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24 March 2022, 14:02

S. Korean You Young 4th after short program at worlds, on verge of 1st medal


SEOUL, 24 March (BelTA -Yonhap News). - South Korean figure skater You Young looks poised for her first medal at the world championships after finishing in fourth place in the women's short program in France.

You scored her season-best 72.08 points at the International Skating Union (ISU) World Figure Skating Championships in Montpellier, France, on Wednesday (local time). The 17-year-old sits only 0.47 back of Mariah Bell of the United States for third place, entering the free skate scheduled for Friday.

Kaori Sakamoto of Japan, the 2022 Olympic bronze medalist, leads the pack with 80.32 points. Loena Hendrickx of Belgium is in second place at 75.00 points.

You is trying to become only the second South Korean figure skater, male or female, to reach the podium at the worlds. Only the retired star Kim Yu-na, who had two golds, two silvers and two bronzes, had accomplished that feat.

You finished sixth at the Beijing Winter Olympics last month, but three Russian skaters who ranked above her have all been banned by the ISU following their country's invasion of Ukraine. Missing in France are the Olympic gold and silver medalists, Anna Shcherbakova and Alexandra Trusova, and the world record holder Kamila Valieva, who finished fourth in Beijing while competing under the cloud of a doping scandal.

Skating second to last among 33 at Sud de France Arena, You opened her program with a double axel instead of her usual triple axel and executed it cleanly.

But on her following triple lutz-triple toe loop combination, You was called for an incomplete landing on the latter jump. Later in the program, You lost points for having a "not clear edge" on the takeoff of her triple flip.

You earned 38.04 points in the total element score (TES), which grades technical aspects of a program, and 34.04 points in the program component score (PCS), which evaluates choreography and artistry.

The second South Korean in the competition, Lee Hae-in, ranked 11th with 64.16 points. Lee was the first alternate for Kim Ye-lim, who was supposed to compete in France but was forced to withdraw after testing positive for COVID-19 last week. Lee finished 10th at last year's world championships.

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