Alina Zagitova leads after short program in season opener

PyeongChang figure skating gold medallist Alina Zagitova opened her season with a breathtaking performance in Oberstdorf. 

Alina Zagitova topped the leaderboard at the Nebelhorn Trophy in Oberstdorf, Germany, after a sparkling short program.

Her first competitive skate since a disappointing World Championship couldn't have gone any better.

The Olympic champion scored 79.93 points, the world's highest score so far this season. She leads Belgian Loena Hendrickx by a massive 8.43 points.

A perfectly executed triple lutz-triple loop combination, a clean double axle and a flawless triple flip sent the scoreboard soaring.

Check out her routine here:

Back to her best?

The 16-year-old Russian was scheduled to make her season debut at last week's Ondrej Nepela Trophy in Bratislava, Slovakia.

But she was unable to fly out due to issues with her travel documents and quickly arranged to compete in Germany.

And it looks like she's getting back that edge that took her to the top of the podium at the 2018 Winter Games.

Timing is everything

Alina seems to be coming back into form at the right time with The Grand Prix series just a few weeks away.

That's the sport’s top-level competitive season and begins at Skate America which runs from October 19-21 in Everett, Wash.

With world champion Kaetlyn Osmond taking the season off, Zagitova and Olympic silver medalist Yevgenia Medvedeva are expected to light up the competition.

Zagitova wants to keep things sweet with Medvedeva

Zagitova wants to keep things sweet with Medvedeva

Dynamite on ice

Zagitova became the second-youngest Olympic singles figure skating gold medallist after Tara Lipinski took gold at Nagano 1998 at just 14 years of age.

Lipinski is full of praise for Zagitova, calling here "dynamite on ice".

Alina wants to live up that throughout this season as well.

Tara Lipinski on Zagitova:

Tara Lipinski on Zagitova: "She's just this little dynamite out there."

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