March 29, 2010 10:41
Olympic figure skating champion Kim Yu-na settled for silver in the 2010 World Championships in Turin, Italy, with a combined score of 190.79 points on Sunday (Korean time). Despite her first-place finish in the free skate with 130.49 points, she was unable to defend her world title due to a disappointing seventh-place performance in the short program which earned her 60.30 points.
Japan's Mao Asada took home the gold with a combined score of 197.58 points. She is the first Asian skater to win two world titles, following her first in 2008 in Gothenburg, Sweden.
This year's world championships showed how difficult it is to stay at the top of the sport. Without rigorous, continuous training and a strong mentality, even a gold medalist can come up short. Kim admitted her lack of preparation for the event, saying she had only one week of proper training since the Vancouver Olympics. It was hard for the 19-year-old athlete to regain her focus on training after achieving her lifelong dream of winning the Olympic gold. On the other hand, Olympic silver medalist Asada was determined to unseat Kim.
Kim made an unusually high number of errors in her performances. While she nailed her trademark move and key element, the triple lutz-triple toe loop combination, she did not get any credit for her layback spin as she under-rotated and could not hold her skate in back during the spiral sequence. In the free skate, she fell on a triple salchow and popped a planned double axel. When asked if she did not have enough strength due to lack of training, she explained, "I didn't have a physical problem, it was just because the timing of the jumps wasn't right."
Kim will arrive in Korea on Wednesday afternoon (Korean time) to shoot some television commercials and prepare for an ice show scheduled for April 16 to 18. She plans to return to her training base in Toronto in May or June.
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