Figure Skating

Medvedeva brings Christmas cheer to orphanage

Double world champion Evgenia Medvedeva to donate soft toys thrown onto the ice after her free skate to Saransk children's home.

Children at an orphanage in Saransk will be receiving some very special gifts this Christmas thanks to Evgenia Medvedeva.

After her return to form in the free skate at the Russian Figure Skating Championships, the ice was filled with soft toys and teddy bears.

And double world champion and Olympic silver medallist Medvedeva says she will donate all of them to the nearby Yalga Children's Home and School.

The gesture was announced by a Figure Skating Federation of Russia press officer spokesperson.

"Turning point"

Medvedeva's hopes of qualifying for next month's European Championships in Minsk, Belarus, were dashed in Friday's short program.

The 19-year-old ended the day down in 14th, but thanked her fans for their support and claimed the experience had given her new belief.

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There was proof of that on Saturday when she had her best free skate of the season, scoring 143.66 points, to move her up to seventh place.

While she outperformed Olympic champion Alina Zagitova in the longer program, she was some way behind the trio of junior skaters - Anna Shcherbakova, Alexandra Trusova and Alena Kostornaia - who filled the podium places.

Medvedeva was named as a reserve for the European Championships along with 2015 world champion Elisaveta Tuktamysheva who is recovering from pneumonia.

Automatic selection went to the three senior skaters who finished fourth, fifth and sixth in Saransk - Stanislava Konstantinova, Zagitova and Sofia Samodurova.

While Tuktamysheva - third in this month's Grand Prix Final - could displace one of the three for March's World Championships in Saitama, Medvedeva is unlikely to make the cut unless she can improve on recent showings.

Coach Brian Orser had previously warned that there would be "no quick fix" as far as Medvedeva returning to her best was concerned.

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But in Saransk he said the competition was "a turning point" and joined Medvedeva in his gratitude for the support she received.

Uzbek Olympian Misha Ge has choreographed the new short program which Medvedeva unveiled on Friday.

And he posted a motivational tweet on Sunday.