You Young (KOR) held her nerve in the free skate segment of the ladies’ singles event on Monday, retaining her first place from Saturday’s short programme to win the Republic of Korea’s first medal of the Lausanne 2020 Winter Youth Olympic Games.
A clean routine earned her 140.49 points for a combined score of 214. Her closest competitors, from Russia, were undone by errors in their respective routines.
Kseniia Sinitsyna (RUS) scored 128.26 points to maintain her second place from the short programme and take silver, while her compatriot Anna Frolova’s fourth place was enough for her to secure the bronze overall.
As the last to take to the ice, You said she knew all eyes were on her. “I was honestly kind of nervous before my skate,” she said at the Lausanne Skating Arena.
“But I tried to keep thinking that this is just a practice, not a competition, and I think that helped me.”
The 15-year-old opened her routine with one of the most powerful weapons in her arsenal, the triple axel. She was already the first figure skater from her nation to pull off the high-scoring jump in senior competition.
“I’m happy with my triple axel, but I didn’t have a chance to put my triple toe in the second half,” You said. “Instead of a double axel-triple toe, I just did a double axel-double toe, but I think it’s a good way to be mistake-free.
“I’m a little disappointed in that, but I’ll practise more and avoid that in future,” You said.
You had arrived in Lausanne just days after competing in the Rep. Korean national championships, where she won her fourth national title.
“I think I did pretty good here even without getting to rest. I’m happy with the result today and I’m very thankful that my fans keep watching me and cheering me on,” she said.
For someone who spent several years growing up in Singapore and was there when the city hosted the inaugural Youth Olympic Games in 2010, this seemed like a victory that had come full circle.
You now has her sights set on the big stage when Beijing hosts the 2022 Winter Olympic Games. “My plan is to land a quad in Beijing if I can, and I want to do a clean programme there,” she said.
Russia’s skaters were visibly disappointed with their showing. Frolova had two points deducted for falls, while Sinitsyna had a point docked for time violation.
“Everything was OK earlier during practice, and I thought I could do it. I don’t know why this happened. Silver is good, but I’m still a little disappointed,” Sinitsyna said.
Frolova declined to blame her disappointment on nerves. “It’s just me, I didn’t do my best. I didn’t do all the jumps I wanted to do. I’ve learnt from this experience that I want to go to the Olympic Games again, because it’s just a magical atmosphere here,” she said.