Figure skating champion Zagitova gets dog for gold

26 May 2018, 20:56


Moscow: Olympic figure skating champion Alina Zagitova has been given a Japanese akita dog in a ceremony involving Japan’s prime minister.

Zagitova said at this year’s Pyeongchang Winter Olympics that she had fallen in love with the akita breed — which she calls a ‘devoted friend’ — while training before the Games.

Her parents said they would consider having a dog if she won in Japan.

Japanese dog enthusiasts then rallied round to send the 16-year-old the puppy, named Masaru, or ‘victory’.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his wife Akie attended Saturday’s ceremony in Moscow during a visit for talks with President Vladimir Putin.

Zagitova won gold in February, beating her friend and fellow Russian Evgenia Medvedeva.