Lee Hae-in, who was spotlighted as the best prospect since Kim Yuna as a junior, but suffered an ordeal after failing to participate in the Beijing Olympics, announced a revival through the gold medal at the Four Continents Championships.
Three years later she was on her way to the Milan-Cortina Olympics.
Lee Hae-in scored 74.96 points in technical score (TES) and 66.75 points in art (PCS) in the women’s single free skating at the 2023 International Skating Union (ISU) Figure Skating Four Continents Championships held at Broadmoor World Arena in Springs, Colorado, USA on the 11th (Korean time). with a total of 141.71 points.
Having scored 69.13 points in the short program the day before, he won with 210.84 points, including the free skating score.
In particular, he placed 6th in the short program, but in the free skating, he made a stand-up electrode with a clean program without a single mistake.
Lee Hae-in, who was the silver medalist at the event held in Tallinn, Estonia last year, changed her medal color to ‘gold’ a year later, becoming the first Korean skater to reach the top in women’s singles since the 2009 Vancouver Games.
The Four Continents Championship is a competition in which athletes from Asia, America, Africa and Oceania, excluding Europe, participate. For Korean players, it is recognized as the second most prestigious event after the World Championships.
Lee Hae-in, who performed a miraculous drama, said, “It is a very happy and valuable medal because I quickly forgot my regrets in the short program and showed everything I can do in the free skating.”
Her up-and-comer, who seemed to be forgotten for a while in the memory of her figure skating fans, proved her worth with her splendor.
Lee Hae-in, who was born in 2005 and is entering her third year of high school this year, won gold medals at both ISU Junior Grand Prix events in the 2019/20 season, quickly emerging as one of the leading candidates for ‘Post Yuna Kim’. She is because only Kim Yuna in the 2005/06 season was the only Korean female figure skater to have won both Junior Grand Prix competitions in one season. 안전놀이터
However, after that, Lee Hae-in was pushed by her older sisters such as Yoo Young and Kim Ye-rim, and in the early stages of her senior stage, she had a hard time.
In particular, in the 2021/22 season, it was only 6th in the domestic rankings and stayed in 3rd in the overall championship, missing only two Olympic tickets.
Fortunately, Lee Hae-in, who was relieved of his disappointment by finishing second after Mai Mihara (Japan) at the Four Continents Championships in the same season, gradually improved his condition as he competed in this season’s competitions, and took fourth place in the Senior Grand Prix twice in a row, and then won the Four Continents Championships. He had an ‘accident’ to climb to the top of the podium with a come-from-behind drama.
Lee Hae-in is evaluated as a skater similar to Kim Yu-na in her playing days. I haven’t tried the triple axel (3 and a half rotations) or 4 rotation jumps in actual combat yet, but I have solid basic skills, such as accurately making use of 5 three rotation jumps and almost winning level 4 in spin and step.
Her expressiveness is also excellent, so her art score (PCS) is also on the side of consistently maintaining a high score.
Lee Hae-in, who regained confidence through her Four Continent Championships, is now aiming for the World Championships to be held in Saitama, Japan on the 20th and 26th of next month.
Since all of the winners at the previous European Championships did not exceed 200 points, Lee Hae-in is expected to be able to compete well with Japanese players such as Kaori Sakamoto, Mihara, and Rinka Watanabe if she shows her skills well.
It is also possible to challenge for a world championship medal, which has never been achieved by Korean figure skaters since Kim won her 2013 gold medal.