Yuna Kim stumbled out of one of three jumping passes in her competitive return from a foot injury but still posted her highest short program score since the Vancouver Olympics on Friday.
The Olympic and world champion earned a 73.37 at the Golden Spin of Zagreb in Croatia. That’s higher than any woman’s short program score during this Grand Prix season. Here’s video of the program. The free skate is Saturday.
She landed a triple-triple combination to open her “Send in the Clowns” skate in a yellow dress and added a triple flip before stepping out of her final jump, putting her hand on the ice on a double Axel.
No matter, she received a rousing standing ovation and applauded and smiled herself when the score was announced.
Japan’s Miki Ando was in second place with 62.81 with six skaters to go. Ando is the 2007 and 2011 world champion who gave birth in April.
A right foot injury had forced Kim to withdraw from two Grand Prix assignments earlier this fall. It was announced in late September that Kim, 23, would miss around six weeks.
She’s attempting to become the first woman to win back-to-back Olympic figure skating titles since Katarina Witt in 1984 and 1988.
It’s somewhat apples to oranges, but here’s Kim’s short program score compared to other Olympic medal threats from the Grand Prix Final and other competitions:
Yuna Kim (KOR) — 73.37 (Golden Spin)
Mao Asada (JPN) — 72.36 (Grand Prix Final)
Adelina Sotnikova (RUS) — 68.38 (Grand Prix Final)
Ashley Wagner (USA) — 68.14 (Grand Prix Final)
Carolina Kostner (ITA) — 67.74 (Rostelecom Cup)
Yulia Lipnitskaya (RUS) — 66.62 (Grand Prix Final)