Kim Yu-na set to perform new programs

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Kim Yu-na set to perform new programs

Figure skating queen Kim Yu-na of Korea has left for Croatia to participate in the Golden Spin of Zagreb, which will be her first appearance since winning the Canadian Championship in March.

Kim showed her confidence in performing her new skating programs for the first time in an international event, saying that her biggest goal in the event is to find her weakness in performing the programs in preparation for February’s Sochi Winter Olympics.

She was surrounded by Korean media as soon as she arrived at Incheon International Airport yesterday about 11 a.m. and had a brief interview there.

The Golden Spin of Zagreb will be held from Friday to Sunday local time.

“Because this is the first stage of unveiling my new programs, I want to come back to the country with a good outcome,” Kim said. “I will [work] on the details since this is a preparation for the Sochi event. I don’t feel much pressure, though it is my first appearance since March. I will try to enjoy this as much as I can.”

The 2010 Vancouver Olympics champion was supposed to participate in the International Skating Union’s Grand Prix events in Canada (in October) and France (in November), but she had to withdraw due to an injury she sustained to her right foot while training in September. In mid-November, her physician said Kim completely recovered from her injury, telling media that Kim has no problems jumping with full power and can basically perform everything she needs to now.

“I think I’m about 80 to 90 percent back in shape,” Kim said. “But I feel like I need to work on improving my stamina.”

However, she remained silent when she was asked to explain about her new short and free programs.

“New programs… [laughing] ...I don’t know,” she said. “I will show what I’m going to wear and the new programs in Croatia.

“I haven’t performed the triple-jumping skill for a long time, but I think it won’t be a problem [in skating]. Just like I said, stamina is the biggest concern not only for this Croatia event, but in the Olympics. Since this is my first international event this season, I will try to focus on finishing it without problems.”

In a recent press conference, Kim had said that her new free-skating program, “Adios Nonino,” which has a high tempo, is the hardest program she has ever had. This is the second time Kim will be performing to tango music after her impressive senior debut with “El Tango de Roxanne” in the 2006-7 season. “It demands strong stamina, for sure,” Kim said.

Kim will also unveil her new short program, performed to “Send in the Clowns.”

“Fans may expect to see very high-level figure skating through Yu-na,” said Ko Sung-hee, an executive official of the Korea Skating Union who will be one of judges in the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics in women’s free figure skating. Ko recently saw Kim practicing her new programs in Korea. “There is no doubt that Kim’s program consists of high-level techniques that can only be performed by no one but Yu-na.”

The short program begins Friday night Korea time and the free-skating begins Saturday.


BY KIM JI-HAN, KWON SANG-SOO [sakwon80@joongang.co.kr]
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