Kim Yu-na Regains Competitive Spirit in Turin

      March 26, 2010 10:23

      Kwak Min-jung (left) and Kim Yu-na

      Olympic figure skating champion Kim Yu-na is aiming to win her seventh international competition in a row. She has racked up six consecutive wins starting with last year's Four Continents Championships, followed by the 2009 World Championships, the Trophée Eric Bompard, the Skate America Grand Prix, the ISU Grand Prix Final, and the 2010 Winter Olympics.

      Now she is preparing to defend her world championship title at the 2010 World Championships in Turin, Italy, where she is performing a short program to her usual James Bond medley on Friday, skating 51st out of 55 skaters.

      Kim reportedly had a brief period of drifting after winning the gold medal at the Vancouver Olympics last month. Having "achieved everything," as she put it, she was in state of indifference and absent-mindedness, missing some practice sessions. "There was no physical problem, but I lost motivation since the Olympics," Kim said after completing her official practice in Turin on Thursday. "But I'm okay now that I'm here skating with the other athletes."

      It will be the very first World Championships for 16-year-old Kwak Min-jung, who finished 13th in the Olympics and recently decided to train under Kim's coach Brian Orser. If the sum of Kim and Kwak's rankings does not exceed 13, Korea will be able to send three female skaters to the World Championships next year in Tokyo.

      Meanwhile, Olympic silver medalist Mao Asada of Japan arrived in Turin on Wednesday and had her first official practice on Thursday, mostly focusing on her triple axel. "I've trained every day except for one since the Olympics ended," she said. "I gained two kilograms after the Olympics, but I'm back to my best condition. I'm looking forward to eating pizza after the championships." Asada will be the 45th skater to perform in the short program.

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