PETALING JAYA: National figure skater Julian Yee Zhi Jie is close to making it to the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
The 19-year-old is in the finals of the World Figure Skating Championships 2017 in Helsinki, having secured 69.7 points.
However, the teenager is currently in 23rd place out of 36 participants.
Yee will have to be in the top 18 to edge closer to a spot at the Winter Olympics.
Yee told The Star that he could do nothing else but give it his best effort.
“Whatever points the judges give is beyond my control,” he added.
Yee, who has been the sole Malaysian competitor at the competition for two consecutive years, admitted that this year’s was exceptionally challenging as it was also the qualifying round for the Winter Olympics.
“I feel lucky to have entered the finals for the second time. This year’s competition is much tougher than last year’s.
“To make it into the finals is one step closer towards Olympics qualification,” he said.
Yee made history last year when he became the first Malaysian to participate in the World Figure Skating Championships in Boston.
The Sunway University undergraduate is currently taking a gap year to hone his skating skills in Canada.
His day typically starts at 9am and involves three skating sessions – which lasts an hour each – before hitting the gym and the dance studio in the evening.
Yee’s mother, Irene Cheow, who is also with him in Helsinki, is immensely proud of her son.
“He has sacrificed so much and is very disciplined and focused in his training,” she said.
Yee’s event will take place at 3:50pm Malaysian time on Saturday.