Kim Yu-na opens huge lead at Trophee Bompard

PARIS — World champion Kim Yu-na of South Korea skated to a medley of James Bond themes Friday and opened a massive lead in the women's short program at the Trophee Bompard.

Wearing a halter dress with gold and silver sequins, she was nearly 17 points ahead of Yukari Nakano of Japan. Kim hit perfect landings on her jumps, including a new difficult triple lutz-triple toeloop combination to begin her program.

She had 76.08 points and Nakano 59.64. Kim's main rival in Paris, 2008 world champion Mao Asada of Japan, missed her first jump and was third at 58.96.

"This was the first time I was skating my program and ultimately everything went fine," said Kim, who pumped her fists and waved to the crowd. "I was able to deliver a good performance to the audience and that's great."

Kim, who won in Paris three years ago, will perform to George Gershwin's "Piano Concerto in F Major" in Saturday's free skate.
"It will be the first time I'll try this program in competition," she said. "I'll do my best."

Dispatches from Vancouver and the 2010 Olympics

Figure skater Kim Yu-Na is so good
she can gild her lily

October 16, 2009 |  1:26 pm

Five random thoughts on another unseasonably cold mid-October day here in Chicago:


1. It took me less than three minutes to realize that Kim Yu-Na of South Korea should simply be presented the 2010 Olympic women's figure skating gold medal right now.

Kim's short program in today's Grand Prix series opener -- the Trophy Bompard in Paris -- was nothing less than brilliant. Skating to a musical medley from James Bond films -- including, appropriately, "Goldfinger," in which the villain loves only gold -- the reigning world champion was sassy, speedy and just plain scintillating.

Kim was utterly in another league from a field that included 2008 world champion Mao Asada of Japan; Caroline Zhang of the United States; Yukari Nakano of Japan (who three times has been in the top five at worlds); and two-time European champion Carolina Kostner of Italy, who sadly reprised her stumblebum free skate performance from the 2009 worlds.

The judges were as dazzled by Kim, 19, as I was, giving her a score of 76.08, second only to the record short program total of 76.12 she rolled up at the 2009 worlds. Were it not for a wobbly leg on one of her spiral positions, Kim would have been virtually perfect . As it is, she has a lead of more than 16 points over runner-up Nakano. She opened with a huge triple-triple combination. And her score would have been worth third in the men's event.

One short program does not a season make. But this one made it clear that Kim at her best will be impossible to beat, and Kim at 80% of her best still is better than anyone else. Athlete, artist -- this young woman is breathtaking on the ice. Barring injury or early retirement, she can be the greatest women's skater in history.

-- Philip Hersh

Above photo: Kim Yu-Na wins the short program in Paris.
Credit: Francois Mori /
Associated Press.

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