Skaters Gear Up to Defend Titles in Sochi

      January 16, 2014 10:41

      Korea's top skaters who will compete in the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics outlined their goals during a press conference held at an ice rink in Seoul on Wednesday, three weeks before the Olympics kick off.

      Olympic gold medalist Kim Yu-na said she does not feel any pressure to defend her gold medal in the city on Russia's Black Sea coast. "I'll be satisfied with whatever result I get," she said.

      From left, Mo Tae-bum, Lee Sang-hwa and Lee Seung-hoon

      Speed skater Lee Sang-hwa added that she will "try to keep calm and focus on the game, not to be overly ambitious about the result." And Mo Tae-bum, the defending Olympic champion in the men's equivalent of the same event, said his training is going according to schedule.

      Kim, who competed at the Golden Spin of Zagreb in Croatia in December and in the Korean nationals this month, said the two competitions gave her a chance to run through her programs ahead of the Olympics. "I'm now trying to polish off the rough edges," she added.

      Kim Yu-na

      She said she is looking forward to her final competition before retiring from the sport, and also taking a break from the spotlight.

      "I think I will feel relieved to finally be able to lead a normal life without having to worry about competitions and training," she said.

      The ladies' singles competition will take place on Feb. 20 for the short program, with the free skate scheduled to run the following day. In order to get used to the time difference, Kim plans to leave for Sochi a week before the competition.

      The national skating team will leave for training in Europe next week. The speed skaters will be based in Heerenveen in the Netherlands, with the short track athletes to train in Font Romeu, France.

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