S. Korean Lim Eun-soo finishes 10th at figure skating worlds


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South Korean figure skater Lim Eun-soo finished in 10th place at her first senior world championships on Friday, while competing with an injury sustained in a controversial incident involving an American rival.

Lim scored 205.57 points at the International Skating Union (ISU) World Figure Skating Championships in Saitama, Japan. Lim was fifth after Wednesday’s short program with a personal-best 72.91 points and also set a new personal high in the free skate with 132.66 points on Friday.

It was the 10th-best free skate score.

Lim Eun-soo (Yonhap)

Following the short program, Lim’s Seoul-based agency, All That Sports, claimed that U.S. skater Mariah Bell deliberately hurt Lim with her skate blade during their warmup. Lim was treated for a gash on her left calf and still went on to set the best short program score of her career.

Bell had 71.26 points in the short program and had 136.81 points in free skate to finish ninth overall at 208.07 points.

In video footage of the incident, Lim is seen skating slowly along the walls, while Bell, in full costume and about to begin her program, comes in from behind the South Korean as she practices her spin move.

As Bell makes a turn, her right leg comes in contact with Lim’s left leg. Lim raises her leg and grabs it in apparent pain, while Bell, seemingly unaware of the situation, skates away toward the center of the ice.

Bell didn’t apologize immediately. On Thursday, the U.S. delegation did so on her behalf, saying Bell never intended to hurt Lim and that Bell missed an opportunity to apologize to Lim on the ice because music started playing through the PA system.

The Korea Skating Union (KSU) said Lim accepted the apology and that she was scheduled to meet Bell after their free skate.

The ISU launched an investigation into All That Sports’ allegations and concluded that it found “no evidence” that Bell intended to injure Lim. It also urged the South Korean and U.S. teams “to find an amicable solution.”

The two skaters train under the same coach, Rafael Arutyunyan, in Los Angeles.

(Yonhap)


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