Vancouver / Canada

The figure skating competition at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games continued in Vancouver, Canada, on Tuesday with the Ladies Short Program.

Yu-Na Kim (KOR) wins Ladies’ Short Program
Yu-Na Kim of Korea took the lead ahead of Japan’s Mao Asada and Canadian Joannie Rochette in what was an exciting, high-level Ladies’ Short Program in Vancouver.

Kim seduced the crowd as a sexy “Bond girl”. Her routine to a James Bond soundtrack medley featured a rock-solid triple Lutz-triple toeloop combination, a triple flip and a double Axel. The world champion picked up a level four for her three spins and the spiral sequence and a level three for the footwork to post a new record and personal best score of 78.50 points (44.70 element score/33.80 program component score). “I felt comfortable and I was able to enjoy my Short Program today. Mao skated perfectly. I was a little worried, but there was no pressure”, Kim said.

Performing to the powerful “Waltz Masquerade”, Asada nailed an effortless looking triple Axel-double toeloop combination, a triple flip and a double Axel. The 19-year-old is currently the only woman to perform a triple Axel in competition. She earned the same high levels for her spins, spiral and footwork as Kim and had a seasons best score of 73.78 points (41.50/32.28). “I’m very relieved. This is the best Short Program that I’ve skated this years. I tried to stay calm. I practiced my Short Program a lot and trusted myself to pull off the triple Axel”, Asada told the press.

Rochette gave an expressive performance to “La Cumparsita” and landed a triple Lutz-double toeloop combination, a triple flip, the double Axel and received a level four for two spins and the spiral sequence. At the end, she was overcome with emotion and had tears in her eyes. The crowd of 11, 700 at the Pacific Coliseum was with the Canadian Champion from the first second and honoured her with a standing ovation for her courage to compete in spite of the tragedy that had struck her just two days before the competition when her mother unexpectedly passed away. The reigning World silver medalist scored a personal best of 71.36 points (39.20/32.16). “It was hard to be precise. Ten years from now, I’d like to come back and to this again”, Rochette said in a statement released to the press. “It was very nice to have the warm welcome (of the crowd). It was hard to handle, but I appreciate the support.”

Miki Ando (JPN) came fourth with 64.76 points. The 2007 World Champion went for a triple Lutz-triple loop combination, but the second jump was cheated and downgraded. Ando continued with a triple flip, a and a double Axel. Rachael Flatt (USA) produced a triple flip-triple toeloop combination and a double Axel, but the triple Lutz was shaky. She finished fifth with 64.64 points. Mirai Nagasu (USA) rounds up the top six. She put down a solid Short Program that included a triple Lutz-double toe combination and scored 63.76 points. Carolina Kostner (ITA) in seventh place is the top-ranked European skater. She touched down with both hands on the triple Lutz (63.02 points).

The figure skating competition at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games concludes Thursday with the Ladies Free Skating.