Jan 5, 2014, 10:09 AM EDT
Yuna Kim wasn’t happy with the final jump she had performed in front of her adoring home fans in South Korea Sunday – so she did another.
The reigning Olympic champion ran away with the South Korean Figure Skating Championships, but had popped a double Axel into a single at the end of the free skate, leaving the 23-year-old unsatisfied. So as her name was called for the medal ceremony, Kim skated out and performed a perfectly clean double Axel, showing her nation – and the world – that she’s determined to be ready for Sochi.
The Vancouver gold medalist racked up a score of 227.86 (which is not counted towards her personal bests because it is a national competition, not international), running away with the title in front of a sell-out crowd, most likely the last to see her compete domestically before she retires. See video of her free skate here.
Soyoun Park was second with a 178.17 and Haejin Kim third at 159.15.
Kim was graceful in her “Adios Nonino” tango piece, flowing from element to element. She opened with a triple Lutz-triple toe combination, but later struggled with her Axel combination and finally popped her last planned double Axel. The jump had given her some trouble at her comeback event in Croatia last month, as well.
Kim has skated sparingly since running away with the Olympic title in 2010 with a world-record skate, placing second at the 2011 World Championships before making a grand comeback in 2013, winning the World Championships by a safe margin.
A foot injury forced her out of the Grand Prix season this past year, meaning she’ll attempt to become the first skater to have foregone the major international circuit and still win an Olympic gold since the Grand Prix series was introduced in 1995.
2010 silver medalist Mao Asada is still seen as Kim’s top rival, though Asada was third at the Japanese National Championships two weeks ago and has struggled with her own Axel – the rare triple in ladies’ skating.
2012 world champion Carolina Kostner of Italy and American Ashley Wagner are also seen as medal contenders for the Sochi Games, as are Russian teenagers Adelina Sotnikova and Yulia Lipnitskaya.
The South Korean National Championships marked Kim’s final domestic competition for the 23-year-old, who has said she will retire following the Olympic Games next month.
Correction: An earlier version of this article mistakenly stated that Yuna Kim has won nine national titles.
Sep 13, 2014, 8:52 PM EDT
Nike had suspended its contract with the runner six days after he shot and killed his girlfriend.
Sep 12, 2014, 4:50 PM EDT
Simpson, racing the Fifth Avenue Mile on Saturday, is one tenth away from breaking a 31-year-old mark.
Sep 12, 2014, 1:15 PM EDT
High jumper hashtag has taken social media by storm.
Sep 12, 2014, 12:10 PM EDT
Steenkamp’s parents want to meet with Pistorius, they told NBC News.
Sep 12, 2014, 11:42 AM EDT
“We would not stand in his way,” IPC spokesman said.
Sep 12, 2014, 7:48 AM EDT
Runner faces up to 15 years in prison, plus sentence for gun charge.
Sep 11, 2014, 1:02 PM EDT
U.S. women’s team won’t officially be named until next week.
Sep 11, 2014, 12:47 PM EDT
Olympic slalom champion hopes for multiple World Cup giant slalom wins this season.
Sep 11, 2014, 9:15 AM EDT
Runner could still face up to 15 years in prison for culpable homicide.
Sep 10, 2014, 2:32 PM EDT
Kessel visited brain center run by same doctor who treated Sidney Crosby.
Sep 10, 2014, 11:19 AM EDT
Kenyan has never run the five-borough race before.
Sep 10, 2014, 10:20 AM EDT
Yoshinori Sakai was born on the day an atomic bomb hit Hiroshima.
Sep 9, 2014, 11:06 PM EDT
Suter, 57, was the father and brother of U.S. Olympians, too.
Sep 9, 2014, 3:28 PM EDT
Why the runner’s judgment could be a very long process.
Sep 9, 2014, 1:20 PM EDT
Burroughs suffered a left knee injury in an early match that he won.
Sep 9, 2014, 10:52 AM EDT
Qatar World Cup could change dates to due high summer temperatures.
Sep 8, 2014, 1:37 PM EDT
The No. 1 team on their radar right now is a Brazilian upstart.
Sep 8, 2014, 1:18 PM EDT
Qatar World Cup could start in November or January instead of June-July.
Sep 8, 2014, 10:06 AM EDT
With another World title, Burroughs can move closer to the one U.S. wrestler he puts on a pedestal.
Sep 7, 2014, 2:38 PM EDT
Five athletes to watch going forward.
- Oscar Pistorius’ Nike contract terminated 2
- Oscar Pistorius would be allowed in Paralympics after serving sentence 1
- Oscar Pistorius guilty of culpable homicide (verdict video) 3
- Mikaela Shiffrin eyes breakthrough with World Cup season approaching 0
- Oscar Pistorius trial judge rules out murder, verdict incomplete 4
- Bob Suter of Miracle on Ice team passes away 0
- Oscar Pistorius trial resumes for verdict Thursday 5
- Emotional Bode Miller medals in race that mattered most (61)
- Russian women kissing after relay victory at World Championships causes stir (57)
- IOC drops wrestling from 2020 Olympics (47)
- South Korea filing official complaint over Yuna Kim’s Olympic silver (39)
- Zola Budd, 47, dominates college runners in 5K (33)