March 13 - Kim Yu-Na has admitted she is finding herself becoming "greedy" for the 2013 International Skating Union (ISU) world title as the South Korean figure skater gears up for her event at the World Championships in London, Ontario.
The 22-year-old Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic ladies' singles champion (pictured top) finished second at her last Figure Skating World Championships in Moscow two years ago and this time is really piling the pressure on herself to top the podium in Canada.
"I am human after all, and I want to do well and win as much as anyone," she said after a practice session before the event.
"I feel the pressure to live up to people's expectations, and I am trying not to burden myself too much."
Kim, who set world records with 78.50 points in the short programme, 150.06 points in free skating and 228.56 points in the total score, sat out the entire 2011-2012 season following Moscow and only returned to competition in December last year, sparked by her enthusiasm for success at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics.
She won the two events she has entered since her return, taking the NRW Trophy in Germany, which she claimed with 201.61 points – the highest score by a female skater this year - before securing victory at the South Korean National Championship.
"I used to worry about myself because I'd missed competition for nearly two years, but I regained my confidence after those two events," Kim said.
"I think I can skate with confidence here, too."
Despite her two-year hiatus, Kim enters the World Championships as one of the favourites.
Her main challenger will be Japan's Mao Asada, who claimed the Four Continents Figure Skating Championships last month with 205.45 points.
Asada already has two world titles to her name, but Kim was keen not to highlight her rivalry with the Japanese skater, saying that she will instead focus on her own performance rather than thinking too much about the public's expectations of their clash.
Asada's execution of the triple axel, which requires three and a half rotations with a forward jump, is perhaps the biggest threat to Kim.
The athlete, who came second to Kim at Vancouver 2010 to win silver, is the only female skater who attempts the high-risk yet high-reward move, which is considered the most challenging jump for women, in competition, while Kim has built her performances on comparatively less risky elements, playing more on her artistry and choreography.
When asked if she could relive the historic victory she secured at Vancouver 2010 to claim the world title, Kim said it is not out of the question.
"The Vancouver Olympics was my first competition where I completed both my short programme and free skating without a mistake," she said.
"I surprised even myself.
"Looking back on it now, the Olympics gave me confidence that I can skate without mistakes.
"It all depends on how hard I practice.
"If I can prepare well, I definitely think it's possible [to match the score from Vancouver]."
Kim will chase her second world title – she won her first in Los Angeles in 2009 – when she takes to the floor tomorrow to compete in the ladies' short programme and again in free skating on Saturday (March 16).
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February 2013: Kim and Kwan put on memorable show as Special Olympics close in Pyeongchang
July 2012: Champion Kim Yu-Na to hang up skates after Sochi 2014
January 2012: Kim honoured for role in success of Pyeongchang 2018 as President Lee promises "unflagging support"
May 2011: Exclusive - Kim admits she may not compete even if Pyeongchang win 2018 Olympics
December 2010: Kim Yu-Na and David Villa voted Athletes of the year by USSA