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Cha Jun-hwan ranks 10th in World Championship

Posted March. 29, 2021 07:26,   

Updated March. 29, 2021 07:26


Promising South Korean figure skater Cha Jun-hwan wrote a new chapter of the country’s history in male figure skating by becoming among the world’s top 10 players.  

The 19-year-old got 154.84 points in men’s singles free skate at the 2021 International Skating Union (ISU) World Championship, which closed on Saturday at Stockholm, Sweden. Adding 91.15 points in the previous day’s short program, Cha recorded a final record of 245.99 points, climbing up to 10th out of 33 competitors. It is the highest performance achieved by a South Korean male skater in the ISU World Championships’ men’s singles skate, followed by Jung Sung-il’s 14th place in Munich in 1991.

Unlike his clean performance during the short program, Cha made a few mistakes by faltering and falling on a Triple Axel - Double Toe Loop Combination jump. “I made some tweaks to my free skating program. I wish that I had not made several mistakes,” he said. “I have taken painkillers to soothe a waist ache and a broken leg muscle since mid-February. After spending a while chilling out in self-quarantine back in South Korea, I will start to gear up for the next year’s Beijing Olympics.

The ISU allocates national quotas for the Beijing Winter Olympics based on players’ World Championship records. With Cha among the top 10 World Championship players, South Korea has a chance to send two players to Beijing’s men’s singles skate according to its players’ performance at the upcoming Nebelhorn Trophy. Cha has not yet secured his ticket to the next winter Olympics. Although domestic contests determine who is qualified to represent the nation in Beijing, he is highly likely to be sent to the Beijing Olympics due to his outstanding level of performance among national skaters

Kyu-In Hwang kini@donga.com