Determined to shine

Watch me go: Yee performing a routine at Sunway Pyramid Ice Rink.

Watch me go: Yee performing a routine at Sunway Pyramid Ice Rink.

BEING the first Malaysian to qualify for the Four Continents Figure Skating Champion-ships (4CC) 2014 in January, national figure skater Julian Yee is unfazed by the challenges ahead against top international skaters.

Yee, who described himself as the underdog of the competition, said he will give his all and treat the championships as a learning curve in his skating career.

“It is definitely a tough competition especially against experienced figure skaters from the United States, Canada, China and Japan.

“I just hope to put on a decent show and learn from the other experienced skaters,” he said.

Yee also went through a tight schedule this year of competing in more than 10 national and international competitions.

“These competitions enabled me to gain more experience and learn of the variety of styles and jumps’ presentation.

“It has helped me explore a lot of different styles and learn from it,” he said.

Yee secured a spot in the 4CC after emerging third in the senior men’s free skating category of the Skate Down Under 2013 in Sydney, Australia in August.

Ranked second after the Winter Olympic Games, the 4CC which is held annually, is for non-European skaters.

In the Championships, he will be performing a 2min 50sec short programme and a 4min 30sec free skating routine which will be judged by nine judges.

In the 4min 30sec free skating, Yee will perform eight jumps, three spins and two step sequences to complete the routine, one of which requires sufficient stamina in the considerably long routine.

“There are also a lot of tactics involved and I must have the energy to pull off a combinations of jumps such as the axle, salchow, toe loop and lutz jumps,” he said.

Yee began his figure skating career when he was four years old at the Sunway Pyramid Ice Rink and took part in his first competition, Skate Malaysia, at the age of five.

Since 2004, he has trained under his present coach, Harry Janto Leo who is also the head coach at Sunway Pyramid Ice and in 2012 Yee became the first Malaysian to pass Freestyle 10.

Speaking of his preparations, Yee said he trained consistently five times a week and sometimes twice a day.

“I will be working more on enhancing the jumps and the presentation of the whole routine,” he said, adding that he will also need to cope with his school work and training sessions.

Based on the competitions he has competed in, Yee is ranked 31st in the world rankings for 2013-2014.

Recently, he also achieved his personal best of 90.07 in the International Staking Union(ISU) Junior Grand Prix free skating programme held in the Czech Republic

He was ranked 17th in the competition.