In this photo, Kim Ye-lim of South Korea performs her free skate program during the women's singles competition at the International Skating Union Four Continents Figure Skating Championships in Tallinn, Estonia, on Saturday. (REUTERS)
South Korean Olympic figure skater Kim Ye-lim set a new personal best en route to winning the bronze medal in her final competition before Beijing 2022.
Kim scored 209.91 total points at the International Skating Union Four Continents Figure Skating Championships in Tallinn, Estonia, on Saturday (local time), finishing in third place behind Mai Mihara of Japan (218.03 points) and fellow South Korean Lee Hae-in (213.52 points). Kim's previous career best had been 202.76 points set at the 2020 Four Continents.
Kim had 69.97 points from Friday's short program and then added a personal-high 143.55 points in Saturday's free skate. This was Kim's first podium finish in three tries at the Four Continents, a competition open to non-European skaters.
Kim, who turned 19 on Sunday, is one of two South Koreans headed to Beijing for the Feb. 4-20 Winter Games, alongside You Young. You, 17, handily won the Olympic trials over Kim earlier this month, but the 2020 Four Continents silver medalist stumbled to a sixth-place finish at the Four Continents with 198.56 points.
Of particular concern for You is her failure to land her bread-and-butter jump, triple axel, in either the short program or free skate in Tallinn. Short of attempting a quadruple jump, she has to execute the three-and-a-half turn jump cleanly to have any chance of winning a medal in Beijing.
She under-rotated the jump and landed on both feet in the short program. Then in the free skate, she fell on her landing and got 1.65 points in grade of execution score. Later in her free skate, she under-rotated a double axel attempt and fell on the ensuing triple toe loop attempt.
Lee, who missed out on an Olympic ticket by finishing third at the trials, shattered her previous career high by over 10 points to grab silver in her Four Continents debut at 16. (Yonhap)