By Steve Keating
LONDON, Ontario, March 16 (Reuters) – South Korean Kim Yuna capped her comeback season with a magical victory at the world figure skating championships on Saturday, serving notice that the Queen is back.
Queen Yuna, as Kim is known to her legions of fans around the globe, delivered a regal performance that sent a clear warning to any skater with aspirations of replacing her as Olympic champion next year – be ready for a fight.
Competing in her first major international competition in two years, Kim skated as if she had never been away, dominating the competition to pick up a second world title with a score of 218.31.
Skating to the music from “Les Miserables”, Kim delivered a dazzling mix of artistry and athleticism that brought the capacity crowd to its feet through the final seconds of her routine, clapping and screaming with delight.
The last skater onto the ice, Kim took centre stage with the assurance of a headliner and all those before her were simply warm-up acts.
Italy’s Carolina Kostner, the world and European champion, looked ready to give Kim a battle with her sultry “Bolero” but crashed to the ice on her final jump, a triple Lutz, leaving her with a mark of 197.89 and silver.
Double world champion Mao Asada also attempted to mount a challenge but it was too little, too late for the Japanese skater after her disappointing sixth in Thursday’s short program and she had to settle for the bronze with 196.47.