Evgenia Medvedeva defended her ladies crown in the Czech Republic ©Getty Images

Evgenia Medvedeva defended her ladies title at the International Skating Union (ISU) European Figure Skating Championships in Ostrava.

The Russian had topped the standings in the short programme by scoring 78.92 points, but her free skate saw her pull well clear of her nearest competitors in the Czech Republic.

Medvedeva, who is also the reigning European and world champion, would be rewarded with a score of 150.79 by the judges after another superb display.

It meant the 17-year-old would finish with a total of 229.71 to retain the title she had claimed for the first time last year, when the event took place in Bratislava.

Medvedeva’s compatriot Anna Pogorilaya would earn the silver medal by achieving an overall score of 211.39.

The result represented an improvement for the 18-year-old, who had finished in third place 12 months ago.

Italy’s Carolina Kostner completed the podium places, with the five-time champion ending with 210.52.

The Sochi 2014 Olympic bronze medallist had been absent from the Championships for two-years, following a hiatus from the sport and a ban.

Her 21-month ban was imposed after she was deemed to have been complicit in the cover-up of her former boyfriend and doping cheat Alex Schwazer, an Italian race walker.

She had been free to compete from January 2016, but opted to step-up her comeback last month.

Javier Fernandez achieved the fifth highest short programme score in history ©Getty Images
Javier Fernandez achieved the fifth highest short programme score in history ©Getty Images

Javier Fernandez made a superb start to the defence of his men’s title by producing a personal best short programme score.

The Spaniard posted a score of 102.54 points to win the competition for a fourth time last year, but was able to better that feat by achieving the fifth highest score in history.

Fernandez delivered a superb display in the Czech Republic to end with a total of 104.25 in the discipline to take a stranglehold of the event.

Only Japan’s Yuzuru Hanyu, the Sochi 2014 Olympic champion, has a higher short programme score than Fernandez, having posted four higher scores so far in his career.

His current personal best stands at 110.95.

Fernandez has put him on course for another European title, despite the best efforts of Russia’s Maxim Kovtun.

Last year’s bronze medallist achieved a personal best effort of 94.53, but remains some way adrift of the leader.

Alexei Bychenko of Israel is currently in third place on 86.68, with the Ukrainian-born athlete lying ahead of Mikhail Kolyada of Russia, who has scored 83.96.

The competition will conclude tomorrow with the free skate, while the ice dance event will then bring the Championships to a close.