February 14, 2014 12:20
Japanese figure skater Mao Asada is hoping to get into the Guinness Book of World Records for a second time. Asada, who will retire after the Olympics in Sochi, plans to nail eight triple jumps -- triple axel, lutz, flip, loop, salchow, and toe loop -- in her free program.
No woman has ever managed eight triples in one program at the Olympics. Female skaters must perform seven jumping passes, so Asada will need to achieve a triple-triple combination in order to hit eight. The more difficult the program, the higher the base score is and the bigger the buffer against possible mistakes.
Asada already got her name into the Guinness Book of World Records by landing three triple axels at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver. However, she still had to settle for a silver medal by losing to Korea's Kim Yu-na by 23 points.
Nailing eight triple jumps is fiendishly difficult, but the aim is probably to raise the base score to close the gap with Kim, who usually gets massive bonus on grade of execution for each element.
Russia's new rising star Yulia Lipnitskaya has similar technical difficulty and grade of exeuction scores to Kim, but her program component score still falls three to four points short of Kim. If Kim performs as she does usually, there is no match.
Meanwhile, Kim arrived in Sochi early in the morning on Thursday and practiced for 40 minutes at the side rink of the Iceberg Skating Palace in the evening.
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