June 29, 2022

South Korean figure skater Cha Jun-hwan won the men’s singles title at the International Skating Union (ISU) Four Continents Figure Skating Championships in Tallinn, Estonia, on Sunday. The event is his final one before he participates in the Beijing Winter Olympics, scoring a new personal-best score of 273.22 points.

According to reports, Cha in the free skate set the seasons best with 174.26 points. He had also won Friday’s short program with a personal-best 98.96 points. Thus making him the first South Korean man to win a Four Continents title, while this was also his first major senior international title.

During the same event, Kazuki Tomono of Japan won silver with 268.99 points, and his fellow countryman, Kao Miura came in third place at 251.07 points.

Earlier this month, the 20 year old Cha, had won the South Korean Olympic trials and will be one of two male figure skaters representing the country at the Feb. 4-20 Beijing Olympics. The other, Lee Si-hyeong at the Four Continents finished seventh with 223.18 points.

With the Olympics nearing by, the annual ISU event which is open to all non-European skaters saw Japan’s Yuzuru Hanyu, the two-time defending gold medalist, and Nathan Chen of the United States, the three-time world champion, skip the Four Continents.

Cha in his free skate overcame an early mistake to secure the gold. He fell while trying to land his opening quadruple toe loop, leading to a loss of 3.80 points in grade of execution score for under-rotating the jump.

He later went on to nail his second quad jump of the program, the quadruple salchow, and followed it up with a clean triple lutz-triple loop combination.

Cha midway through the program was called for an under-rotation of the first jump of a triple axel-double toe loop combination.

Cha in his Winter Games debut four years ago on home ice in PyeongChang had finished in 15th place.