Yu-Na Kim, the superstar from the Republic of South Korea, continued her golden stride at Cup of Russia today, claiming her second Grand Prix title in as many weeks.
The 2007 Grand Prix Final champion claimed gold by an overwhelming 24-point plus margin over her closest rival, Yukari Nakano from Japan, echoing her domination at her first Grand Prix event, Cup of China. Canada’s Joannie Rochette moved up from fifth after the short to third and was awarded the bronze medal.
Two weeks ago Kim claimed gold in China with a 24-point differential over silver medalist, 14-year-old Caroline Zhang from the U.S. Kim scored a combined total of 180.68 points.
But Moscow, the fifth stop on the Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series, was a whole new deal. Placing first by a mere three points over Nakano in the short, Kim went for broke in the free skate earning not only a standing ovation from the predominantly Russian crowd but also an historical free skating score of 133.70 points for her performance. For the competition she scored a personal best mark of 197.20.
Kim and coach Brian Orser reacted in the kiss and cry as the marks were announced. Neither could contain their elation as the results flashed overhead.
“Some jumps felt shaky and I worried about it, but I got a new personal best and I qualified for the Grand Prix Final,” the 17-year-old said at the post-event press conference. “I got my highest score, but there are still points that I can improve and I will work harder.”
Nakano scored 172.77 points, a new personal best to take the silver. Rochette earned 119.35 points for her long program, also a new seasonal best and her combined total of 169.91 points was enough to take the bronze medal.