July 19, 2010 / 2:13 AM / 9 years ago

Queen Yuna puts retirement thoughts on ice

South Korean figure skater Kim Yu-na reacts as she speaks to the media during an interview with Reuters in Seoul May 14, 2010. REUTERS/Jo Yong-Hak

SEOUL (Reuters) - Figure skating Olympic gold medalist Kim Yuna will compete in next year’s world championships in Japan, quashing speculation she might retire to pursue a career as a professional performer for ice shows.

The 19-year-old South Korean, who wowed the world with a record-setting display in Vancouver earlier this year, told the Yonhap news agency on Monday that she would miss the upcoming Grand Prix series to concentrate on the event she won in 2009.

“I’ll focus on the world championships,” Kim said. “I’ll make up a schedule with the coaching staff and select the programs.”

The 2011 World Championships will take place in March in Tokyo in the homeland of Kim’s closest rival and defending champion Mao Asada.

Kim, dubbed “Queen Yuna” at home, took silver at the world championships in Turin in March where she admitted to feeling physically and mentally spent after her Olympic triumph.

She has yet to indicate whether she intends to defend her title at the Sochi Olympics in 2014.

Writing by Patrick Johnston in Singapore

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