Cha Jun-hwan and Kim Ye-rim, the possibility of men’s and women’s singles winning?
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Cha Jun-hwan (22, Korea University), the signboard of Korean men’s figure skating, challenges the International Skating Union (ISU) Four Continents Championships for the second time in a row. ‘Figure skating general’ Kim Ye-rim (20, Dankook University) and Lee Hae-in (18, Sehwa Girls’ High School) aim for medals for two consecutive years.
The ISU Figure Skating Four Continents Championships will be held in Colorado Springs, USA from the 8th (Korean time) until the 12th.
The Four Continents Championships, which started in 1999, is a major tournament in which players from countries in Asia, America, Oceania, and Africa participate.
Cha Jun-hwan and Lee Si-hyeong (23, Korea University) and Gyeong Jae-seok (23, Kyunghee University) will compete in the men’s singles event.
Last year, Cha Jun-hwan won the championship for the first time in Korean figure skating history. At the time, the 2022 Beijing Olympics were ahead, so prominent medal candidates were absent. Ahead of the Olympics, Cha Jun-hwan decided to participate in the mock test, the Four Continents Championships, and proudly won the gold medal.
Again this year, several top rankers did not appear on the roster for the Four Continents Championships. Shoma Uno, who won the ISU Senior Grand Prix Final held in December last year, and Shota Yamamoto (Japan), the silver medalist, will not participate in this event. Also, Ilya Malinin (USA), who performed a quadruple axel with 4 and a half rounds for the first time in figure skating history, will not participate.
In this situation, Cha Jun-hwan is one of the leading candidates for the championship. However, the second consecutive loss is not expected to be easy. Jinbo Yang (China), the winner of the event in 2018 and a two-time bronze medalist at the World Championships, is on the ice.
Armed with a variety of four-round jumps, Jinbo-yang did not participate in the Grand Prix series this season. In this tournament, he is competing in an international tournament for the first time in a while, and he is aiming for the second championship in his career.
Japan is missing Uno, a silver medalist at the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics and a bronze medalist at the Beijing Games. However, the skills of the players participating in this competition are not easy.
Miura Gao (Japan) finished third in the event last year. He has the highest score (273.19 points) this season among male single players participating in this event. Cha Jun-hwan, who scored 264.05 points at Skate America in the first round of the Grand Prix, recorded the second highest season best.
Liam Capekis and Jimmy Ma (above USA), who have the home advantage, are also evaluated as medal candidates.
Cha Jun-hwan won the Finlandia Trophy, an ISU Challenger event this season, and won bronze medals at two Grand Prix events (Skate America and Japan’s NHK Trophy).
Unfortunately, he failed to advance to the final, ‘Wang-jung-wang-jeon’, but he proved himself as ‘the strongest player in Korea’ by winning the President’s Cup Ranking Contest and the National Comprehensive Championship.
Sihyung Lee takes the stage for his 6th Four Continents Championships. Having ranked 7th last year, he is challenging his personal best performance in this event.
In the women’s single event, Kaori Sakamoto, a bronze medalist at the Beijing Olympics, and Mai Mihara (Japan), who won the Grand Prix Final this season, will not be participating. Japan’s women’s single ‘two-top’ was omitted, but Rinka Watanabe, who runs a triple axel, was named on the list of contestants.
Also, Isabo Levito (USA), who won the Rookie of the Year award at the recently held ISU Awards, will also stand on the ice. Levito, winner of the Junior World Championships last year, made his senior stage debut all season. He reached the podium with stable performances in various international competitions and won a silver medal in the Grand Prix Final.
In this tournament held at home, Levito is a strong candidate to win.
Levito has the highest season score (215.74 points) among female singles players in this tournament. Kim Ye-rim received her season’s highest score of 213.97 at the Finlandia Trophy, and this score is the second highest after Levito. Watanabe’s season high is 213.14 points.
Looking at the record this season, Kim Ye-rim is expected to compete for the championship with Levito and Watanabe.
Kim Ye-rim is having his best season since his senior debut. He has competed in six international competitions this season. Although there were times when he was physically exhausted from consecutive forced marches, he reached the podium in all competitions except for the Grand Prix Final.
In particular, at the NHK Trophy, the 5th ISU Grand Prix held in November last year, she reached the top in 13 years since Kim Yu-na (33). On the 16th, she became the first Korean female figure skater to win a bronze medal at the Winter World University Games (Winter U Games).
Kim Ye-rim, who departed through Incheon International Airport on the 5th, told her management sign, All That Sports, “It would be better if the results were good, but I want to do my best and come without any burden.”
He added, “This season feels especially long, but there were so many happy moments, so I will do my best to finish the 4 Continents Championships happily. Thank you for always cheering me on.”
Lee Hae-in won the silver medal at the Four Continents Championships last year. At the time, he unfortunately missed the right to participate in the Beijing Olympics, and he was in danger of being shaken. However, he overcame it and won a silver medal around his neck. 안전놀이터
Lee Hae-in also expressed his determination through his management company, All That Sports, saying, “I prepared really hard for this year’s tournament and got the right to participate, so I want to go there with a happy heart. lost.
Also, Kim Chae-yeon (17, Surigo), who grew up terribly this season, threw a challenge. He played stable games without major mistakes in all competitions he participated in this season and won a bronze medal in the Junior Grand Prix Final. Having won the right to participate in the President’s Cup Ranking Competition, he will be participating in the Four Continents Championships for the first time.
If a Korean player rises to the top in the women’s singles, it will be the first player to win the title in 14 years since Yuna Kim in 2009.
The three men’s singles and three women’s singles players who competed in this event all arrived in Colorado Springs, USA, in good condition. In the case of Cha Jun-hwan, the ‘boots problem’, which is always a problem, is considered the key. It is known that he took the boots he wore in the recent competition and took extra skates with him.
When Kim Ye-rim and Lee Hae-in perform error-free games in both the short program and free skating, their chances of winning medals for the second year in a row increase even more.
Also, the fact that the tournament is held in Colorado Springs, a highland, is a variable. In the Four Continents Championships, where physical strength has emerged as the key to victory more than any other competition, it is expected that the direction of victory will be decided in the free skating.
The women’s single short program will be held on the morning of the 10th, Korean time. The men’s singles short program will also be held following the women’s singles.
Cha Jun-hwan (22, Korea University), the signboard of Korean men’s figure skating, challenges the International Skating Union (ISU) Four Continents Championships for the second time in a row. ‘Figure skating general’ Kim Ye-rim (20, Dankook University) and Lee Hae-in (18, Sehwa Girls’ High School) aim for medals for two consecutive years. The ISU Figure Skating Four…