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[BEIJING OLYMPICS] Cha Jun-hwan finishes 5th in men's singles figure skating

By Yonhap

Published : Feb. 10, 2022 - 15:11

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Cha Jun-hwan of South Korea performs his free skate in the men's singles figure skating competition at the Beijing Winter Olympics at Capital Indoor Stadium in Beijing on Thursday. (Yonhap) Cha Jun-hwan of South Korea performs his free skate in the men's singles figure skating competition at the Beijing Winter Olympics at Capital Indoor Stadium in Beijing on Thursday. (Yonhap)

With a performance equally mesmerizing and frustrating, Cha Jun-hwan made a piece of South Korean figure skating history in Beijing on Thursday.

Cha finished fifth in the men's singles figure skating competition at Beijing 2022 with a total score of a new personal-best 282.38 points. He earned 182.87 points in the free skate, also a new career high, despite a couple of mistakes with jumps.

This is the best Olympic performance by a South Korean male figure skater. Cha himself had held the previous mark by finishing 15th at PyeongChang 2018. Only Kim Yu-na, the 2010 women's singles champion and 2014 silver medalist, has been better for South Korea in Olympic figure skating.

Cha had set a new personal best in the short program with 99.51 points, good enough for fourth place coming into the free skate.

All three skaters above him had scored over 100 points in the short program. And they all attempted more quadruple jumps in the free skate than Cha's two.

Skating to "Turandot" by Giacomo Puccini, Cha failed to land his opening quadruple toe loop. He took a massive spill upon landing after a shaky takeoff.

He executed the quadruple salchow cleanly. But later in the program, Cha missed the middle element of his triple lutz-single euler-triple salchow combination.

Cha had three skaters left when his competition was done and they all finished ahead of him.

Nathan Chen of the United States won gold with 332.60 points, followed by Yuma Kagiyama of Japan with 310.05 points and Shoma Uno of Japan with 293.00 points.

Cha ranked just behind Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan, who had 283.21 points. The two-time defending gold medalist botched the landing of his opening quadruple axel en route to a fourth-place finish.

Cha had outperformed Hanyu in the short program by more than four points, but the Japanese had nearly six more points in the free skate than the South Korean. (Yonhap)