LONDON, Ontario (Reuters) - Just two competitions into her comeback, South Korean Olympic champion Kim Yuna believes figure skating perfection is once again within her reach as she returns to the world championship stage.
Kim, who produced a flawless display and record scores to win gold at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Games, dazzled a riveted audience on Tuesday as she ran through her short program offering flashes of the artistry and athleticism that made her a global sporting sensation.
”The Vancouver Olympics was the first competition ever where I completed my short and free program without any mistakes,“ Kim told reporters following her training session. ”That in itself is a huge accomplishment.
“Delivering a clean program requires a lot of practice and I truly believe that if I do practice a lot I can deliver such perfection once again.”
Returning to the ice in a bid to defend her Olympic title next year at the Sochi Winter Games, Queen Yuna, as Kim is known to her legions of fans around the world, has displayed few signs of rust in her comeback.
After a 20-month absence, Kim made her long-awaited return to competition in December in Dortmund, Germany winning the NRW Trophy with what was then a season best score then confirmed her form in January storming to victory at the Korean national championships.
“I did think about coming back to the ice for a long time and what motivated me is skating is something I am best at,” explained Kim. “It is something I love so I wanted to give it one more try.”
The 22-year-old skater has now set her sights on adding a second world title to her glittering resume setting up a mouth-watering rematch with arch-rival Mao Asada of Japan in what promises to be one of the highlights of the championship which begins on Wednesday with the pairs’ and men’s short programmes.
World champion in 2008 and 2010, Asada saw her reign interrupted in 2009 when Kim lifted the crown then was beaten to the gold medal in Vancouver by her Korean rival.
The two skaters will go head-to-head in London for the first time since the 2011 worlds when Kim took silver and Asada slumped to sixth.
”After I decided to come back to compete I was quite nervous,“ said Kim. ”The previous the two competitions I did before the worlds I did pretty well and although I am pretty nervous I am sure I can deliver good results.
”I don’t want to be pressured as much, however, because I am human I want to do good, I want to deliver good results.
“Even in the press I still hear about the comparison between me and Mao Asada so the pressure is still there. I feel it but I try not to be pressured as much.”
Editing by Amlan Chakraborty