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Winter Olympian Cha Jun-hwan is hoping to book his place in the figure skating world championships. © Yonhap

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Winter Olympian Cha bids for world championship qualification

Date : 09 Jan 2019

Seoul, Korea, January 9, 2018: Two teenage South Korean figure skaters will each try to lock down world championship spots this weekend at the biggest national competition, reports Yonhap News.

Winter Olympian Cha Jun-hwan, 17, and Lim Eun-soo, 15, are favorites to win the Korea Figure Skating Championships at Mokdong Ice Rink in Seoul. Their short programmes will be on Saturday, followed by free skates on Sunday.

This will be the second and final leg of the national qualification series for the 2019 International Skating Union (ISU) World Figure Skating Championships in Saitama, Japan, in March. The first leg was the Korea Skating Union (KSU) President's Cup in December.

South Korea can send one skater each in the men's singles and the women's singles to the worlds, and the top performers from each discipline based on the combined points from the two events will represent the country.

Cha, who finished 15th at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics last year, won the first qualifying event handily with 257.01 points, almost 55 points better than the next closest skater, Lee June-hyoung.

Cha is in the midst of the best season of his burgeoning career, having captured a bronze medal at the ISU Grand Prix Final and posted a pair of third-place finishes at earlier Grand Prix stops.

Things are a bit tighter in the women's singles. Lim, in her debut senior season, won the first qualifying competition with 196.79 points. You Young, 14, finished second with 183.53 points, followed by Kim Ye-lim at 181.44.

Even if You wins the qualifying competition she would not be able to compete in the senior world championships due to her age.

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