Kim delivers stunning short program in Dortmund

Olympic champion gains 37.42 TES to meet requirements for worlds

Korea's Yu-Na Kim reminded the skating world why she was the 2010 Olympic champion.
Korea's Yu-Na Kim reminded the skating world why she was the 2010 Olympic champion. (Getty Images)


Related Content Top Headlines
By Klaus-Reinhold Kany, special to
(12/08/2012) - Reigning Olympic champion Yu-Na Kim launched her competitive comeback at the NRW Trophy in Dortmund, Germany, on Saturday with a brilliant short program.

Skating to music from The Kiss of the Vampire, Kim earned 72.27 points, including 37.42 for technical elements (TES). She had needed to post a minimum TES of 28 to qualify for entry to the 2013 World Figure Skating Championships.

All seven elements in her program were clean, including an excellent triple Lutz-triple toe loop combination, for which two judges granted grades of execution (GOEs) of +3. Her triple flip out of steps was also brilliant, and her spins and step sequence gained Level 3.

"I do not play a vampire in this program, but somebody who is bitten by a vampire," Kim said. "We chose this song because it is rarely used in skating. Today, I concentrated more on the skating and did not always play the role, but we did add some red color to my blue dress, to reflect the blood."

In terms of program components, marks ranged from around 8.7 on average up to 9.5 points.

"My main goal today was to get at least 28 technical points, which are required now to be allowed to go to worlds again; therefore, I concentrated more on the technical aspect here and not so much on expression," Kim said. "I know that I have to work more on [adding] emotion in the future, but tomorrow, in the free skate, I will have less stress."

Her biggest challenge during this competitive return was controlling her nerves.

"I tried to stay calm because if you get nervous, you sometimes make silly mistakes," she said. "As this is a small competition here, it is easier to stay calm. I got nervous only a few minutes before the competition, but I still could do my routine well and I am happy overall with my performance today. I will do a level check after the competition and see where I can improve."

With more than 50 representatives of the media in attendance at the previously rather obscure competition, Kim fielded many questions, including some about why she chose NRW for her return.

"I came to Dortmund and not to any other competition mainly because of the date of the competition," she said. "When I started hard training again this year, it took some time to build up my stamina again. December is the best time to be in good shape again for a competition, so we looked into the ISU calendar and decided to come here."

Kim is not paying much attention to results at the Grand Prix Final held at the Olympic venue in Sochi, where long-time Japanese rival Mao Asada easily won gold over U.S. champion Ashley Wagner.

"I focus now on this event [and not worlds or Olympics] because it is happening now, this season," she said. "I think I have enough stamina now to skate in any rink and to go to any competition. If I reach my goals here, I will skate at Korean nationals and worlds this season, and next season, everybody has to start again."

Sunday, Kim takes the next step in her routine. She must earn a minimum of 48 TES points in her free skate to fully qualify for 2013 worlds.

Former Russian champion Ksenia Makarova sits second with 59.55 points after a clean short, including a triple toe-triple toe combination and solo triple loop. Maé-Bérénice Méité of France also performed a triple toe-triple toe, but her triple flip was shaky; she sits third with 54.56 points.

In the battle of Sweden's Helgesson sisters, Joshi holds the advantage, placing fourth with 54.42 points. Her elder sister, Viktoria, is fifth after earning 53.28 points.