Seo Min-kyu wins Korea’s first gold since Kim Yuna at Junior Figure Skating Worlds

Seo Min-kyu performs during the free skating program at the 2024 World Junior Figure Skating Championships in Taipei, Taiwan on Saturday. [EPA/YONHAP]

Seo Min-kyu took gold at the 2024 World Junior Figure Skating Championships on Saturday, becoming the first-ever Korean male figure skater to medal and top the podium in tournament history.  
In the men’s singles, held in Taiwan, Seo scored 80.58 points in the short program on Friday and managed 150.17 in free skating on Saturday for a total score of 230.75.  
Rio Nakata of Japan claimed silver with 229.31 points, with Adam Hagara of Slovakia taking bronze with 225.61.  
“It is a bit of a shame that I made one mistake in free skating, but I completed my tasks afterward perfectly, so I was overall satisfied with my performance,” Seo said after the event. “I was able to win, and it is such happy day for me.”  
Seo, 15, is the second Korean to win gold in the tournament’s history after figure skating legend Kim Yuna in the women’s singles in 2006.  
After Kim’s gold, Korea saw a medal drought in the competition until prospect Shin Ji-a ended it with a silver in the women’s singles in 2022. She went on to secure two more silver medals in 2023 and this year.  
Since the annual tournament first began in 1976, Korea has won a total of seven medals at the competition. Russia has won the most medals, at 139, with the United States coming in second, at 130.  
Saturday’s event wrapped up the tournament schedule. Seo returns to Korea on Monday.  

BY PAIK JI-HWAN [[email protected]]

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