Kim overcomes rough start to lead ladies in Torino

Yu-Na Kim of South Korea placed first in the Ladies’ Short Program followed by USA’s Caroline Zhang and Italy’s Carolina Kostner, respectively.

Kim overcame a rough start after putting her hand down on her opening triple flip before adding a single toeloop.

“I wasn’t nervous,” Kim later explained, “but I missed the timing for the take off a little bit. I still should have done at least a double toe.”

The defending champion otherwise produced a triple Lutz and double Axel as well as three excellent spins. All her elements were awarded a level four except for a very good level three straightline footwork sequence, and the 2007 World bronze medalist earned 64.62 (34.90/29.72) points for a first place finish.

I think this was the worst performance of the season,” said the 17-year-old, “but I got my best score of the season. Now I just want to forget about this short program and I want to do my triple flip-triple toe tomorrow.”

Zhang had no problem with her triple flip-triple toeloop combination, but the U.S. Junior silver medalist was penalized for using the wrong take-off edge on her triple Lutz. Despite the error, she also produced a double Axel as well as three level four spins to earn a new personal best of 61.82 (36.50/25.32) points.

“To be in the Final here in Turin is a big surprise for me,” said the 14-year-old. “It’s the first time for me to compete at the (senior) Grand Prix. I’m very satisfied with my short program and tomorrow I will do my best.”

Kostner landed a triple flip-triple toeloop combination and a triple Lutz, but popped her double Axel.

The Italian champion otherwise delivered a level four spiral sequence and flying sit spin as well as a very good level three straightline footwork sequence. She is currently third with 59.86 (32.26/27.60) points.

“The problem of the double Axel was a lack of concentration,” explained the 20-year-old, “but it’s not such a big mistake. For tomorrow, the most important thing is to be calm and to focus on the jumps.”

Yukari Nakano of Japan is currently in fourth with 59.78 (32.50/27.28) points. The 22-year-old was also penalized on using the wrong take-off edge on her triple flip in combination with a double toeloop. She otherwise landed a triple Lutz and double Axel.

USA’s Kimmie Meissner was also penalized for using the wrong take-off edge on her triple flip. The 2007 Four Continents champion also underroated her second jump in a triple Lutz-triple toeloop combination, but otherwise produced a double Axel and two level four spins. She is currently fifth with 59.08 (30.40/28.68) points.

Japan’s Mao Asada is in sixth place with 59.04 (31.00/28.04) points. The 2007 World silver medalist put her hand down and nearly fell on the second jump of a triple flip-triple toeloop combination. She otherwise produced two level four spins and a very good level three straightline footwork sequence.

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