Kim takes first place in ice skating seriesKorea's great hope for figure skating, Kim Yu-na, 15, placed first in the ISU Junior Grand Prix in Bratislava, Slovakia, the first of eight meets in the 2005-2006 Junior Grand Prix series. Kim also won the first championship of the 2004-2005 series in Budapest, Hungary.
Kim earned 110.20 points in the Free Skating event in the four-day meet, which ended last Sunday (Korean time). She was far ahead of Japan’s Aki Sawada, who placed second with 93.61 points. On Saturday, Kim also came in first in the Short Program with 58.63 points, giving her a total score of 168.83 points to Sawada’s 143.20 points.
The total score of 163.83 is the best Kim has ever received and is 10 more points than she obtained in the World Junior Figure Skating Championships in March, a sign that her skills are rapidly progressing.
Junior skaters can participate in two of the ISU Junior Grand Prix series, and top-ranked-players win the opportunity to compete in the ISU Junior Grand Prix finals on Nov. 24 in Ostrava, the Czech Republic. Kim ranked second in the Junior Grand Prix Final in Helsinki last year.
Kim said through her management firm that she was happy that the win served as a kind of birthday present. Her birthday was yesterday.
Kim is expected to compete next March in the World Junior Figure Skating Championships in Slovenia.
The Korea Skating Union hopes that Kim will win Korea’s first Olympic medal in figure skating at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games, which will be held in Vancouver, Canada.
by Sung Baik-you, Limb Jae-un