Winter Olympic figure skating schedule and preview: Yuna Kim looking for second straight gold

Matthew Stockman

South Korea's Yuna Kim sits in first place after the short program and is hoping to add another gold medal to her resume. Meanwhile, Yulia Lipnitskaia is looking to recover from a disappointing first run, and Gracie Gold and Ashley Wagner are still lurking in what should be a great day of skating.

SB Nation 2014 Winter Olympic Coverage

Yuna Kim is in a solid position to defend her gold medal title at the women's free skate program on Thursday.

The event begins at 10 a.m. ET and can be seen live on NBCSN.

Kim finds herself in first place with a 74.92 score in the short program, a rare flawless run in what was a somewhat chaotic event Wednesday. Russia's Yulia Lipnitskais emerged as a breakout star during the team events and was widely seen as a serious medal contender, but she suffered a hard fall in her skate and had to settle for fifth place. Japan's Mao Asada fared even worse. The silver medalist at Vancouver had a disastrous run, falling once and failing to hit any combination jumps. Asada is in 16th place, her podium dreams all but over.

Those disappointing performances opened up the door for a pair of darkhorses. Russia's Adelina Sotnikova and Italy's Carolina Kostner nailed their skates without any major speed bumps and are in second and third place, respectively. Sotnikova got a score of 74.64 in her run, just 0.28 points behind Kim.

The skaters on Team USA had solid, but unspectacular runs. Gracie Gold had the best score of the group with 68.63, good for fourth place. Ashley Wagner is in sixth place and Polina Edmunds is close behind at seventh. If any of the skaters above them stumble, one of the American women could sneak into a podium spot.

With only 9.71 points separating the top six contenders, there will be zero margin for error in what should be a thrilling few hours of television.

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