Top Chinese figure skating pair ready to resume world stage after injury sideline

Source: Xinhua| 2019-01-10 22:31:23|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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BEIJING, Jan. 10 (Xinhua) -- China's leading pair figure skaters Sui Wenjing and Han Cong have been ready for next month's 2019 Four Continents Figure Skating Championships, though the injury-hit Olympic silver medalists just came back to competitions ten days ago.

"We are a little bit behind schedule, but nothing serious. Both Han and I are very confident to perform two wonderful programs in the upcoming Four Continents tourney," said Sui after a routine training session of the Chinese national squad in Beijing's Shougang Industry Park.

The annual event, regarded as the third important figure skating competition in the world following the Winter Olympic Games and world championships, is slated on February 4-9 this year in Anaheim, the United States.

"We may not be able to show the audience some perfect routines with high level jumps, throws or spins, but we've put so much concentration to make sure the programs to have a style of our own," she added.

Sui, 23, was diagnosed of a bone fatigue fracture in her right foot last March, not long after the Harbin native partnered with Han to finish as the pairs Olympic runners-up at PyeongChang, South Korea.

The injury had declined the pair's chance of defending their world title in Milan, Italy last year and forced them out of all the Grand Prixes in this fading season.

After ten months away from the competitive rink, Sui/Han participated in the Chinese National Championships in their hometown Harbin, North China by the end of last month, but opted to skip the free skate after being ranked on top in short program.

"We felt not-ready at that time to bring up our long program to the audience," Sui recalled the scene and explained for their withdrawal from the nationals.

It's not until earlier July, 2018 that Sui ended her in-hospital rehabilitation and came back to the national squad, and her return to regular on-ice training was even later.

"Then we spent three weeks in Canada last September to choreograph the new programs for the 2018-2019 season with Lori Nichol, did some skate-related campaign back home for public good and suffered a little setback with illness and injuries," she added.

When Sui/Han finally put all elements in places for both of their programs, there were just two weeks before the Chinese national championships.

"We skated the full versions of our short program and free skate just six times each before departing for the nationals," Sui said.

After their withdrawal from the national championships, Sui and Han, China's best hope to win a gold in next Winter Olympics on home soil, trained even harder in preparation for the Four Continents Championships in four weeks, their first international competition in ten months.

"We're looking forward to the Four Continents," said Han. "We want to state our full comeback and show the world that we're still in top class."