Posted February. 27, 2010 09:18,
When Japanese figure skater Mao Asada appeared on the rink at Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver yesterday, spectators gave a big roar of applause.
The cheers were not for her, however, but for Kim Yu-na as the announcer released Kims record-breaking score in the free skating program.
Asadas face was stiff. Though she smiled from time to time, the score difference between Kim and her was far more than expected.
Trailing Kim by 4.72 points after the short program, Asada probably thought of a come-from-behind victory because of her strength in free skating. In the 2007 world championships in Tokyo, Asada won the gold despite trailing Kim by 10.63 points at the short program.
After her four minutes and 10 seconds were up yesterday, however, Asada closed her eyes as she returned to her seat an expression of her frustrating admission of defeat.
Asada and Kim first faced off at the Junior Grand Prix Final in December 2004 in Finland. At the time, the Japanese beat the Korean by 35 points.
Overwhelmed by Asada as a junior, Kim began to dominate on the senior circuit. Asada has lost three championships in a row to Kim since the Grand Prix final in December 2008. Asada tried to regain her old glory, but six years have greatly changed things for the two rivals.
After her score was announced, Asada began tearing up. She tried hard to choke back emotions in an interview with Japans NHK TV, but could not speak properly because she was wiping her tears.
It was good that I landed both triple axels but I made mistakes in other techniques, she said crying. The four minutes felt so long but it passed so quickly. Im so distressed but I think I did all I could.