South Korea’s figure skating pair Min Yu-ra (L) and Alexander Gamelin perform in ice dance free dance program at the ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championship in Gangneung, Gangwon Province, on Feb. 17, 2017. (Yonhap)
GANGNEUNG, South Korea, Feb. 17 (Yonhap) — South Korea’s figure skating pair Min Yu-ra and Alexander Gamelin finished eighth in the ice dance event at an International Skating Union (ISU) competition here on Friday.
Min and Gamelin had total segment score of 85.68 points in the ice dance free dance at the ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championship in Gangneung, Gangwon Province, some 230 kilometers east of Seoul. The couple entered the free dance event as No. 8-ranked team after collecting 59.01 in the ice dance short program at Gangneung Ice Arena on Thursday.
Their combined score of 144.69 was also the eighth best among 16 ice dance teams, the same result they had last year at the Four Continents.
The ice dance title went to Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir who earned 196.95. The Canadians topped both free and short program to claim their third Four Continents title.
Virtue and Moir, the 2010 Olympic champions and the 2014 Olympic silver medalists, beat the reigning Four Continents champions Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani of the United States by 5.10 points.
Another U.S. tandem, Madison Chock and Evan Bates, took bronze at 185.58.
Min and Gamelin, who teamed up in 2015, had a technical element score of 41.40 and a program component score of 44.28 in free dance. Their combined score of 85.68 was far behind their career best score of 92.13.
Gamelin is an American citizen, but is seeking naturalization to compete at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics next year with Min.
At ISU competitions, as long as one member of a tandem is South Korean, that duo can compete under the South Korean flag. At the Olympics, however, both members of a team must be South Korean citizens to represent the country.
Another South Korean representative, Lee Ho-jung and Kam Kang-in, took 13th place with a total score of 112.42. The pair had 67.85 points in the free dance program.
In ice dance, throws and jumps are not allowed and spins must be performed together as a team. Unlike pairs figure skating, the discipline judges more the couple’s footwork and how well they move as one with a definite rhythm.
The Four Continents, open to non-European athletes, will have the men’s short program later Friday, featuring world No. 1 and reigning Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan. South Korea will be represented by Kim Jin-seo, Lee June-hyoung and Lee Si-hyeong.
The ISU competition is one of the test events for the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics. It is also the first international figure skating event held at Gangneung Ice Arena, the venue for figure skating and short track speed skating at the PyeongChang Games. Gangneung is a sub-host for the upcoming Winter Games that will stage ice sports. email@example.com