Kim Yu-na finishes 7th in short program at World Championship
The 19-year-old skater received 60.30 points in her short program at the Palavela arena, one of her lowest scores since her senior level debut in 2006.
"I don't know what happened," Kim said. "I don't understand it myself."
A second world championship title would have been another jewel for Kim, who took the gold at the Vancouver Winter Olympics with 228.56 total points, earning 78.50 in the short program. Only two other figure skaters, Kristi Yamaguchi and Michelle Kwan, have taken consecutive titles in the past 20 years.
American Mirai Nagasu is ranked first with a personal best of 70.40 points, and Japan's Mao Asada landed in the second place with 68.08.
Skating to a James Bond medley, Kim opened with a clean triple lutz-triple toe loop combination, but her flip jump was downgraded.
Her performance Friday was in stark contrast to past showings that won her seven Grand Prix series competitions, three Grand Prix Final titles and a world championship.
She had earned 207.71 points at the 2009 World Championships in Los Angeles, becoming the first woman skater to top the 200 mark under the current judging system.
Kim's teammate, Kwak Min-jung, who fell on the first triple lutz, came in 23rd with 47.46 on her first appearance at the competition and booked a spot in Saturday's free skating. [Yonhap]