Figure Skating

Cha Jun-hwan and Kim Ye-lim win South Korean figure skating nationals

Despite errors in his program, Cha claimed the title by nearly 30 points; ladies' short program leader You Young falls twice to finish fourth

By ZK Goh ·

Cha Jun-hwan has comfortably won the South Korean men's singles national figure skating title in Uijeongbu by nearly 30 points despite a number of unexpected errors in his free skate on Friday (26 February).

The 19-year-old extended his lead from the short program, scoring 166.76 points in the free skate for a total of 257.12 points, with silver medallist Lee Si-hyeong on 227.63.

Toronto-based Cha landed a quadruple Salchow in his routine – again the only man to land a quad (Lee fell on his quad Salchow attempt) – and started his routine brightly.

However, he popped a triple flip in combination down to a single, landed a triple loop on the quarter, then received a one-point penalty for a time violation.

Even with the errors, Cha's routine was technically and artistically the strongest, and he was not given a serious challenge for gold.

The ladies' contest was more open, as the top six finishers after Thursday's short program were separated by only around four points.

Kim Ye-lim, who was third after the short program one point behind leader You Young, finished second in the free skate to overtake both You and short program runner-up Lee Hae-in.

While Yun Ah-sun scored the most points in the free skate, that was only enough for silver, with Kim winning overall by 1.32 points.

You, however, had a torrid time on the ice.

Things began on the wrong foot as she fell on her opening triple Axel. Her second jump element, a triple Lutz-triple toe loop combination, saw her under-rotate on the toe loop.

In the second half of her program, she landed a triple Lutz on the quarter before falling again, this time on a double Axel-triple toe loop combination.

Her free skate score of 124.94 was only good for fifth in the segment, and dropped her to fourth overall.

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