Scot Natasha McKay qualifies for free skate at European Figure Skating Championships as Russian smashes world record

A Russian teenage figure skater has smashed the short programme world record at the European Figure Skating Championships as Scots figure skater Natasha McKay qualified for the free skate final.
Natasha McKay has qualified for the free skate on Saturday.Natasha McKay has qualified for the free skate on Saturday.
Natasha McKay has qualified for the free skate on Saturday.

Russian 15-year-old Kamila Valieva, who is so far unbeaten his season, is leading the women’s competition with 90.45 points – 14 points ahead of Belgian Loena Hendrickx in second place and a short programme world record. The score beats her previous record of 87.42 from Grand Prix the Rostelecom Cup earlier in the season.

McKay, who trains at Dundee Ice Arena, scored 57.07 from a clean skate in her short programme in Tallinn, Estonia, just short of her personal best in last year’s World Figure Skating Championships. She placed 19th in the competition out of 36 skaters. The top 24 skaters qualify to compete in Saturday’s free programme.

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"It went the best it could have done,” she told The Scotsman. “I got level four in all of my jumps and it was a really good run before the Olympics.”

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Dundee pairs team ‘super proud’ after last minute dash to European Championships

McKay is among a group of four Scottish skaters representing Britain at the championships. Pairs team Anastasia Vaipan-Law and Luke Digby yesterday narrowly missed qualification for the free skate in the pairs competition, while ice dancer Lewis Gibson, from Prestwick, with partner Lilah Fear, will begin his competition tomorrow with the rhythm dance. In the men’s competition, Romford’s Graham Newberry also did not qualify for the free skate in the men’s competition.

McKay, as well as Fear and Gibson, is due to compete in the Winter Olympics in Beijing in February.

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