Teen figure skater looking to add quad jump to new program
INCHEON, March 20 (Yonhap) -- South Korean teenage figure skater Cha Jun-hwan said Monday he'll add a quadruple jump to his new program next season.
Cha, 15, completed his junior career last week at the International Skating Union (ISU) World Junior Figure Skating Championships in Taipei City, Chinese Taipei. He finished fifth overall with 242.24 points, a new personal best.
Cha, who will turn 16 in October, will skate on the senior circuit starting in the 2017-2018 season. After arriving home from Chinese Taipei, Cha said he will have to be more technically accomplished, with the Winter Olympics in South Korea's PyeongChang around the corner.
"I'll have to do more quadruple jumps, but the top priority is to get ready for the season without injuries," Cha told reporters at Incheon International Airport. "In addition to jumps, I'll also have to polish up my spins and other elements."
South Korean figure skater Cha Jun-hwan speaks to reporters at Incheon International Airport on March 20, 2017, after returning from the International Skating Union World Junior Figure Skating Championships in Chinese Taipei. (Yonhap)
The ISU doesn't permit quad jumps for juniors in short programs, and Cha included two quadruple salchows in his free skate this past season.
Technical wizardry is the name of the game in the men's senior figure skating today with the sensational emergence of American teen Nathan Chen, who landed five quads in the free program to win the 2017 U.S. national championship.
Cha said he and his Canadian coach, Brian Orser, will take their time over the offseason to put together a new routine.
"We haven't decided which jump to include in the new program," Cha said. "I've been working on a quad jump other than a quadruple salchow."
Though Cha set a new career-high in points at the junior worlds, the total could have been better had he now fallen on a quad salchow attempt in the free skate.
"I think I skated well except for that mistake," he said. "(Orser told me) to look around the stands and connect with the audience, and not just get caught up in my performance. I'll keep that in mind during my offseason training."