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Date Posted: 21:28:58 02/19/14 Wed
Julia Lipnitskaia falls, Gracie Gold shines, Yuna Kim wins Olympic short program.
They all combined Wednesday - along with one stunning fall - to set up an unpredictable race for the Olympic gold medal in women's figure skating.
Nerves almost got the best of Yuna Kim in the short program Wednesday night. Then she showed she is still the favorite to win another title.
Her lead is almost as slim as it could get, .28 points over a woman from the host country - no, not Julia Lipnitskaia. Russia's Adelina Sotnikova, with a snappy routine that had the crowd on its feet before she finished her final spin, was second, while Lipnitskaia plummeted to fifth after her fall on a triple flip.
Italy's Carolina Kostner, whose "Ave Maria" program is almost a religious experience for her, was .80 back. Chicago's Gracie Gold was fourth, within striking distance after overcoming a sense of stage fright.
Kim, 23, would become the third woman to win consecutive Olympics, following Sonja Henie and Katarina Witt. But she'll probably need to calm down to step up to the top of the podium.
"I am a human being," she said. "I get nervous all the time. It just doesn't show on my face."
Plenty showed on Lipnitskaia's face: sadness, disappointment, even disbelief - as if the 15-year-old's dog had just run away.
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