Figure skater Cha Jun-hwan heads to 2nd consecutive Olympics after winning tryouts

South Korean figure skater Cha Jun-hwan performs his men’s singles free skate during the second stop of the Beijing Olympic Winter Trials at the Uijeongbu Indoor Rink in Uijeongbu, some 20 kilometers north of Seoul, on Sunday. (Yonhap)

Figure skater Cha Jun-hwan is tied for his second consecutive Winter Olympics after winning the final national team trials on Sunday.

Cha won the second leg of the two-stop Olympic Trials hands down from Beijing to Uijeongbu, some 20 kilometers north of Seoul in Gyeonggi Province. Cha finished with 283.31 points overall, with 185.00 points in Sunday’s free skate and 98.31 points in Saturday’s short program.

Cha also won the first leg of the Trials in December with 239.16 points. He had 522.47 points combined.

Lee Si-hyeong finished second overall to win the second and final ticket to Beijing. Lee scored 477.85 points combined after the two practice rounds.

Cha, 20, is only the third South Korean figure skater in singles to compete at the back-to-back Olympic Winter Games. At the PyeongChang Winter Olympics four years ago, Cha finished in 15th place, the best Olympic figure skating performance ever by a Korean.

Cha, a former child actor, isn’t considered a medal contender in Beijing, but he can realistically push for a top 10.

Cha placed 10th career best at the world championships last year with 245.99 points. His career high is 265.43 points, set at the 2020 Four Continents Figure Skating Championships in Seoul. (Yonhap)

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