Kim Yu-na to Skate in Middle of Pack for Short Program

      February 18, 2014 10:18

      Figure skater Kim Yu-na takes part in a draw at the Iceberg Skating Palace in Sochi, Russia on Monday.

      Figure skating star Kim Yu-na will perform 17th in the ladies' short program at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics on Wednesday.

      The defending champion picked the number in a draw held at the Iceberg Skating Palace in Sochi, Russia on Monday. The figure skaters are divided into five groups of six, and Kim placed fifth in the third group.

      Being drawn in a later order in each group is not considered desirable because skaters have to wait for a longer time after they warm up, and the condition of the ice tends to deteriorate with use. However, as Kim has been in top form during training since she arrived in the Russian resort town last week, this isn't likely to have a major impact on her performance.

      The draw was held based on the current world rankings. The top 12 drew slots 19 to 30, while those ranked 13 to 15th were placed in the middle (16 to 18). The 15 lower-ranked skaters were put in the first two or three groups.

      Kim missed two ISU Grand Prix Series due to an injured right foot this season and only competed at the Golden Spin of Zagreb. This only left her with enough points to rank 15th among the 30 skaters in Sochi.

      Park So-yeon and Kim Hae-jin, who are both making their Olympic debuts in Sochi, will skate second and 11th, respectively. Russian teen Yulia Lipnitskaya, who did not appear at the draw because she was training in Moscow, will be the first to skate in the last group. Carolina Kostner of Italy will skate 26th, while Mao Asada of Japan will be the last skater in the short program.

      Kim, who is gunning for her second straight gold medal at the Olympic event, will skate to "Send in the Clowns" for her short program on Wednesday. Those who finish in the top 24 will compete in the free skating on the following day.

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