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Final GP Figure Skating Event to Open in Jeonju Wed.

Posted January. 26, 2010 09:14,   


The ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championship will open tomorrow at Hwasan Ice Arena in Jeonju, North Jeolla Province, for a four-day run.

The last international competition in the sport before the Vancouver Winter Olympics, the championship will have competitors from the four continents of Asia, the Americas, Africa and Oceania face off in men’s and women’s singles, pair skating and ice dancing.

World champion Kim Yu-na, 20, will skip the event. Training in Toronto, she decided to instead maintain her physical condition 20 days before the Winter Olympics.

Former world champion Mao Asada of Japan, 20, and compatriot Akiko Suzuki, 24, will take part in this championship.

Asada is hoping to impress in Jeonju after finishing second and fifth in her two Grand Prix events this season. She also failed to qualify for the Grand Prix final, putting her chances of making the Olympics in jeopardy.

Asada earned an Olympic berth, however, after winning her fourth Japan Figure Skating Championship last month. Entering Korea in secret yesterday, she told a Japanese newspaper, “I’ll win a gold medal at the Four Continents Championship with a startling performance.”

For Korea, Kwak Min-jeong, 16, who will compete in the Olympics with Kim Yu-na, is also considered promising. The Four Continents will mark her debut on the senior circuit and provide good practice before the Olympics.

Compatriots Kim Chae-hwa, 22, and Kim Na-young, 20, will also compete in Jeonju this week.