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Kim leads ladies at Cup of Russia

by Anna Kondakova
Anna Kondakova

South Korea's Yu-na Kim earned a new seasonal best with her performance to Die Fledermaus by Johann Strauss.

South Korea’s Yu-na Kim of was the winner in the Ladies Short program, while Yukari Nakano of Japan and Kiira Korpi of Finland placed second and third, respectively.

Kim delivered a nearly flawless performance to Die Fledermaus by Johann Strauss, earning a new seasonal best of 63.50 (34.90/28.60) points. The 2007 World bronze medalist landed a triple flip-triple toeloop combination, but struggled a bit on the landing of her triple Lutz and singled her trademark double Axel out of an Ina Bauer.

“I made a few mistakes,” admitted Kim. The first error [on the Lutz] was a small mistake, then I was nervous and I missed my timing for the take-off [on the double Axel].”

Despite the mistakes, the 2006-07 Grand Prix Final champion expressed an excellent waltz character throughout her level three footwork sequence, which garnered applause from the audience. She was also awarded a level four for her layback spin and spiral sequence.

“Overall it was not a bad performance and I’m very pleased with the result,” said Kim.

Nakano landed all of her planned jumps which included a triple flip-double toeloop combination, a triple Lutz, and a double Axel (out of a spread-eagled position). However, the 2007 Skate Canada silver medalist had pronounced leg wrap on her first two jumping elements, which prevented her from gaining positive GOEs despite strong landings.

While Nakano’s performance lacked in sophisticated choreo, her smooth and soft edges allowed her to achieve an excellent flow throughout the program. The Japanese bronze medalist also executed superb spins in her performance to Fantasie Impromtu by Chopin, earning 60.50 (34.10/26.40) points.

“I was very nervous and the only thing I kept thinking was ‘don’t skate like at Skate Canada’ (where she fell on the triple Lutz) and I managed it,” said Nakano.

Korpi landed a triple Lutz-double toeloop combination, a triple loop, and a double Axel in her expressive program to Triunfal by Astor Piazzolla. Donned in a fetching black and white outfit, the 2007 European bronze medalist also performed strong spins and spirals, but her footwork sequence was only awarded a level two by the technical panel.

The Finn, who withdrew from Skate America due to the flu, earned a new personal best of 58.22 (33.30/24.92) points.

Performing to Take Five by Dave Brubek, Fumie Suguri of Japan appeared to be a bit slower than her main opponents, but she received high levels on her non-jumping elements except for a level two straightline footwork sequence.

The Japanese skater did much better than two weeks ago at Cup of China, landing a triple Lutz-double toeloop combination and a double Axel, but she two-footed her triple flip. The two-time Olympian earned 56.18 (32.14/24.04) points for a fourth place finish.

Canada’s Joannie Rochette landed a strong double Axel in the opening of her elaborate routine to piano concertos, but fell on a triple flip in what was intended to be a triple flip-triple toeloop combination.

The 2007 Skate Canada bronze medalist went on to land a triple Lutz, but two of her spins were only awarded a level two. She is currently fifth with 50.56 (27.12/24.44) points.

A last minute addition to the roster, Russia’s Katarina Gerbolt got her job done, earning a new personal best of 48.20 (27.94/20.08) points for a sixth place finish.

The 2007 Golden Spin bronze medalist landed a double Axel, a triple loop, and a triple Lutz-double toeloop combination. Two of her spins, however, received only a level one and her non-jumping elements were rather weak compared to that of the more seasoned competitors.

USA’s Beatrisa Lang is currently seventh after the short, followed by Julia Sebestyen of Hungary.

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