Kamila Valieva falls in free skate as ROC teammates top podium

(Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

Russia’s Anna Shcherbakova won gold on Thursday following the women’s free skate as Kamila Valieva finished in a stunning fourth.

Shcherbakova earned a score of 175.75 in the free skate to bring her point total to 255.85 and earn gold.

Russia’s Alexandra Trusova finished in second to earn silver. She rebounded from a fall and under rotation on a triple axel on Tuesday, pulling off a 177.13 in the free skate for a combined score of 251.73. Japan’s Kaori Sakamoto skated to a 153.29 in the free skate, finishing with a combined score of 233.13 to claim bronze.

“To be honest, I was very surprised that I won bronze,” Sakomoto said after. “I am simply quite happy for now.”

Valieva, the favorite, skated a mistake-filled program, slipping or falling at least four times and scoring a 141.93 in the free skate. Her total score of 224.09 left her in fourth place.

There has been much controversy surrounding Valieva’s participation after she was allowed to compete following a positive drug test. With Valieva missing the podium, athletes who earned medals in figure skating will receive them in a ceremony at the Olympics. If she had won a medal, there would not have been a ceremony due to the ongoing investigation.

American Alysa Liu took seventh with a final score of 208.95.