Lee Hae-in wins 2nd Junior Grand Prix title

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Lee Hae-in wins 2nd Junior Grand Prix title

With her latest international title, Korean teenage figure skating phenom Lee Hae-in has joined exclusive company.

Lee, 14, captured the ladies singles title at the International Skating Union (ISU) Junior Grand Prix stop in Zagreb, Croatia, on Saturday.


Korean figure skater Lee Hae-in poses with the national flag after winning the ladies singles title at the International Skating Union Junior Grand Prix competition in Zagreb, Croatia, on Saturday. [YONHAP]

With a personal high total of 203.40 points, Lee became only the second Korean figure skater, after retired star Kim Yuna in 2005, to win two straight ISU Junior Grand Prix crowns. Lee won her first Junior Grand Prix title three weeks ago in Latvia.

Lee has also qualified for the ISU Junior Grand Prix Final as one of the top six skaters in the ladies singles through six competitions so far.

Lee is now one of three Korean women to surpass 200 points at an ISU competition, after Kim and Lim Eun-soo.

Lee was in second place after Friday’s short program with 69.29 points, 1.80 points behind Daria Usacheva of Russia.

But with a flawless free skate, Lee outscored Usacheva 134.11 to 126.10 to finish first overall. Usacheva had also finished as the runner-up to Lee in Latvia earlier this month.

Performing to “Firedance” from the Irish show “Riverdance,” Lee opened her free program with a clean triple lutz-triple toe loop combination. She nailed her next three jump elements. In the latter half of the program, with the base value for jumps multiplied by 1.1 for “highlight distribution,” she had a strong execution of a double axel-triple toe loop combination, followed by a triple lutz-double toe loop-double loop combination.

For her spins and step sequences, Lee received Level 4, the highest score awarded to non-jump elements.

Kamila Valieva of Russia and Alysa Liu of the United States have also won two Junior Grand Prix titles each this season. Both are famous for landing a quadruple jump during competition, while Lee, not as technically advanced as those two, relies more on artistry and clean execution of triple jumps.

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