Shin Jia wins women’s singles silver at Junior GP Final

It wasn’t the gold medal she was hoping for, but she made Korean women’s figure history.

For the second year in a row, top figure women’s singles hopeful Shin Jia (Yongdongjoong) won silver at the International Ice Skating Union (ISU) Figure Junior Grand Prix Final.

Xin earned a combined technical score of 68.18 and artistic score of 63.49 for a total of 131.67 points in the women’s single freeskate at the 2023/24 ISU Figure Junior Grand Prix Final at the Beijing Capital Gymnasium on Monday (Aug. 8).

The day before, she had scored 69.08 points in the short program to take the lead and raise her hopes for gold. However, her freeskating scores combined to give her a total of 200.75 points and a runner-up finish. She finished just 5.58 points behind Japan’s Mao Shimada (206.33 total points), who scored 75.12 points in the free skate TES to take the silver medal.

It was Shimada’s second consecutive Junior Grand Prix Final after last year.

Shin Jia also won the silver medal at last year’s Junior Grand Prix Final in Turin, Italy. This is the second year in a row that she has won a silver medal in the Grand Prix Final, which is a junior figure competition.

It has been 18 years since a South Korean athlete won a medal at the Junior Grand Prix Final two years in a row, since Kim Yeon-ah in 2005. Kim won the silver medal behind Mao Asada (JPN) in Helsinki, Finland, in 2004, before defeating Aki Sawada (JPN) for gold in the Junior Grand Prix Final in Ostrava, Czech Republic, the following year.

Korean women’s figure did not produce a podium finisher at the Junior Grand Prix Final until last year, when Shin Jia took silver and Kim Chae-yeon bronze.

In the men’s singles, Cha Jun-hwan won a bronze medal in Marseille, France, in 2016. Korean figure also won a silver medal at last year’s Junior Grand Prix Final ice dance, with the pair of Lim Hae-na and Yeh Quan taking home the silver.

The Junior Grand Prix Final is a best-of-three competition that features only the top six competitors from the first through seventh rounds of the Junior Grand Prix series. Kim Yoo-sung (Pyeongchon Middle School – 190.48 points) and Kwon Min-sol (Mokdong Middle School – 183.06 points), who competed together, finished fourth and sixth, respectively.

The women’s singles event featured three players each from South Korea and Japan. Japan’s Rena Uezono won the bronze medal.

Shin Jia, who had led the short program the previous day, opened up a small gap to Shimada in the free skate with a difficult jump.

The short program has a three-jump rule, so both Shimada and Shinjia competed with the same three jumps: a triple flip-triple toe-loop combination jump, a double axel, and a triple lutz. The triple axel is not allowed in the junior competition short program. As a result, Shinjia took the lead over Shimada in terms of jump completion.

In the free skate, it was different. Shimada landed a tricky jump to turn the tables.

Shimada landed a triple Axel, which is one more rotation than the double Axel she landed in the short program, and she also landed a quadruple (four rotations) toe loop, which is the most difficult for a female skater, to give Shinjia a nearly seven-point lead in the TES.

Shinjia was ahead of Shimada in the PCS, but the difference in the TES ultimately changed the color of the medal.

As the sixth and final performer, Shin executed her first jump, a double axel, flawlessly, but missed a rotation on her subsequent triple loop jump, deducting 0.35 points from her performance score (GOE).

After safely executing her triple salchow, triple flip-double toe-loop-double loop combination jump, and triple rough-triple toe-loop combination jump, Shinjia was penalized 1.06 GOE points for her triple flip-double axel sequence jump for attitude (caution on edge) and lack of rotation.

Shinjia finished her routine with three spins, only one of which received the highest difficulty level of Level 4, and two of which were Level 3.

Shimada, on the other hand, started her routine with a triple axel and immediately landed a quadruple toe loop to build her confidence. The match was effectively decided here.

“It feels good to get a good result today after last year,” Shin said through her agency, All That Sports, after her silver medal, “I was very nervous before today’s free, so I tried to focus a lot on myself, and I think I was able to get a good result by focusing until the end.”

Shin will compete in junior events until the 2024/25 season due to an ISU rule that raises the age for senior competition. She will make her senior debut in 2025/26, the Olympic season.

Shin has already won the all-around title at the domestic level, which is open to both juniors and seniors, last season. She also won back-to-back titles in the senior and junior ranking tournaments last year and this year, showing that she is ready to become one of the country’s top athletes once she reaches the senior stage.


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