March 27, 2023 09:21
Figure skater Cha Jun-hwan clinched a historic silver medal in the men's singles event at the International Skating Union's World Figure Skating Championships in Saitama, Japan last Saturday.
Cha became the first Korean male skater to win a medal at the prestigious annual championships.
On the previous day, his compatriot Lee Hae-in also earned a silver medal in the women's singles, Korea's first championships medal in 10 years after Kim Yu-na won two gold, two silver and two bronze medals from 2007 through 2013.
Korea's previous best results since Kim's medals were You Young's fifth-place finish in the women's singles last year and Cha's 10th place in 2021.
Cha scored his personal best in both the short program and the free skate with 99.64 points and 196.39 points, totaling 296.03 points.
"I was happy even before I checked my score because I was satisfied with the performance," he said.
Asian skaters had better chances of winning medals at this year's championships as the ISU banned Russian and Belarusian skaters from competing due to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
Shoma Uno and Kaori Sakamoto of Japan took the top spot in the men's and women's singles. Japanese skaters Riku Miura and Ryuichi Kihara also won gold in the pairs event, and Madison Chock and Evan Bates of the U.S. took gold in the ice dance competition.
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