With Julia Lipniskaya winning the European title with an incredible score of 209.72, she is undoubtedly the favourite to win the Bronze medal at the Olympics behind Mao Asada and Kim Yu-Na. Nevertheless, what is also clear is that Julia is closing the gap on Mao and Kim fast and should Julia maintain/improve her level right up to the Olympics, then it wont take much in terms of mistakes from Mao and Kim to finish behind Julia. That is, Mao and Kim are going to have to be at their absolute best if they are going to win Gold/Silver and if both mess up, then Julia could well end up becoming the Olympic champion. She will of course also have the advantage of skating for the title in her home country.
If Lipnitskaya were to win the Olympic title, she would be at 15 years 260 days old, the 2nd youngest Ladies skater to ever win the title, missing the record of being the youngest by just 5 days (held by Tara Lipinski - 15 years 255 days old when she won in 1998). The current 2nd youngest is Sonja Henie, who was 15 years 315 days old when she won the title in 1928. Moreover, in winning at Euro's, Lipnitskaya became the youngest skater to win the European title
It should be noted that Lipnitskaya's total score of 209.72 is higher than Mao Asada's highest ever combined score of 207.59 (which she obtained at the 2013 NHK Trophy). Julia's personal best FS score from this years Euro's of 139.75 is also higher than Mao's best ever (136.33 from the 2013 NHK Trophy), although Mao's SP personal best of 75.84 (from the 2009 World Team Trophy) is higher than Julia's PB of 72.24 (from the 2013 Rostelecom Cup). Whilst Mao and Julia's combined score, FS, and SP personal bests are all well ahead of Kostners (Combined total = 197.89, FS = 131.03, SP = 69.48), they are well behind Kim's world record scores (all set at the 2010 Olympics - Combined total = 228.56 (WR), FS = 150.06 (WR), SP = 78.50 (WR))
It is impossible to compare scores earned in different competitions as some competitions are scored more conservatively/liberally than others, and no two sets of judges are alike. Hence, if current form were to be maintained, I think that a clean Mao would undoubtedly finish ahead of a clean Julia, as would Kim. Nevertheless, given that Julia has been improving rapidly this season, can she close the gap on Mao and Kim? I would say at this present juncture, Julia is more technically consistent than Mao and Kim. Kim has looked rusty since returning from injury and is nowhere near her 2010 Olympic world record breaking form, whilst Mao's 3A remains inconsistent, she is struggling to find a 3+3 combination, and she continues to flutz her Lutz. However, where Mao and Kim have a distinct advantage is with their PCS scores, although Julia's PCS marks have improved considerably this season. Hence, it is with the PCS marks that the main gap between Mao/Kim and Julia resides.