Redding Teen Wins Australian Figure Skating Championship

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Redding's Brooklee Han stands on the top step of the podium after winning the Senior Ladies title at the Australian Figure Skating championships Friday in Melbourne. Photo Credit: Contributed by Pinky Han

REDDING, Conn. – Redding's Brooklee Han won her first Australian Senior Ladies figure skating title and posted a personal best score early Friday in Melbourne. Now, she has to await word on whether she will be allowed to represent the country in the Winter Olympics in Sochi in February.

Han, 18, posted a score of 161.42 points to win the competition easily. While the mark is a personal best, it was not attained in an International Skating Union event, so is not an “official” record. She landed four of her planned six triple jumps in her long program, falling on just one. 

Her final total was more than 62 points above the runner-up, Taylor Dean. Han’s primary Australian rival, Chantelle Kerry, pulled out of the competition, citing “sickness.”

Han, a 2013 graduate of Joel Barlow High School, is also an Australian citizen because her father was born there.

Unfortunately for Han, she will have to wait to learn her Olympic fate. The Australians had planned to announce their ladies skater Wednesday. The selection, however, will not be announced until next week at the earliest. The dispute is set for a hearing next week before the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Australia.

Kerry believes Han should be ineligible for Sochi because she says Han entered an event without approval of the national federation. 

Kerry’s mother, Monica MacDonald, represented Australia at the 1988 Winter Olympics. Her brother, Brendan, will represent Australia in the Sochi Games.

Kerry was unsuccessful in an appeal earlier this year when she tried to stop Han from competing in a Winter Olympics qualifying event in September. Han’s fifth-place performance in that event, Nebelhorn Trophy in Germany, earned Australia a spot in the in the Olympics.

Han finished second last year in the Australian national championships. She also won the Volvo Open Cup in Latvia earlier this year.

Han plans to attend Wesleyan University in the fall.

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