Australian figure skater Cheltzie Lee
has more than justified her late call-up to the Olympic Winter
Games with her best ever short program, earning the 16-year-old
a start in the free skating.
The Sydney high school student was at
one stage third reserve for the Games, but ultimately got the
nod to compete in Vancouver three weeks ago when Israeli skater
Tamar Katz was withdrawn by her Olympic committee.
And Lee took full advantage, showing
no nerves to finish the night in 18th spot with a score of 52.16
points and on her way to the next stage of competition, with
24 skaters qualifying for the free skating component.
"I'm thrilled," she said.
"That's the best score I've ever got in my short program
and it was pretty good to do it at the Olympics."
"Ever since I found out about (qualifying)
I've been training my butt off," she said.
South Korea's Kim Yu-Na (78.50) set
a new world mark in the short program to lead Japanese rival
Mao Asada (73.78) and Canadian Joannie Rochette (71.36).