Social media star You takes lead in ladies’ figure skating

LAUSANNE, Jan 11 – Showing poise and precision, You Young (KOR) performed an inspiring short programme to lead the ladies’ singles figure skating after the first of two segments of competition at the Lausanne 2020 Winter Youth Olympic Games.

You scored 73.51 points, with Russian duo Kseniia Sinitsyna and Anna Frolova ranked second and third respectively in the 16-strong field.

In front of a packed house at the Lausanne Skating Arena, You impressed with her technical skill and strength as she showed why she is touted as one of the sport’s future champions.

In fact, the only slight blemish on You’s night occurred after her programme when she slipped and fell on the ice while receiving the warm applause of the crowd.

“I was just bowing and I took a bad step and fell,” You said. “I was embarrassed and my coach was laughing. It was funny.

“There were a lot of people here. I wasn’t expecting that. There are more [people in the crowd] than I have ever skated before in a competition.”

Young You showed why she is tipped for the top
You Young showed why she is tipped for the top | Joe Toth for OISphotos.com

Aged 15, You is already a social media star with more than 50,000 Instagram followers. She enjoys having so many supporters. “It makes me work harder,” she said. “I sometimes look at [social media] when I am tired or sad and it can make me happy.”

Kawabe Mana (JPN) is in fourth place. Like You, she enjoyed the experience of skating in front of the big crowd, which included several fans waving Japanese flags.

“I thought I could almost be at home because there are so many people here supporting me,” Kawabe said.

In ice dance, the Russian duos of Irina Khavronina/Dario Cirisano and Sofya Tyutyunina/Alexander Shustitskiy are one-two respectively in the rankings after the rhythm dance.

Irina Khavronina and Dario Cirisano | Joe Toth for OISphotos.com

Both sets of skaters usually spend time together only at competitions. “We are all in Moscow but we are on one side, they are on the other side. Moscow is a big city,” Tyutyunina said.

Popular Japanese pair Yoshida Utana and Nishiyama Shingo had a disappointing day and are sixth.

Gold medals in both events will be decided on Monday, when the ice dance free dance and women's singles free skating take place.

OIS tc/pp/sg

By Olympic Information Service

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