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Ice dance team earns spot for S. Korea at PyeongChang 2018

2017/09/30 19:33

SEOUL, Sept. 30 (Yonhap) -- The South Korean ice dance tandem of Min Yu-ra and Alexander Gamelin secured a spot Saturday for the host country at next year's Winter Olympics.

The duo scored 87.86 points in free dance for a total of 143.80 points, putting them fourth out of 18 teams at the Nebelhorn Trophy in Oberstdorf, Germany. This was the last Olympic qualifying competition, and the top six teams from countries not already qualified each earned a spot at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics.

Gamelin, a U.S. native, was granted South Korean citizenship in July. He and Min have been skating together since 2015.

Five berths were initially at stake, but an extra spot opened up after Denmark relinquished its ticket because Canadian-born Laurence Fournier Beaudry was unable to obtain Danish citizenship to represent Denmark with partner Nikolaj Sorensen.

There was no team from Denmark competing at the Nebelhorn Trophy. Canada and the United States, two of the countries that had already secured PyeongChang spots, each sent a team to Germany.

But both the Canadian and the U.S. teams were well out of contention, as Penny Coomes and Nicholas Buckland of Britain won the competition with 177.13 points overall, followed by Kana Muramoto and Chris Reed of Japan with 159.30 points.

Also securing tickets to PyeongChang were Germany, the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

Earlier at the Nebelhorn Trophy, Lee June-hyoung locked down a spot for South Korea in the men's singles, but the duo of Kim Su-yeon and Kim Hyung-tae failed to do the same in the pairs.

In the ladies' singles, South Korea secured two spots at the Olympics when Choi Da-bin placed 10th at the world championships earlier this year.

In this Associated Press photo taken Sept. 28, 2017, South Korean ice dancers Min Yu-ra (L) and Alexander Gamelin perform their short dance routine at the Nebelhorn Trophy in Oberstdorf, Germany. (Yonhap) In this Associated Press photo taken Sept. 28, 2017, South Korean ice dancers Min Yu-ra (L) and Alexander Gamelin perform their short dance routine at the Nebelhorn Trophy in Oberstdorf, Germany. (Yonhap)

jeeho@yna.co.kr

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