Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Kim Prepared for New Season

Two-time defending Grand Prix Final champion Kim Yu-na will begin her title defense this weekend.

``I am always nervous prior to a competition, but I want to show my new program, which I have trained for much harder than last season,'' the 18-year-old figure skater said Tuesday through her agency, IB Sports.

She will compete at Skate America, scheduled from Thursday to Sunday in Everett, Wash. It is the first senior Grand Prix contest in the International Skating Union (ISU)'s six-event series. The top six skaters in the series will advance to the final, which will take place in Goyang, Gyeonggi Province, in December.

``Although I am not equipped with a new skill for this season, I am ready to provide my evolved performance,'' said Kim, who has trained in Toronto and will fly to Everett on Wednesday.

The opening ice competition will also feature many of the South Korean's rivals.

Former world champion Miki Ando of Japan, world junior champion Rachael Flatt of the United States and American Mirai Nagasu, who topped this year's U.S. National Championship and the 2007 Junior Grand Prix Final, will compete in Skate America.

Kim, who is coming off a hip injury that plagued her last season, has set her eye on a perfect jump.

Her Canadian coach Brian Orser said Kim is well-prepared for this season and should produce good results.

He also said her biggest task could by handling the high expectations of fans.

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