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Ashley Wagner on what gives her ‘fighting chance’ against Yevgenia Medvedeva

ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2016 - Day 6

BOSTON, MA - APRIL 02: From left, silver medalist Ashley Wagner of the United States, gold medalist Evgenia Medvedeva of Russia, and bronze medalist Anna Pogorilaya of Russia stand on the podium following the Ladies Free Skate program on Day 6 of the ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2016 at TD Garden on April 2, 2016 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

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Just as last season, Yevgenia Medvedeva is the clear No. 1 of women’s figure skating this fall.

Ashley Wagner knows this, having taken silver to Medvedeva at the world championships last spring and seeing the Russian win the free-skate-only Japan Open invitational on Oct. 1.

Though both Medvedeva and Wagner won separate Grand Prix events in the last month, their total scores show a disparity.

Medvedeva, 16, tallied 220.65 and 221.54 points, respectively, at her wins in Canada and France. Wagner, 25, scored 196.44 points for her Skate America title.

How does Wagner close the gap?

“I need to be a robot,” she said, laughing, according to the International Skating Union. “She is insane, she is tough. I think the game I have to play is – I just have to max out every jump that I have. I won’t go in being the technical strongest competitor. She’s going to have me on that, always. But if I do a triple flip-triple toe it has to be the nicest triple flip-triple toe, if I do triple loop, it has to be the nicest triple loop. Everything has to be maxed out on quality and that’s what is going to give me a fighting chance.”

Wagner competes again at Cup of China this week, where a finish of third or higher can clinch a spot in the Grand Prix Final in December.

The Grand Prix Final, the second-biggest annual competition, would be the first true head-to-head between Wagner and Medvedeva since the world championships in April.

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