The International Skating Union (ISU) Figure Skating Four Continents Championships is a competition venue where athletes from four regions of Asia, America, Oceania, and Africa compete. Along with the European Championship, this tournament, which has become a representative intercontinental competition, has a lot of ties with Korean players.
The European Championships, which lacked Russian figures, a powerhouse in figure skating, lost their competitiveness this year. In particular, the level of female singles has been lowered. Anastasia Gubanova (20, Georgia), who won the women’s singles in this year’s competition, rose to the top with a total score of 199.91, less than 200 points.
In comparison, the competition at the Four Continents Championships was fierce. Although Kaori Sakamoto (23, 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics bronze medalist) and Mai Mihara (24, 2022 ISU Grand Prix Final winner), the ‘one-two punch’ of Japanese women’s figure skating, are missing, the participation of the host nation’s first runners in the women’s singles is a testament to the competition’s women’s singles competitiveness. raised it.
If the American players with the home advantage did not make a big mistake, the Korean players were predicted to be difficult to win. However, Isabo Levito (16, USA), who was evaluated as a strong candidate for the championship, withdrew due to poor physical condition ahead of the free skating. Something completely unexpected happened, and another medal candidate, Amber Glenn (23, USA), collapsed after a series of mistakes.
Korean players did not miss this opportunity. ‘Figure Skating General’ Kim Ye-rim (20, Dankook University), who ranked first in the short program, seemed to be flowing in the mood to win the crown on four continents. However, Kim Ye-rim faltered in the second half of the program and failed to play without mistakes.
The heroine of the day was Lee Hae-in (18, Sehwa Girls’ High School) who flew high in the highlands of Colorado Springs where the competition was held.
A girl who doesn’t give up, a
young athlete who finally climbed to the top of the senior major competition and finished third at the 2019 National Men’s and Women’s Figure Skating Championships, sat in the interview room with bright eyes. Lee Hae-in, who was only 14 at the time, broke the troika system of Yoo Young (19, Suri High School), Lim Eun-soo (20, Korea University), and Kim Ye-rim, which had been going on for a while, and took 3rd place in the overall championship. 안전놀이터
At that time, Lee Hae-in said that she not only jumped all of the triple pentathlon jumps (toe loop, salchow, loop, flip, lutz), but also had solid non-jump elements. In the 2019-2020 season, he proved his potential in earnest.
He won both ISU Junior Grand Prix events in 2019 (3rd in Latvia and 6th in Croatia). She left her name as the first player since Kim Yuna to win two consecutive ISU Junior Grand Prix championships. In addition, she vomited the spirit of advancing to the Junior Grand Prix Final for the third time after Kim Yu-na and Kim Ye-rim.
The following season, Lee Hae-in made his senior debut in earnest. And his most important qualifying round for the Beijing 2022 Olympics also took place this season. Lee Hae-in once again competed with Yoo-young and Kim Ye-rim for the Olympic berth, which took just two tickets. However, Yoo Young, who played an active role as a representative of domestic female figure skating with a triple axel, and Kim Ye-rim, who was armed with a solid mentality, could not overcome the wall.
The loss of not being able to compete in the Olympics at the age of 17, which can be said to be in the prime of female athletes, must not have been light. However, Lee Hae-in won a silver medal at the ISU Four Continents Championships held after the second round of the Olympics (2022 Overall Championships). She has to wait four years to compete in the next Olympics, but her persistence has turned into sweet fruit.
However, Lee Hae-in this season had to be satisfied with 4th place in both Grand Prix events. He practiced her triple axel in her spare time to improve her international competitiveness. He had a good success rate in practice, but was unreasonable to place in the program. We also had to pay attention to the perfection of other technologies and components.
Lee Hae-in carefully replied, “The triple axel success rate was good, but you need to pay attention to other factors as well.
Early this season, Lee Hae-in changed his jump composition and struggled to find the most suitable technical composition. After completing the Grand Prix competition, he completed a technical composition that suited him and spread the wings of resurrection. He took 3rd place both in the national ranking match held in December of last year and in the overall championship last month.
The pressure of domestic competitions was as great as that of international competitions. This is because the young juniors have grown terribly this season. Lee Hae-in, who was in a position to be challenged by young players, gained confidence by doing well in domestic competitions.
The ‘program clean’ that had been missed throughout the season was finally achieved at the Four Continents Championships. And the result was a gold medal.
In the free skating at the Four Continents Championships, Lee Hae-in received a clean protocol for the first time in a long time. Lee Hae-in, who finished the Grand Prix this season, chose the double axel + triple toe loop combination jump as her first jump in free skating. He regained stability with this technique instead of the triple axel and received 8.64 points, a combination of a basic score of 7.5 and an execution score of 1.14 in this free skating.
In the subsequent triple lutz + triple toe loop combination jump, I scored 11.45 points, a combination of 10.1 points for the basic score and 1.35 points for the execution score. The triple loop, triple salchow, triple lutz, double toe loop, double loop, triple flip, and double axel in the second half also ran cleanly. There were many times when he was shaken due to the lack of jump rotation this season, but he perfected his jumps in this competition.
One of Lee Haein’s strengths is his step sequence. His solid steps and stroking laid the foundation for him to become an ‘all-rounder’. Lee Hae-in did not miss the highest level of level 4 in all three spin elements (flying camel spin, flying change foot combination spin, and change foot combination spin) as well as the step sequence.
Among the top-ranked skaters in the women’s single free skating, Lee Hae-in is the only one to perform quarter landing (denoted by q: when the number of jump rotations is less than 90 degrees) and underrotated (when the number of jump rotations is less than 90 degrees and less than 180 degrees). there wasn’t Here, ‘All Level 4’ is filled with non-jumping elements.
Figure skating competitions are referred to as ‘clean competitions’. In particular, the women’s singles at the Four Continents Championships had absolutely no strong players, so program clean was even more important. Lee Hae-in, who had never won a senior major tournament before, finally won the most spectacular ‘golden’ medal around his neck.
The next goal is the World Championships… Lee Hae-in, who won the first medal challenge
at the Four Continents Championships, will compete at the World Championships next month in Saitama, Japan. In the first competition I participated in 2021, I ranked 10th, and last year I ranked 7th. In this competition, his third challenge, Lee Hae-in will not only reach the top ranks but also challenge for a medal.
For the World Championship, both Sakamoto and Mihara compete. Also, there is a possibility that Levito, who withdrew from this tournament, will come out with a firm mindset after having a hard time.
Lee Hae-in received the season’s highest score of 210.84 at the Four Continents Championships. If he beats his personal best score of 213.52 at the World Championships (2022 Four Continents Championships), he could look beyond expectations.
Also of interest is whether the next season will add a new weapon called the triple axel. Of course, it’s not easy to complete a high-level jump and put it into a program. This is because when a particular skill is shaken, other skills are affected as well. For this reason, there are times when you can’t come out quickly.
At the Four Continents Championships, it was Rinka Watanabe, Hana Yoshida (Japan) and Amber Glenn (USA) who attempted the triple axel. Both Yoshida and Glen failed to land a triple axel in the free skate, and Watanabe finished fifth due to a mistake in the short program.
In the absence of Russian athletes, very few women compete internationally with a quadruple jump or triple axel. Among the top 10 women’s single season highscorers this season, only ‘Junior’s strongest’ Mao Shimada (Japan) has a high difficulty jump success rate.
Both Sakamoto and Mihara, the ‘top two’ of Japanese senior women’s singles, swept international competitions with a technical composition that maximized their strengths and stable performance. Levito, who is highly anticipated in American figure skating, is the same case. They demonstrated the importance of strategic skill composition to get the best marks.
Ahead of the World Championships, Lee Hae-in has emerged as the key to utilizing her strengths and improving her current technology.