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South Korea Hires First Foreign Skating Coach

South Korea has hired its first foreign national skating coach, according to the Korea Herald.  Sergei Astashev of Russia has signed with the country and although skaters will remain with personal coaches, they will also be spending time working with Astashev, according to the article.

South Korea’s PyeongChang will host the 2018 Winter Olympics and the KSU said it hopes to become more competitive in figure skating by then.

“By bringing in a coach from overseas, we will try to have balanced development across all disciplines in figure skating,” the KSU said. “A team event will be added starting at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi (of Russia). By PyeongChang, our goal is to have skaters qualify for every event.”

As of right now, current Olympic Gold Medalist Yu-na Kim is the only major successful Korean skater, and she had to move to Canada and work with Brian Orser in order to make it to the next level in her career, so having someone on hand for the Korean skaters with that international skating experience will be helpful.  Ashtashev has worked with U.S. Olympian and National champ Johnny Weir.  He has also coached in Russia and Finland, recently guiding the Finnish team, according to Chosun Ilbo.