NUR-SULTAN – Kazakh figure skater Elizabet Tursynbayeva, who won the silver medal at the 2019 World Figure Skating Championship in Saitama, Japan March 22, made history in the process. She is the country’s first female athlete to receive a medal and first woman to complete a quadruple salchow at the event.
“I am overwhelmed with emotions. The silver medal was a surprise for me. Of course, I am very happy. This is the first medal in the history of Kazakhstan in women’s single skating. I tried not to think about anything when I performed. I just focused on my programme. I still cannot believe that I made this jump. Everything was good in the morning training today, but I could not do it in the last two competitions. I am very glad that it happened today. When I went on the ice, I felt great; I believed that I could do this and I really did it,” she said at the final press conference, reported olympics.kz.
Tursynbayeva captured the bronze medal in the short programme, yielding only to Japan’s Kaori Sakamoto and Russia’s Alina Zagitova.
The quadruple salchow in her long programme was a history-making moment not just for Kazakhstan, but for world figure skating, as no female athlete had ever performed the jump at the World Championship. The judges rated her performance at 148.80 points and her 224.76-point total earned the silver medal.
Zagitova took home the gold, scoring 237.50. Fellow Russian Evgenia Medvedeva won the bronze, scoring 223.80.
Tursynbayeva dedicated her exhibition performance to Denis Ten, the Kazakh figure skater who died July 19 in Almaty. His bronze medal at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi was the culmination of his career, as he became the first and only Kazakh figure skater to ascend the Olympic pedestal. He also won the 2013 and 2015 World Championship medals and many smaller tournaments.
Forty-two athletes from more than 30 countries performed in the women’s singles at this year’s World Championships, 24 of whom qualified for free skating.