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(Olympics) S. Korean figure skating star Cha Jun-hwan gaining confidence

All Headlines 11:52 February 13, 2018

By Kim Boram

GANGNEUNG, South Korea, Feb. 13 (Yonhap) -- South Korean figure skating star Cha Jun-hwan said Tuesday he is gaining balance in skating and getting more confident in competing at his first Olympics in PyeongChang.

"I'm still on the way to recovering from the flu. Still, there is a long way to go," the 16-year old said after a 40-minute training session at the main rink of the Gangneung Ice Arena. "But I'm getting better and better. I'm working very hard."

In the team event last week, Cha performed a clean program to finish sixth out of 10 skaters with a season best of 77.70 points. It was his second senior international competition and first Olympic performance.

The PyeongChang Olympics' individual men's singles figure skating event is scheduled on Friday.

"After the team event, I think I'm nearly in form. Much better than the team event," he said. "I'm now gaining confidence and trying to get familiar with Olympic ice."

For weeks, he has been struggling with a cold and off the ice since he won the national championships last month.

"Due to the cold, I lost some balance and rhythm in jumps. I've been talking with my coach about retaining such rhythm and tempo," Cha said. "In order to keep the stability in my program, our team talked a lot and checked over and over."

His Canadian coach Brian Oser earlier said his teenage student will jump only one quadruple in free skating given his condition.

"I've worked very hard to land quad jumps. But I think I was too motivated," the teenage skater, who had suffered a foot injury and boot problems, said. "At the Olympics, I will not overdo it. I'll take it step by step."

South Korea's figure skating star Cha Jun-hwan skates in a practice session at the Gangneung Ice Arena on Feb. 13, 2018. (Yonhap)


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