Teen ice queen Cheltzie Lee is set to unveil a new sequence of challenging triple jumps at the figure skating world championships in Moscow.
The Australian Olympian will take to the ice at Megasport Arena on Friday when she skates a program choreographed by England’s 1980 gold medallist Robin Cousins in the first stage of women’s competition.
Lee, who celebrated her 18th birthday shortly before flying out of Sydney, says uncertainty and delay before the world titles were moved from disaster-hit Japan to Russia ended up working in her favour.
“I think in the end it did work in my favour to have a little bit of extra time to get prepared for the competition,” said Lee.
“I kind of just trained through and waited for the final decision (about the alternative venue).”
Some of the extra time was spent in Melbourne, where she trained with coach Melina Simjanovic and practised the new triple jump sequence she hopes to land for the first time in competition on Friday.
Lee will face off against 30 of the world’s top skaters on Friday including superstars Mao Asada from Japan, the current world champion, and Korean Olympic gold medallist Yuna Kim.
A top 24 result on Friday would get her through to the final round on Saturday.
Lee, who divides her training between Sydney and Colorado Springs in the US, finished 20th at the Vancouver Winter Olympics last year.
She followed that with a 17th place at the 2010 world championships in Torino, Italy, and came 10th in the Four Continents in Taipei, Taiwan in February.
Meanwhile Sydney dance duo Danielle O’Brien and Greg Merriman bowed out of the competition after finishing 12th in preliminary rounds of the ice dance on Tuesday.
Mark Webster, also from Sydney, competed in the men’s preliminary rounds but also ended his campaign after failing to make the top 12 on Monday.