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.
May 5, 2015, 2:23 PM EDT
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May 5, 2015, 12:52 PM EDT
Three-time World champion explained why he’s returning to competition.
May 5, 2015, 11:16 AM EDT
Woods also compared Olympic golf to Olympic tennis.
May 5, 2015, 8:39 AM EDT
“This is just the beginning.”
May 4, 2015, 2:25 PM EDT
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May 4, 2015, 10:19 AM EDT
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It’s the first World title for the Americans on home ice.
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They had been together for nearly three years.
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Both teams crushed their first four opponents to reach this final rematch.
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Also, Allyson Felix was involved in a collision.
May 2, 2015, 9:00 AM EDT
It’s a rematch of the 2013 World Championship final.
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The U.S. has dominated opponents so far, but the medal round figures to provide tougher tests.
May 1, 2015, 4:41 PM EDT
Rhode could become the first Olympian to win medals on five continents.
May 1, 2015, 2:21 PM EDT
Bolt and Gatlin could go head to head at the IAAF World Relays this weekend.
Apr 30, 2015, 5:22 PM EDT
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Apr 30, 2015, 3:43 PM EDT
“I had prepared my entire life for this one moment and I knew there would not be another opportunity.”
Apr 29, 2015, 3:59 PM EDT
The U.S. is undefeated in three games.
Apr 29, 2015, 1:00 PM EDT
The U.S. looks to clinch a berth in the semifinals.
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