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Russia figure skater Zagitova showered with Akita puppy affection

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe attended the ceremony where Russian Olympic figure skating champion Alina Zagitova was presented with an Akita puppy in Moscow's Metropol hotel on Saturday.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, centre, and his wife Akie, right, present An Akita Inu puppy named Masaru to Russian Women's Olympic Figure Skating Gold medalist Alina Zagitova in Moscow, Russia, Saturday, May 26, 2018. (AP Photo)

AP Photo

Welcoming the puppy, Zagitova expressed her gratitude for her fans and Japanese politician Takashi Endo who had brought her the dog from Japan.

AP Photo

Takashi Endo, president of the group preserving the Akita breed, presented Zagitova with the puppy. The puppy began to lick the Olympic champion's face at once.

AP Photo

Zagitova plans to name her dog Masaru.

AP Photo

AP Photo

Zagitova discovered her fondness for Akita dogs when she saw their photos in a magazine when she was training in Japan ahead of PyeongChang Winter Olympics.

Learning the news, the preserving group based in Akita Prefecture decided to give her the puppy.