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Kim, Asada Hold Open Practices in Vancouver

Posted February. 23, 2010 09:06,   


Two figure skaters drew public attention yesterday at the Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver, the venue of the women’s figure skating competition of the Winter Olympics.

World champion Kim Yu-na of Korea and rival Mao Asada of Japan held their first encounter at the rink ahead of their anticipated showdown this week.

The two skaters attended the draw for the short program scheduled for tomorrow, the first time they saw each other since the Grand Prix competition Trophee Eric Bompard in Paris in October last year.

Both are age 20 and friends off the ice but remain archrivals on the rink. Since both seek to achieve a lifelong dream by winning the Olympic gold, they even avoided looking each other in the eyes.

Kim and Asada held an open practice after the draw for the order of performances at the competition. The two concentrated on the short program with the "007 James Bond Medley" and “Bells of Moscow” playing.

Kim was the first to practice and pulled off eight moves, starting with the triple lutz and the triple toe loop combination. More than 1,000 spectators who paid to enter the rink to see Kim gave her plenty of applause throughout her performance.

She gave an immaculate performance but exercised extra caution in steps and spins, finishing her practice without making a single mistake. Afterwards, Kim said, “I tried to perform just as I practiced in Toronto. It was a good drill overall.”

Asada conducted open practice an hour after Kim. Arriving in Vancouver Sunday, she practiced spins and steps but shunned jumps, while trying to adapt to the ice on the rink. She practiced the triple flip, double toe loop and double toe loop combination, a move for free skating, in succession. She then attempted a triple axel, one of her trademarks. She landed after one spin on her first attempt.

Asada looked as if she was struggling, but then pulled off three triple axels. She had said while practicing in Japan that she will focus on the triple axel, but showed better success than before.

Kim skipped her afternoon practice but Asada proceeded with hers.