Sotnikova shocks champ Kim

South Koreans cry foul

Sotnikova shocks champ Kim

She was not even considered number one in her country but Adelina Sotnikova stormed out of the shadows of Julia Lipnitskaya to become the first Russian to win the Olympic women's figure skating title at the Sochi Games on Thursday.

Sotnikova had been hovering so far in the background that when it came to potential Olympic champions, her name was not even in the mix with Lipnitskaya, 2010 champion Kim Yuna, 2012 world champion Carolina Kostner or Japanese heroine Mao Asada. 

But she soared above her more illustrious rivals to leave the home crowd leaping and roaring with joy as she finally bulldozed the last figure skating barrier that had remained for Russia.

Since Ludmila Belousova and Oleg Protopopov gave the Soviet Union their first Olympic title in 1964, the 2014 Winter Games hosts, as USSR, the Unified Team or Russia, had won 26 golds in the sport before Thursday.

Surprisingly none of them had been in the individual women's event and they had barely featured on the podium until Sotnikova captivated the hollering home crowd, if not the world, with a winning score of 224.59 that raised more than a few eyebrows.

The South Korean had been favourite to join Norway's Sonja Henie and Germany's Katarina Witt as the only women to have won back-to-back Olympic titles and despite delivering a flawless display full of grace and beauty, she was left sobbing backstage after losing her title by 5.48 points to Sotnikova.

While the nine-person judging panel would no doubt point out that Kim attempted only six triple jumps compared to Sotnikova's seven, that did not explain why Italian bronze medallist Kostner had been given 7.34 points fewer than the Russian.

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