Cha Jun-hwan (21 years old, Korea University), the leader of Korean men's figure skating, finished second in the short program in the first international competition of the season.
In the 2022 International Skating Union (ISU) Challenger Series Nefella Memorial Men's Single Short Program held in Bratislava, Slovakia, Cha Jun-hwan finished second out of 13 with a score of 80.81.
He scored 41.98 on the Skills Score (TES), 39.83 on the Arts Score (PCS), and 1 point deducted.
He fell far short of his personal best in the short program (99.51 points) he put together at the Beijing Winter Olympics in February this year.
Gabriele Frangipani (Italy, 87.39 points) took first place, Kim Han-gil (Seoul Christian University) with 70.42 points, and Kim Hyun-gyeom (Han Advertisement, 67.21 points) took 7th place.
The ISU Challenger Series is one level lower than the Grand Prix Series, and athletes check their condition through the Challenger competition before participating in the new season's Grand Prix Series.
Cha Jun-hwan, who first introduced the new season's short program tailored to Michael Jackson's dance medley, fell while attempting his first jump, a quadruple salcho, and his performance score (GOE) was reduced by 3.88 points.
But he got up and continued acting, and got the flow back with a neat quadruple toe loop-double toe loop combination jump.
After dealing with the flying camel spin to level 4, the triple axel also ran perfectly in the jump in the second half where an additional 10% was added.
Junhwan Cha completed his performance by performing a change foot sit spin (level 3), a step sequence (level 4), and a change foot combination spin (level 3).
Cha Jun-hwan will compete in free skating tomorrow morning in Korea time.
In the women's single short program, Lee Hae-in (Sehwa Girls' High School) scored 58.06 points and came in second place after Isabo Levito of the United States (65.37 points).