|Korea’s Kim Yu-na takes part in a practice session in Sochi on Thursday. (Yonhap)|
SOCHI, Russia (AP) ― Queen Yu-na has arrived.
Reigning Olympic figure skating gold medalist Kim Yu-na took part in her first practice of the Sochi Games on Thursday evening, with more than a dozen TV cameras documenting her every step across the ice.
Kim did her triple-triple combination cleanly in her run-through and landed triple jumps with ease throughout the 40-minute session.
The South Korean star made a triumphant return at last year’s world championships with a dominant victory. But she missed the Grand Prix season because of a right foot injury.
She could become only the third woman to win back-to-back Olympic figure skating golds, joining Katarina Witt and Sonja Henie. Asked what that would mean, Kim said through a translator: “At that time and this time it’s very different, the situation, the skills of the athletes.”
She added that she wasn’t focused on winning another gold.
“It means a lot to take part in the Olympics,” she said.
The women’s short program in Sochi starts on Wednesday.
South Korea did not qualify for the new team event, so Kim has not competed yet in Sochi, unlike other top skaters. Julia Lipnitskaia, the 15-year-old Russian, announced herself as a challenger to Kim with two dynamic performances in helping her country to gold in the competition.
Kim said she had watched some of Lipnitskaia’s performances and likes to “look at other athletes and see what they’re up to.” But she said she didn’t want to single out the Russian teen because so many women are skating well.