Kim Yu-na to perform new routines on Saturday

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Kim Yu-na to perform new routines on Saturday

Many Koreans will turn their attention to the television screen tomorrow night when Olympic gold medalist figure skater Kim Yu-na makes her return to international competition after a 20-month break.

Kim will compete in the NRW Trophy in Dortmund, Germany, beginning with Saturday’s short program at 7 p.m., Korea Standard Time. The final free skating session is slated to begin at the same time on Sunday.

Two essential points to keep in mind when watching the competition:

This is a second-tier event, and her competition may not be helpful in lifting the level of skating, technique wise. Her goal in the event is to earn the minimum points necessary to be able to travel to the World Figure Skating Championships to be held in Canada in March.

She needs to earn 28 points in the Technical Elements Score in short program, 48.0 TES points in free skating before the World Championships.

That raises the possibility that Kim will attempt easier jumps than her trademark triple combination.

At the 2011 World Championships in Moscow in April of last year, Kim’s last international competition, she received 32.97 TES in the short and 61.72 TES in the free skating, finishing second to Miki Ando of Japan.

Her agency, All that Sports, has applied for Kim’s entry to the Golden Spin of Zagreb to be held in Croatia just in case she doesn’t earn all the necessary points in Germany.

Experts say that two fall-downs or mistakes could keep her from receiving the minimum points.

How much Kim has maintained her ability to deliver her expression, a significant element in Program Components Score, is another thing to look at.

Kim has shown off the routines as if the audience watches a well-made musical piece. Yevgeniya Kanayeva, a Russian rhythmic gymnast who won two Olympic gold medals, once said Kim’s acting inspired her. In Germany, Kim will unveil her new programs.

By Son Ae-sung, Moon Gwang-lip [joe@joongang.co.kr]

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