Kim Yu-na to perform short program in middle of pack at worlds
Published : 2013-03-14 09:19
Updated : 2013-03-14 09:19
South Korean figure skating star Kim Yu-na will perform in the middle of the pack for the short program at the world championships this week.
In a draw held here on Wednesday, a day before the ladies' short program at the World Figure Skating Championships, Kim drew 14th among 35 skaters. The 2010 Olympic gold medalist will be the third skater in the third group.
At Budweiser Gardens here in London, southwest of Toronto, the 35 performers will be divided into six groups. The first group features five skaters, while the five other groups each have six skaters. The ice will be resurfaced after each group ends its routine.
Kim will take the ice at 12:47 p.m. on Thursday local time, and 1:47 a.m. on Friday, Korean time. This is her first world championships since 2011 in Moscow, where she finished second behind Miki Ando of Japan.
"I've always wanted to do my short program early," Kim said with a smile. "I think this is just fine."
Kim said she doesn't recall having done her short program this early. Title contenders are often paired into the later groups. For this year's worlds, Mao Asada of Japan, a two-time world champion and a chief rival to Kim, and Carolina Kostner of Italy, the 2012 world champion, are both skating in the final group.
Kim said she doesn't mind skating ahead of her competition.
"I think I can relax and skate comfortably because I am in the third group, rather than the first," she said. "If I had been in the first group, then I would've had to start preparing early in the morning and that would have affected my performance."
Regardless of the starting order, Kim said her physical and mental state on the day of the competition will be the key.
"I have plenty of experience," said Kim, who has never missed the podium in her five world championships, including her lone world title in 2009. "I hope to show everything that I've prepared."
Kim said her rivals who skate later in the day may have an advantage over her because her performance may be forgotten by the time they take the ice.
"I always feel pressure before the short program at every event," Kim said. "Skating earlier than others may have an adverse effect. But I will try to leave a lasting impression (on the judges)."
Kim ended nearly two years of hiatus in December last year and won the NRW Trophy in Germany. The following month, Kim won the South Korean national title to qualify for the worlds.
Kim owns the second-best score in ladies' figure skating this season with 201.61 points, set at the NRW Trophy, and also holds the world records with 78.50 points in the short program, 150.06 points in free skating and 228.56 points in total score. All the marks were established at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics. (Yonhap News)