2010 Worlds: Figure Skating Ladies Short Program Review
Yu-Na Kim Shocks Fans With Seventh Place After Short
Fresh off her gold medal win at the Olympic Games in Vancouver, Yu-Na Kim of South Korea, was set to repeat her gold medal performance at the 2010 World Championships in Torino this week. But, she has shocked her army of fans when she placed 7th after the short program with a disastrous skate marred by mistakes not befitting of "Queen" Yu-Na.
In the short program, Kim looked slow and skated without the spark that set her so high above all her competitors at the Olympics. She started off with a solid triple-triple combination, but it was an uphill battle after that. She under-rotated triple flip, fell out of a spin, stepped out on one of the spirals and overall looked very disoriented (see video).
She bent down to check on one of her skates at the end of the performance, potentially indicating a problem with her foot or skate. Eurosport UK reports Yu-Na Kim might be suffering from a foot injury, which might explain her relatively sloppy performance on Friday.
Yu-Na Kim had this to say about her botched skate:
"I don't know what happened. My left foot was just shaking a lot and I just want to find out what it is."
She also acknowledged her fear of competition after the Olympics.
"One week ago, before I got here, I was a little bit scared," Kim acknowledged. "But I was ready."
Kim now has 10 points to gain over short program leader Mirai Nagasu, a tough feat even for an Olympic Champion. This comes in stark contrast to Yu-Na Kim's Olympic result, when she scored 23 points higher overall than second place Mao Asada of Japan.
Meanwhile, 16-year-old American Mirai Nagasu, who is making her debut at World Championships, is leading the pack with a score of 70.40, more than six points above her short program score at the Olympics. Nagasu skated a nearly flawless short program opening with a triple Lutz-triple toe-loop combination to follow with triple Axel and spot-on spins. If Nagasu wins, she will repeat her compatriot Kimmie Meissner's feat. Sixteen-year-old Meissner won post-Olympic Worlds in Calgary in 2006.
Olympic runner-up Mao Asada of Japan currently sits in second place, more than two points behind Nagasu. Asada was the first female skater to pull off three triple Axels in two programs in one Olympics in Vancouver, so 19-year-old Japanese had a powerful arsenal of jumps prepared to show off in Torino. On Friday night, she did exactly that, opening with a triple-Axel/double-toe combination. Arguably, Asada has more experience that Nagau, who is three years junior, so Asada still stands a good chance of adding to her 2008 World Champion title on Saturday.
An unexpected third place Laura Lepisto of Finland is less than four points behind Asada. Lepisto was sixth at the Olympics. Also in potential contention for the podium is the reigning European Champion Carolina Kostner of Italy who skated a solid short program much to the satisfaction of the Italian crowd at the Palavela Arena.
Olympic bronze medalist Joannie Rochette chose to skip World Championships due to lack of training time after the Olympics. After returning home, the Canadian skater had to deal with her mother's funeral. Rochette's mother Therese passed away hours after arriving in Vancouver to see her daughter compete at the Olympics. But, Joannie Rochette chose to skate anyway and came out with a bronze medal.