You Young wins Korean national championship for fourth time

Triple Axel-jumping 15-year-old is a favourite to win at the Lausanne 2020 Youth Olympic Games.

By ZK Goh ·

You Young has won the South Korean figure skating championships, her fourth national title, continuing a successful international debut senior year.

The 15-year-old, who has a triple Axel in her arsenal, scored 143.67 points in Sunday's (5 January) free skate for a total of 220.20 points. It was also her third consecutive national title, with her other win coming in 2016. Cha Junhwan won the men's title.

Earlier this season, You took bronze at Skate Canada before coming fourth at the Cup of China in her first two senior Grand Prix of Figure Skating events.

Her next assignment will be the Lausanne 2020 Winter Youth Olympic Games, where she is one of the favourites to win gold in the girls' singles.

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Triple Axel

You became the first South Korean female skater to land a ratified triple Axel in senior competition earlier this season.

It was a jump she repeated at the Korean nationals, landing it in her short program.

That program included four triple jumps, the maximum allowed under current ISU rules, as she also pulled off a triple Lutz-triple toeloop combination and a triple flip.

All three of her scores in nationals – short program, free skate, and total – surpassed her official ISU best scores, although the international governing body does not recognise scores from national championships.

First torch bearer, South Korean figure skater You Young holds the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics torch during a torch relay on November 1, 2017 in Incheon, South Korea. (Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)

From PyeongChang to Lausanne

You is no stranger to the world of the Olympics.

In the lead-up to the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games in her native South Korea, the figure skater was the first to carry the Olympic torch during the South Korean portion of the Olympic Torch Relay, doing so when the Olympic Flame landed in Incheon on 1 November 2017.

The 15-year-old, who spent her early years in Singapore where her parents worked before moving back to South Korea, won the national selection trials for the upcoming Lausanne 2020 Winter Youth Olympics in October, despite popping her triple Axel attempt in that competition.

There, she will be one of the favourites for gold, with her main challenger likely to be Russia's Ksenia Sinitsyna, who was fifth at last month's senior Russian championships.

(Thumbnail photo mandatory credit: Dom Gagne-USA TODAY Sports)