Medvedeva wins short program, Kostner places third

OSTRAVA, Czech Republic (AP) Russian teenager Evgenia Medvedeva is on course to retain her European figure skating title after leading the women's short program on Wednesday, the opening day of the championships.

The 17-year-old Medvedeva, who claimed the European and world titles last year, skated to ''River Flows in You'' by Lorenzo de Luca and ''The Winter'' by Balmorhea with her trademark elegance and technical perfection to record 78.92 points and lead a 1-2 Russian finish.

Anna Pogorilaya was second with 74.39.

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In a highly anticipated performance, five-time European champion Carolina Kostner of Italy returned to the European championships in convincing style. She placed third with 72.40 after a short program that included a perfectly executed triple toe loop - triple toe loop combination and triple loop.

The women's free skate is scheduled for Friday.