Victory opens the door for three at 2014 Games

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Victory opens the door for three at 2014 Games


Park So-youn, top, and Kim Hae-jin, bottom [JoongAng Ilbo]

Kim Yu-na’s victory yesterday earned Korea two more slots in the women’s figure skating event at next year’s Winter Olympics.

The berths at the 2014 Sochi Games were at stake at the 2013 world figure skating championships with the winner and runner-up taking three berths apiece for their countries. It is the first time Korea will send as many as three female figure skaters to the Olympics.

The two other Korean representatives will be determined based on next season’s performance, but Park So-youn and Kim Hae-jin are perhaps the strongest contenders.

Park, 15, was the runner-up to Kim at the Korean Figure Skating Championships in January, although her 161.88 points was far behind Kim’s 210.77 points.

Park won a silver medal during the ISU Junior Grand Prix in Turkey last year. She finished 12th at the Junior World Championships in Milan, Italy, this month.

Kim Hae-jin, 15, won the national championships for three straight times through 2012. She won a gold medal at the Junior Grand Prix in Slovenia in September. Kim has struggled with injuries in recent months. She finished fourth during the 2013 national championships in January and settled for 19th at the 2013 Junior World Championships.

Park and Kim said through their agencies yesterday that they watched Kim’s winning performance at the 2013 worlds.

Both thanked her for winning three berths for Korea.

“I will try hard to be able to compete at the Olympics,” Park said, adding that she has realized what she lacks after watching Kim’s performance.

Kim Hae-jin also said she will work hard to get to the Olympics.
Choi Da-bin, who finished third at the 2013 national championships, is 13 years old and won’t be able to compete in the Olympics due to the age limit.

By Moon Gwang-lip []
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