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(Olympics) Skeleton debutant not fazed by Olympic pressure

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

SOCHI, Russia, Feb. 6 (Yonhap) -- South Korea will be represented in skeleton for the fourth consecutive Olympics in Sochi, where the 2014 Winter Games will kick off on Friday.

Helping keep that streak alive was Yun Sung-bin, a brash 19-year-old only about a year into the sport but already with an international title under his belt.

Yun was the surprise champion at the Intercontinental Cup stop in Whistler, Canada, in early January. The victory was part of a successful season that placed him at No. 20 in the world by Jan. 20, well inside the Olympic qualification zone of the top 60.

Yun will be joined by Lee Han-bin in skeleton, marking the first time South Korea will have more than one athlete competing in the sport at a Winter Games.

After his first practice run at the Sanki Sliding Center on Wednesday, Yun said he's not particularly daunted by the pressure cooker that can be the Olympic Games.

"I don't feel any more nervous than I normally would just because it's the Olympics," Yun said. "It really hasn't hit me yet that I am about to race in the Olympics."

Yun had his very first taste of the Sochi track on Wednesday. After two runs on Wednesday, he said he was disappointed with his performance and his inability to familiarize himself with the course.

The practice schedule in Sochi isn't helping Yun either. Considered a relatively quick study, Yun often needs only a few consecutive days of training to get used to a new track. After two practice races on Wednesday, he has to take two days off before returning for two more practice runs.

Yun said he will embrace the challenge.

"After the second run, I thought I could figure this out a bit," he said. "I should be better by the end of the third practice race. And I think it's going to be even more fun racing before huge crowds in the real competition."

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