POSTED: Sunday March 29th 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2009- Day 5
Yu-Na Kim wins Korea’s first figure skating gold and cracks 200 points.
The 2009 ISU World Figure Skating Championships continued with the Staples Center in Los Angeles, USA, on Saturday with the Ladies Free Skating.
Ladies, Free Skating
The Ladies event concluded with an eventful Free Skating competition. Yu-Na Kim skated off with the gold medal and became the first World Figure Skating Champion from Korea. Joannie Rochette took the silver medal and is the first Canadian Lady to medal at Worlds in 21 years. Japan’s Miki Ando earned the bronze medal.
Performing to “Sheherazade”, Kim hit a big triple flip-triple toeloop combination, a triple Lutz-double toe-double loop, a double Axel-triple toeloop, a triple Lutz and two double Axel. Her captivating routine also featured excellent spins, spirals and footwork. The only glitch came when she popped a planned triple Salchow. One of Kim’s three spins didn’t count as she did fulfil the requirements. The 18-year-old scored a new seasons best of 131.59 points (63.19 element score/68.40 program component score) and became the first woman to break the 200 mark when she accumulated a total of 207.71 points. When she saw her score, she knew she had won and happily hugged her coach Brian Orser in the “Kiss & Cry”, and the capacity crowd of 12 064 in the Staples Center cheered for the new World Champion. “Winning the World Championships was my dream and I did it. It is amazing. I’ve been training well, but I wasn’t sure I could do it. I made a mistake on my Salchow”, Kim said. “Next year is the most important with the Olympics. I’ve been skating cleanly in practice and I really want to do it in competition. I didn’t really want to think about the scores because it gives me more pressure”, she continued when asked about setting a new record score in Ladies figure skating. “I didn\‘t really think about getting the 200 score. Now that it is over, I\‘m very excited but also a little worried about how I can keep the scores. Trying to keep it as close to it (as possible) is my goal now”, she explained.
Rochette opened her routine to “Concierto de Aranjuez” with a triple Lutz-double toe-double loop combination and a triple flip, but then she doubled the next jump, a loop. The Four Continents silver medallist then recovered to land a triple Lutz, a triple toe-triple Salchow sequence, a double Axel-double Axel sequence and a triple Salchow. She also produced three level-four spins and got a level four spiral. The Canadian earned 123.39 points (60.59/62.80) and was ranked third in the Free Skating but remained in second place at 191.29 points overall. “First of all, this means so much to me. Five years ago I wouldn\‘t have believed I could be here today. This year, I felt why not? It could be me. I\‘ve been training consistently all year and had a great season. To end this way is a dream come true for me”, Rochette told the press. “Also, to achieve this (the Canadian women’s first World Championships medal since Liz Manley won the silver medal in 1988) for Canadian skating was really big. I had to stop thinking about that and just concentrate on my own skating. It\‘s a dream come true for me to be on the podium after seven years at World Championships”, she added.
Ando, who stood in fourth place after the Short Program, delivered a powerful performance to Camille Saint-Saen’s Symphony No. 3 with Organ that included a triple Lutz-double loop combination, a double Axel-triple toe, a triple Salchow, another triple Lutz, a triple toe-double loop-double loop as well as a double Axel as well as a level-four combination spin and flying combination spin. Ando’s only mistake came when she cheated a triple loop that was downgraded. The 2007 World Champion picked up 126.26 points, which was a new seasons best, and accumulated 190.38 points overall to take her second World medal. It was a comeback for the 21-year-old who was forced to withdraw last year in the middle of her Free Skating due to injury. “I was so disappointed last year because I withdrew (from Worlds) after a shoulder injury and a leg injury. It was so difficult to come back because I was thinking of not skating anymore, because it was uncomfortable to skate. But everyone was supporting me and telling me I\‘d feel better, so I decided to skate. I felt good in each competition and I finally came back. I didn\‘t do the triple- triple, but I did do well in this competition, so I\‘m happy”, Ando commented.
2008 World Champion Mao Asada (JPN) nailed a beautiful triple Axel-double toeloop combination as well as four more triples, but she crashed on her second triple Axel attempt and slipped from third to fourth (188.09 points). 2008 World Junior Champion Rachael Flatt (USA) landed six triples and moved up from seventh to fifth, but she failed to do a one-position spin as required (172.41 points). European Champion Laura Lepistö (FIN) came in sixth at 170.07 points. 2008 World silver medallist Carolina Kostner (ITA), who was ranked fifth after the Short Program, dropped to 11th after making several errors on her jumps.
The ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2009 conclude Sunday with the Exhibition Gala.
81 212 tickets were sold for the competition. For more information, full entry lists and results please see: www.isu.org and http://www.isuworlds2009.com/.
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