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Yuna kids win medals in Junior Grand Prix

Posted December. 12, 2022 07:34,   

Updated December. 12, 2022 07:34


“Rising stars of Figure Skating” Shin Ji-ah and Kim Chae-yeon (photo) won medals in the Junior Grand Prix Final Women’s Singles for the first time in 17 years since the Figure Skating Queen Kim Yuna (32).

Shin Ji-ah scored 131.21 points (2nd place) in the 2022-2023 International Skating Union (ISU) Figure Skating Junior Grand Prix Women's Single Free Skating held in Turin, Italy on Saturday. Shin Ji-ah, who received 69.11 points (2nd place) in the short program the day before, set a new personal high for the season with a total score of 200.32 and won the silver medal.

Mao Shimada (Japan, 205.54 points) was the only figure skater with a higher total score than Shin Ji-ah. Shimada got the name Mao because her mother was an avid fan of Mao Asada (Japan), the 2004-2005 season champion.

The Junior Grand Prix Final is a ‘King of Kings’ competition in which the six players with the best scores in the Junior Grand Prix Series every season participate. Among Korean athletes, Kim Yuna became the first medalist in this event. After winning the silver medal following Asada in the 2004-2005 season, she won the gold medal in the 2005-2006 season.

After Kim Yuna, Kim Ye-rim (6th) in the 2018-2019 season and Lee Hae-in (5th) in the 2019-2020 season won the right to participate in the women's singles of the Junior Grand Prix Final but did not come back with a medal. Cha Jun-hwan won the bronze medal in the 2016-2017 season and owned the highest record in men’s singles.

Shin Ji-ah also won a silver medal at the World Junior Championships in April this year and became the first Korean figure skater to win a medal at the Junior World Championships in 16 years since Kim Yuna (silver medal in 2005, gold medal in 2006). Shin said in an interview with ISU, "Kim Yuna was the first reason I started skating. I learned a lot from her textbook techniques. I want to follow her path.”

Kim Chae-yeon, who won the bronze medal after Shin Jia with a total score of 190.36, is also a “Yuna Kid” who decided to become a figure skater after seeing Kim Yuna. With Shin and Kim standing side by side on the podium, Korea became the fourth country to produce two or more medal winners in a season at the Junior Grand Prix Final Women's Singles. Previously, only Russia, the U.S., and Japan held this record. Russia, a country known as a figure skating powerhouse, could not send its athletes to this event due to the invasion of Ukraine.

Bo-Mi Im bom@donga.com