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Japan TV called out for secretly filming figure skater Kim Yu-na

All Headlines 10:24 December 28, 2010

SEOUL, Dec. 28 (Yonhap) -- The Seoul-based agency for figure skater Kim Yu-na said on Tuesday it has lodged a complaint with a Japanese television station for airing hidden camera footage of the skater's practice in Los Angeles.

On Sunday, Nippon TV aired some secretly filmed shots of Kim, the Vancouver Winter Olympics gold medalist, in training at East West Ice Palace in Los Angeles. She was seen doing her strengthening exercises and later dining at a restaurant.

Practice sessions for figure skaters are usually held behind the closed doors to prevent their programs and choreography from leaking to the public ahead of competition. Kim has not skated competitively since finishing second at the world championships in March and only announced her music for her short and free skating programs a month ago.

An official at All That Sports, Kim's agency, said the management company registered "a strong complaint" with Nippon TV and added, "We told them that we would take necessary measures if something similar happens again in the future."

"We believe the footage was shot around Dec. 20 and fortunately, there was nothing on the new programs," the official said.

Kim, who made ice show appearances over the summer, will return to competitive skating at the 2011 world championships in Tokyo in March. Her short program will be performed to a theme from the classic ballet "Giselle," and her free skating music will be a compilation of traditional Korean music called "Homage to Korea."

Nippon TV aired Kim's footage on the same day that Mao Asada, a star skater from Japan, qualified for the world championships by finishing second at the Japanese national championship, thus setting up a showdown with Kim in March.

Asada had struggled all season and failed to qualify for the International Skating Union (ISU) Grand Prix Final. She needed to finish among the top three to have a chance to defend her world crown.

This will be the fifth meeting between Kim and Asada at the world championships. Asada won titles in 2008 and 2010, sandwiching Kim's lone championship in 2009. Asada was a distant second to Kim in Vancouver, where the South Korean set the all-time high score of 228.56 points under the revamped judging scale.

While she gets ready to come back, Kim added another year-end honor to her resume Tuesday.

Kim was voted the United States Sports Academy's female athlete of the year in an online ballot cast on Web sites of NBC Sports and USA Today. She beat out two tennis stars, Kim Clijsters and Serena Williams, for the honors.

The sports academy didn't reveal the final tally but said Kim "dominated" the voting.

jeeho@yna.co.kr
(END)

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