All South Koreans are rejoicing at this moment after learning that their darling, Kim Yu-na, has won today the World Figure Skating Championship title in Los Angeles, California, beating her rival, Mao Asada of Japan.
Yu-na, who is a celebrity in South Korea, was favored to win the title after topping the Short Program earlier in the competition.
Here’s the complete story from the Korea Times:
Kim Yu-na gave South Korea its first title at the world figure skating championships Saturday.
After her big lead in the short program, the woman known as “Queen Yu-na” at home finished with a record 207.71 points, shattering the old mark by eight points, The Associated Press reported.
“Being the world champion was my dream and I did it here,” Kim was quoted as saying. “So it’s just amazing.”
She was more than 16 points ahead of Joannie Rochette of Canada, and beat main rival Mao Asada of Japan by almost 20.
When she saw the scores, Kim closed her eyes and shook her head. She then stood up, beaming, and waved to the cheering crowd, according to AP.
“I’m sure the whole globe shook,” said Kim’s coach, two-time Olympic silver medalist Brian Orser. “The whole country of Korea must be elated.”
Rochette won the silver, Canada’s first medal at the world championships since Liz Manley also won silver in 1988. Miki Ando, the 2007 world champion, was third. Asada, last year’s winner, fell on her second triple axel and dropped to fourth.
^“I was thinking about being a champion again, but instead of thinking about that, I needed to have concentrated on completing my elements,” said Asada, who had clearly been crying.
Kim skates with ease and lightness, seeming almost to fly across the ice, but has incredible power and strength. While other skaters slow down as they approach their jumps, trying to steady themselves, she goes full speed ahead. Yet she lands as if she’s touching down on a pillow. She did five triple jumps, three in combination, including a triple flip-triple toe loop combination to open the program.
AP said there is so much more to her, though. Her edge quality is so high, she carves the ice like a calligrapher. All of her jumps were landed to crescendos in the music, making the music as much a part of her program as any other element. Her footwork was exquisite, and she skated with the elegance of a queen throughout her “Sheherazade” program.