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Russian ‘Empress’ Tuktamysheva seals spot in figure skating Grand Prix Final (PHOTOS)

© AFP / Martin Bureau / Free

Russian figure skating star Elizaveta Tuktamysheva continued her scintillating start to the season by clinching third spot at the Grand Prix in Japan, ensuring progress to the series final in December.

Tuktamysheva, 21, has excited fans in the figure skating world and beyond with her racy performances so far this season – and continued her exciting form by setting a new personal best while topping the short program table in Hiroshima on Friday.

READ MORE: New star of 2018-19 season? Tantalizing Tuktamysheva rocks at Japan Grand Prix stage

While she was unable to hit those heights in Saturday’s free program, she still set a personal best score of 142.85 in finishing third behind Japanese duo Rika Kihira, 16, and Satoko Miyahara, 20.

© AFP / Martin Bureau / Free

That was enough for Tuktamysheva to seal third overall on 219.02 points – behind Kihira on 224.31 and Miyahara on 219.47 – and guarantee a spot in the Grand Prix Final in Canada on December 6-9, her first appearance at the event since 2014.

Tuktamysheva began the season with a bang when she won the Skate Canada Grand Prix in October, upstaging much-fancied Russian rival Evgenia Medvedeva.

READ MORE: Tuktamysheva upstages Medvedeva, clinches stunning Canada Grand Prix win

Even more eye-catching was her gala performance in which she stripped off to her underwear to the tune of Britney Spears’ ‘Toxic’ – starting a social media challenge taken up by fellow skaters.

© AFP / Geoff Robins / Free

READ MORE: Striptease on ice: The revealing trend taking over the figure skating season

Speaking after her third-place finish in Hiroshima, Tuktamysheva said she was satisfied with her progress but was hoping for even better as the season continues.


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