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Chinese skater Jin Boyang wins in Taiwan before Olympics

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Taipei (AFP)

China's Jin Boyang won gold at the Four Continents championships in Taipei on Saturday, saying the medal is a confidence booster as he heads to his first Olympics next month.

Jin, 20, was returning after an ankle injury that had forced him to withdraw from the Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final in Nagoya last month.

He finished with a total score of 300.95 points Saturday after a free skating programme to a selection of songs featured in the Star Wars franchise, including "Cantina Band" by John Williams.

Japan's Shoma Uno, 20, took second place while American skater Jason Brown, 23, won bronze.

Speaking at a press conference after his performance, Jin said he hopes to skate even better at the upcoming Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

"The results of this competition gave me even greater confidence to challenge myself to pull off two perfect performances (in) Pyeongchang," he told reporters.

"I'm not thinking too much about placement. I just hope to skate even more perfectly each time, even more than this time," he added.

Jin described the training coming back from his injury as the hardest he has ever had.

Uno said he kept calm despite being thrown off initially during his free skate number when he stumbled on a quad flip.

"What I learned from today is that I still need to and I still have the room to level up the quality of my jumps," he told reporters.

North Korean figure skaters Ryom Tae-Ok and Kim Ju-Sik stole the show Friday, taking bronze for the pairs competition -- their first international medal.

Interest in the pair has skyrocketed since North Korea made a surprise announcement earlier this month that it would send a team to Pyeongchang, even though North and South Korea are still technically at war.

Japanese skaters claimed all three medals for the ladies competition, with Kaori Sakamoto taking gold.

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