard program, with a triple lutz-triple loop combination to outdo Medvedeva's flip-toe loop combo.
While Medvedeva is the established gold-medal favorite as the two-time world champion, Zagitova didn't see herself in the Olympics as close to a year ago, per Nick Zaccardi of NBCOlympics.com.
Before the women's individual event began, Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir of Canada won their third Olympic gold in the ice dance discipline on February 20.
Zagitova, born three months after the Salt Lake City Olympics, scored 82.92 points, giving her a 1.31-point lead over Medvedeva going into Friday's free skate. "My main goal is to show a clean free skate and to be satisfied with my performance inside".
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I feel like that's putting yourself under an very bad lot of pressure. Playing tournament golf, I'm starting to get into that flow again.
In PyeongChang, Chinese ice dancers Wang Shiyue and Liu Xinyu were held back from reaching the free dance and Yan Han survived the men's single short program but finished 23rd out 24 qualifiers.
USA champion Bradie Tennell went first among the 30 skaters, hardly an advantageous position.
"Actually, I didn't even think I will be at the Olympics at all", the barely 5-foot Muscovite said through a translator. For her free skate, to Afternoon of a Faun, she may be wearing a spangled green jumpsuit that has already prompted comparisons to Gumby.
"I felt so comfortable and I feel so happy and joyful, to be able to represent myself and represent my country", she said after her short program.
"I know what I can do better", she said.
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Trump also suggested ending gun-free school zones, opening more hospitals for the mentally ill and toughening background checks. Attendants teared up as they called on Trump and Congress to do something about the scourge of gun violence.
Nagasu hit the reset button for the remainder of her program, hitting her triple-triple combination and her solo jump, to score 66.93. The point-based scoring system, in place since 2004, has slowly revolutionized how skaters choreograph and execute their elements as they chase ever-higher scores. Her consistency since joining the senior ranks for the start of the 2015-16 season was the stuff of legends. (This is the first time since 1976, when ice dance was added to the Winter Games, that Russian Federation has finished off the podium in that discipline.) That's expected to change after Thursday's free skate. She spun out and fell.
Lindsey Vonn turned in a bronze-medal performance in the last Olympic downhill of her career. In every competition I feel like a little war. "You only get one shot".
She went undefeated in the Grand Prix series and won December's Grand Prix Final, essentially a dress rehearsal for the Olympics, though Medvedeva wasn't in any of those fields. The latter title, which came in January in Moscow, is of particular significance because it marked the first time Medvedeva was beaten in competition since the fall of 2015.
The strategy has drawn mixed reviews from other skaters. "It's a push forward", she said. "I'm not very fond of being in the first warm-up [group]". She was seventh Wednesday.
Zagitova, the world junior champion last season, cleanly landed a triple lutz/triple loop combination jump, followed by a triple flip and a double axel. Chen put a hand down on her triple lutz and couldn't finish a combination jump.
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As for Loza, the director has taken to Twitter to deny the accusations, which, he claimed, are unfounded. She added she didn't speak out at the time because she feared it would harm her acting career.