Teenager Anna Scherbakova hails World Championship gold as 'best possible birthday present'
After beating her fellow Russians to win gold at the World Championship, Anna Scherbakova looks back on the "best possible birthday present" as she marks her 17th in style. The teenager won 152.17 points in the free skating to take her to an overall tally of 233.17.
Anna Scherbakova competes in the Jump Competition at the Channel One Figure Skating Cup at the Megasport Sports Palace. The Jump Competition is a three-round contest between the mens team and the womens team, in which skaters execute jumps
Anna Scherbakova described her gold medal at the Figure Skating World Championships as the best possible birthday present after leading a day of Russian dominance on the Stockholm ice.
Scherbakova, who turns 17 on Sunday, earned 152.17 points in the free skating to take her to an overall tally of 233.17 - enough to top the standings in her first ever World Championships.
The 2020 European silver medallist missed her opening quadruple flip but that was the only blemish on an otherwise excellent display which ensured five of the last six women's world titles have been won by a Russian skater.
"I think the World Championship is a very important competition," Shcherbakova said. "To me, it is a great honour to have won and I think it will give me more energy to work harder and for next season."
'Near to perfection' - Chen takes world title in Stockholm
"It was a real fight for me because from the first element everything was not like I wanted but I'm so happy I'm first. It's probably the best birthday present that I could imagine."
Scherbakova stood top of an all-Russian podium as Elizaveta Tuktamysheva and Alexandra Trusova claimed silver and bronze - the first time the Russian team have achieved a clean sweep in the competition's 115-year history.
Tuktamysheva's free skate included two triple axels while Trusova rose from 12th to third after an ambitious routine featuring an attempted five quads earned her more free skate points (152.38) than anyone else.
Earlier in the day, Russian duo Victoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov topped the rhythm dance leaderboard after another dazzling display.
Dancing to 'Singin' in the Rain', the pair were in graceful form and their routine included a superb rotational lift, helping the 2020 European champions score 88.15 points.
American pair Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue finished second in Sweden with a score of 86.05 points while their compatriots Madison Chock and Evan Bates did enough to secure third with a score of 85.15 in a tightly contested event.
But it was Sinitsina and Katsalapov who rose to the top in Friday's competition, putting them in pole position ahead of Saturday's free dance.
"We are quite satisfied with our performance," Katsalapov said.
"We were well prepared. In general, we showed what we can do, everything was clean enough, easy enough. Our coaches and our team are also happy, so we have a very good feeling.
"We are thrilled with the work we did today and before the competition, so we feel great. The only thing we lacked was the audience."
Further down the rankings, Canada's Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier finished within a whisker of the podium on 83.37 points, while Russian pairing Alexandra Stepanova and Ivan Bukin finished with 83.02 points.