On Tuesday at the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, South Korean figure skater Cha Jun-hwan set a new personal best score in the men’s singles short programme, placing him in fourth place overall.
Cha Jun-Hwan 2022 Winter Olympics
Cha Jun-Hwan earned a perfect score of 99.51 points at Capital Indoor Stadium, putting him in contention for a historic medal. In terms of Olympic figure skating, no male from South Korea has ever medaled. In 2010, Kim Yu-na won the women’s singles event and went on to win gold.
Each of the top three skaters scored over 100 points, with American Nathan Chen taking first place with a score of 113.97. Yuma Kagiyama (108.12) and Shoma Uno (108.12), both of Japan, followed him (105.90).
Thursday will be the Day of the Free Skate.
Cha Jun-Hwan had already set a new record with 98.96 points at the ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships in late January, where he won the men’s solo gold.
Cha Jun-Hwan began his routine with a clean quadruple salchow to the music of Eternal Eclipse and Flynn Hase Spence and Bianca Ban’s “Cloak and Dagger.” After that, he landed a triple lutz followed by a triple loop. His other aspects, including his flying camel spin, change foot sit spin, step sequence, and change foot combination spin, all scored a perfect Level 4. Along the way, he threw in a few triple axels, all of which he executed with precision.
Two-time Olympic champion and current eighth-place finisher Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan received 95.15 points, more than four points behind Cha Jun-Hwan.
Cha Jun-Hwan made his Olympic debut four years ago, and he skated to a 15th-place finish, the best performance ever by a male skater from South Korea. His potential to reach the top 10 is evident.
The other South Korean skater competing on Tuesday, Lee Si-hyeong, placed 27th overall with 65.69 points and did not advance to the free skate. Out of the 29 skaters, only the top 24 will get to perform their long programme.
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