Kim Yu-na Sets Stage for Olympic Defense with Big Score at Home

It was a perfect rehearsal for the Olympic stage. Kim Yu-na, the defending champion in ladies' figure skating, won the ladies' senior section of the Korean nationals in Goyang, Gyeonggi Province on Sunday with a total score of 227.86 points.

It was her last competition before the Winter Games kick off in Sochi, Russia next month.

She earned 80.60 points in the short program on Saturday and 147.26 points in the free skate on Sunday. The total fell just short of the highest score ever set by a female skater (228.56 points), which Kim set at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver.

However, her latest result will not officially be recognized by the International Skating Union as the nationals are not sanctioned by the sport's world governing body.

Kim's programs were more polished in Goyang than at the Golden Spin of Zagreb in Croatia last month, her first competition of the season. She was flawless in the short program and made no major mistakes in the free skate. If she can do the same in Sochi, she has a very good chance of defending her Olympic title.

"I felt that I was in good condition… and I'm satisfied that I skated well in front of my Korean fans," Kim said.

Kim Yu-na (center) smiles at an award ceremony after winning the ladies senior section for Korean nationals in Goyang, Gyeonggi Province on Sunday. Next to her are Park So-youn (left) and Kim Hae-jin, who finished second and third to secure berths for the Olympics. /News 1 Kim Yu-na (center) smiles at an award ceremony after winning the ladies' senior section for Korean nationals in Goyang, Gyeonggi Province on Sunday. Next to her are Park So-youn (left) and Kim Hae-jin, who finished second and third to secure berths for the Olympics. /News 1

Park So-youn and Kim Hae-jin finished second and third with 178.17 and 159.75 points, respectively. They also secured berths for the Olympics.

Kim made some wardrobe changes for her free skating routine. She wore a black dress in Zagreb while performing to "Adios Nonino," but said later that she felt uncomfortable in it while executing jumps and spins.

Her new black dress with a purple diagonal slit on the front was made using softer materials, and has a slightly revealing left shoulder. Kim decided to stick with the same chartreuse dress for her short program.

englishnews@chosun.com / Jan. 06, 2014 11:10 KST

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