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Host S. Korea to have one skier at Olympic test event

All News 15:49 January 29, 2016

SEOUL, Jan. 29 (Yonhap) -- Host South Korea will have one of its own after all at an upcoming Olympic skiing test event.

The Korea Ski Association said Friday that Kim Hyeon-tae will be the lone South Korean at the Feb. 6-7 International Ski Federation (FIS) Alpine Skiing World Cup at Jeongseon Alpine Centre in Jeongseon, Gangwon Province. The venue will host alpine skiing during the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics, and the FIS World Cup is its first official competition since its opening last week.

Only the downhill and Super-G races will be held at Jeongseon. Kim, 25, has only done slalom and giant slalom this season, and hasn't entered a Super-G race since January 2015.

He won a slalom race at the Far East Cup -- a lower-tier competition than the World Cup -- in China last month.

Through the association, Kim said he hadn't considered entering the Jeongseon World Cup because he wanted to concentrate on slalom and giant slalom.

Yet when he performed better than expected in Super-G practice runs at Jeongseon this week, he had a change of heart.

"I gained confidence from my practice," he said. "I wanted to have a good learning experience at this event and post a good time."

So far, 55 skiers from 14 countries have registered to compete at Jeongseon, with 10 more skiers from four nations expected to join them.

The upcoming World Cup is the first of 28 test events in Olympic and Paralympic sports to be held in and around PyeongChang. The schedule includes five world championships.

jeeho@yna.co.kr
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