Kim, Tuktamysheva and Ando to clash in Zagreb
By Vladislav Luchianov
2010 Olympic champion Yuna Kim, the reigning Russian national champ Elizaveta Tuktamysheva and a two-time World champion Miki Ando of Japan will try to share the Croatian ice at the Golden Spin of Zagreb.
The event will be held in Croatian capital from 5 – 8 December, 2013.
There is no doubt that the media center at the Dom Sportova ice arena will experience some difficulties due to the large influx of journalists, especially from Japan and Korea.
Yuna Kim had to withdraw from this season’s Grand Prix circuit due to a foot injury. She has chosen to perform in Croatia instead to showcase her new Olympic programs and test her condition before heading to Sochi.
In addition to figure skating, the Korean skater also takes a constant and active part in various humanitarian efforts. As it became know, Yuna Kim has donated $100,000 to help typhoon relief efforts in the Philippines, officials said Thursday.
The Korean Committee for UNICEF, a U.N. organization providing aid to children in developing countries, said in a press release that Kim made the donation on Wednesday. Kim has been an international goodwill ambassador for UNICEF since 2010.
“Through the Korean Committee for UNICEF, Kim has made donations to help underprivileged and sick children at the end of each year, and this year, she informed us that she wanted to help children affected by the strong typhoon in the Philippines. Her donation will be used to supply drinking water and also to provide education for these children.” the statement said.
Yuna Kim’s head-to-head rivalry with Miki Ando includes both victories and defeats.
As for 25-year-old Japanese skater, she beat Kim to win 2007 and 2011 World championships, shifting a 23-year old Korean star to third and second place, respectively. Ando then skipped two seasons, giving rise to rumors that she was retiring.
Last spring the Japanese announced her intention of competing at the Sochi Olympics and made her comeback to the competitive sport at the 2013 Nebelhorn Trophy in Germany this autumn, where she finished second with 162.86 points. Ando secured the minimum technical scores required for Olympic qualifying.
She also earned a spot for the Japanese nationals next month by finishing in second place with 147.19 points at the Japan’s East Sectional Championships few weeks ago. According to Korean media, Ando is currently training in Italy and hopes to gain more competitive experience in Zagreb before the Japan nationals.
Elizaveta Tuktamysheva, a reigning Russian champion and European bronze medalist, who recently finished fourth at 2013 Skate America, also will try to gain more competitive experience in Croatia before the Russian national championships, where many expect a big fight among ladies for the two Olympic spots.
Thus, thanks to the above three skaters, these competitions acquire a completely different class, which makes Golden Spin different from just another B level event.