Shin Ji-a Targets Gold After Third Consecutive Silver at World Junior ChampionshipsSeo Min-kyu Makes History as First South Korean Man to Win World Junior Figure Skating TitleKia Reports Decline in February Sales Due to Shorter Month and EV Subsidy Delays

SEOUL - Shin Ji-a, the 15-year-old figure skating prodigy from South Korea, has secured her third consecutive silver medal at the under-19 World Junior Figure Skating Championships in Taipei, showcasing her talent on the international stage yet again. Despite her consistent performance, Shin believes she has the potential to achieve even greater heights.

According to Yonhap News Agency, who set new personal bests in both the short program and the free skate, there remains room for improvement and a stronger desire to clinch the top spot in future competitions.

Shin's overall score of 212.43 points at the championships placed her just behind Mao Shimada of Japan, the gold medalist, by 5.93 points. This rivalry has seen Shimada edge out Shin for the gold in previous encounters, including the 2023 world juniors. However, Shin's victory in the short program at this year's championships fuels her optimism for surpassing her current achievements.

Throughout the season, Shin has demonstrated her prowess by medaling in every competition she entered, which includes winning two gold medals during the International Skating Union Junior Grand Prix season. Her performances have been characterized by confidence and a commitment to excellence, attributes that have served her well on the ice.

The challenge Shin faces against Shimada is significant, particularly in the free skate segment, where Shimada's program includes a quadruple toe loop—a jump Shin currently does not attempt. The inclusion of such a jump could potentially elevate Shin's scores but also increases the risk of injury, a factor she and her coaches will consider carefully in planning her future training regimen.

Shin's latest performance, particularly in the high-pressure environment of skating last in the free skate with a gold medal at stake, underscores her mental toughness and technical skill. Despite not feeling additional pressure, Shin acknowledges the importance of maintaining focus under such circumstances and is pleased with her performance and the resulting score.

Looking ahead, Shin remains optimistic about her prospects, driven by a belief in her ability to eventually outperform her rivals. With more opportunities on the horizon, Shin is determined to capitalize on them with the goal of securing a gold medal, marking her ascent to the pinnacle of junior figure skating.

TAIPEI — In a remarkable debut at the World Junior Figure Skating Championships in Taipei, South Korean teen Seo Min-kyu clinched the men's singles title, becoming the first South Korean man to earn a medal at the world juniors. This victory marks a significant milestone, as Seo is the first South Korean skater, male or female, to win a world junior title since Kim Yu-na's triumph in 2006.

According to Yonhap News Agency, who spoke to reporters upon his return to Incheon International Airport, the achievement is a source of pride, yet he remains grounded. "I am not going to be complacent just because I've won this medal," he stated, emphasizing his commitment to hard work and foundational skills as the key to future successes.

Seo secured his gold medal with a total score of 230.75 points, narrowly outscoring Japan's Rio Nakata by 1.44 points. Despite leading with the highest short program score and finishing second in the free skate, Seo acknowledged the pressure and imperfections of his performance, particularly an under-rotated triple axel, which he aims to refine.

Looking ahead, Seo's focus is on enhancing his technical skills, including mastering a quadruple jump, a goal he sets for the offseason. Inspired by Kim Yu-na and following in the footsteps of Cha Jun-hwan, Seo's victory signals a promising future for South Korean men's figure skating.

Seo's training approach is unconventional, opting to stay in Daegu rather than training in Seoul or abroad, a choice he believes underscores the importance of dedication over location. His historic win not only places him as a notable figure in South Korean sports but also challenges the narrative around the training environments for figure skaters in the country.

SEOUL — Kia Corp., the second-largest car manufacturer in South Korea, announced a 4.6 percent decrease in its vehicle sales for February, attributing the downturn to fewer working days during the month and delays in the government's electric vehicle (EV) subsidy scheme.

According to Yonhap News Agency, Kia sold 242,656 vehicles in February, falling from 254,405 units in the same month last year. The decline was observed both in domestic sales, which dropped 12 percent to 44,008 units, and in exports, which decreased by 2.8 percent to 198,348 units. The reduction in working days due to the Lunar New Year holiday and a comparison with last year's substantial 26.9 percent increase in domestic sales contributed to the overall sales dip. The delay in the announcement of EV subsidies also impacted sales figures negatively. Despite these challenges, Kia's Sorento SUV emerged as the top-selling model in South Korea, with 8,671 units sold, while the Sportage SUV led international sales with 40,652 units.

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