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Kim Yu-na Sets World Mark at 4 Continents

Posted February. 06, 2009 09:13,   


Kim Yu-na left many speechless with her record-breaking performance in the Four Continents Figure Skating Championship in Vancouver, Canada, but one expert in Korea had plenty to say.

“Both her performance and skills were perfect,” said Lee Ji-hee, director of judging at the Korea Skating Union who was one of the judges of the short program in the competition.

Kim won the short program with an overall score of 72.24, breaking her own world record.

As Korea’s sole international judge, Lee watched Kim compete in last year’s world championships and Grand Prix final, and knows the star’s performance better than anyone else.

“Yu-na seemed to have gained confidence after she completed her first jump perfectly. The crowd in Canada gave a very passionate response,” Lee said.

○ A new personal best

Dressed in black, Kim was 34th out of 36 competitors to perform on the ice and seemed calm. As “Danse Macabre” began, she landed a perfect triple flip-triple toe loop combo to earn 9.9. points, including a bonus of 0.4 point.

Kim also pulled off her triple Lutz (six points) well. She jumped with an accurate out-edge, spun three times, and landed on the ice, earning an additional 1.4 points.

Fans cheered for her two jumps. Her spiral sequence received a level four (3.4 points). Her last jump, a double axel (3.5 points), also got 1.4 additional points.

After gliding on the ice, she received level four for her layback spin (2.7 points) and flying sit spin (three points). Kim finished her performance with steps (level three, 3.3 points) and combination spin (level four, 3.5 points).

○ Super season

Kim has had a stellar 2008-09 season.

She received a 69.50 score in the short program of the first Grand Prix in the United States in October last year, followed by 63.64 in the third Grand Prix competition and 65.94 at the Grand Prix final in Goyang, Korea.

Now she owns the world record in the short program with 72.24.

In February and March last year, Kim was nagged by a knee injury, but her coach Brian Orser said she is in the best shape now.

Her performance showed she has fully absorbed choreography and music. Generally, a short program and free skating repeat for one season.

She changed her free skating music for this season from “Miss Saigon” to “Scheherazade,” not to mention her dress.

Kim is expected to continue her stellar performance in the free skating competition Saturday and the world championship in the United States in March.