Figure skater Choi Da-bin wins women’s short program

Figure skater Choi Da-bin won the women’s short program at the Asian Winter Games here Thursday.

Choi scored 61.30 points to lead the pack of 24 skaters at Makomanai Indoor Skating Rink. Rika Hongo of Japan was in second place with 60.98 points, followed by Zhao Ziquan of China at 58.90 points.

The free skate is set for Saturday.

Choi Da-bin (Yonhap)

Choi was a last-minute injury replacement for Park So-youn, who withdrew with an ankle injury. The 17-year-old is fresh off a fifth-place finish at the International Skating Union (ISU) Four Continents Figure Skating Championships in South Korea last week, with the personal best scores in each of short program (61.62), free skate (116.92) and total points (182.41).

Choi nailed her first jumping element, triple lutz-triple toe loop combination, and then earned full Level 4 with her combination spin.

She also scored Level 4 with her flying camel spin, before executing a clean triple flip and double axel. She closed out her program with a solid step sequence and layback spin.

One other South Korean, Kim Na-hyun, stumbled her way to 40.80 points, ranking 13th among 24 skaters.

Kim withdrew from the Four Continents after the short program with an ankle injury and wasn’t close to 100 percent here.

Earlier Thursday, Lee Ho-jung and Kam Kang-jin ranked fourth among seven teams in short dance in the ice dance competition. The South Koreans scored 51.56 points, with Wang Shiyue and Liu Xinyu of China leading the way at 66.02 points.

Their free dance is Friday.