Chinese figure skating pair Peng/Jin in best form on home ice despite pressure

BEIJING, Feb. 18 (Xinhua) -- Chinese figure skating pair skaters Peng Cheng and Jin Yang finished their short program with an elite performance on Friday, making it to free skating competition at Beijing Winter Olympics.

They staged a nearly perfect short program to claim 76.10 points and ranked fifth among all 18 pairs on home ice.

"It's a normal score compared with our performance tonight. I'm only kind of dissatisfied with my throw triple loop. If I did it better, we could have a higher score," said Peng.

Peng, 24, said that they spent half of the day in tension and anxiety before Friday's competition.

"We were so vulnerable under great pressure that even a small thing would make us burst into tears," she said.

At PyeongChang 2018, the first Olympics after the two paired up, Peng stumbled on their opening triple toeloop jump and fell onto the ice, which cost them one point to finish the 17th, thus missing the free skating.

"At Sochi 2014, I was blank as a white paper and ignorant as well. For PyeongChang, I had expectations but fell to the bottom. And for today, I actually cried for the whole afternoon, I was too nervous," said the three-time Olympian Peng.

"In fact, the pressure comes from inside rather than outside. I do hope to have a good performance for this Games and don't want to leave any regrets," she explained.

Peng/Jin showed up at Beijing 2022 first in the team event on Feb. 7. After that, they have been waiting for over 10 days with expectations as well as pressure.

On Friday, spectators at the Capital Indoor Stadium clapped to their music during their routine, and broke out cheers after their performance. Meanwhile, Jin pumped his fist into the air and Peng jumped several times with excitement.

"Their cheers helped me to transform my pressure into motivation, and led me to inner peace," said Peng.

"I think we've found the right state for competition today, and I hope to continue it tomorrow in free skating. Hope we can enjoy the skating and every episode of our performance," Jin noted.