23:41 GMT17 May 2021
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    Last year, Alina Zagitova's dream came true, as the Russian figure skater received her long-awaited "prize" for her victory in the 2018 Olympics - a three-month-old puppy, named Masaru.

    Masaru was brought to Russia last May by Japanese politician Takashi Endo and presented to Zagitova during a ceremony at the Metropol Hotel in Moscow, which was also attended by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

    It is no wonder that the "dog topic" was on the agenda when the Russian Olympic champion met with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during a trip to Tokyo. The Prime Minister welcomed Zagitova at his office on Tuesday, congratulating her on the recent success at the World Championships. He also praised the Russian skater for taking care of Masaru.

    "I’m very happy to welcome you at my residence," the Prime Minister said. "I want to congratulate you on the great success you’ve made in figure skating. "I’m very pleased to see how Masaru is growing up. The Akita [region] can’t wait to see you and Masaru come to visit its historic motherland."

    Zagitova, in turn, presented a toy version of Masaru to the Japanese Prime Minister to thank him for his Olympic gift. She also thanked Abe for the warm welcome, saying that she dreams of one day travelling to Japan with her Akita. However, this time she could not do it, as Masaru is not a big fan of flying.


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