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olympic
07-04-2010, 03:39 PM
Sorry. Can't help myself but this should be the last one ;)

1. Ito '89 - I mean, could there really be any other choice? Garnering 6.0s, this program would've probably won throughout the 1990s and 2000s pre-CoP!
2. Witt '87 - Witt at her best with 5 triples including the 3loop and selling the hell out of WSS like only she could. Got 6.0s on the 2d mark, too.
3. Biellmann '81 - 3z ahead of its time. She only did 3 triples total but the speed, power, edges, height of the jumps and incredible spins, along with improved choreography means that this holds up well over time.
4. Zayak '82 - 6 triples at this time! makes up for the fact that she only did 3t and 3s because everything was done with entrances, combos, sequences, speed and power, good, centered spins, and exuberance. You also can't deny the emotional factor of this performance, moving from 7th to 1st.
5. Witt '84 - starts off with a powerful 2z-3t. Witt did everything really well but she would develop more artistry and connection later.
6. Sumners '83 - a skater's skater, she skated with probably the best posture with great stroking which was able to generate decent speed. The program was like one long, connecting move! However, only 3 triples IIRC and somewhat wonky landings.
7. Witt '85 - she attacked even more than in '84 but watered down the 2z-3t to a simpler 3t-2t
8. Thomas '86 - This program was actually beaten by Witt's WSS, which was weaker than her '87 WSS. She wasn't consistent yet with the 3l and was no longer doing the amazing 2x-3t. The opening triple jumps were a little wonky. The stag leap-3t-2t was nice though.
9. Witt '88 - 'Carmen' was not as great as 'Gershwin' or 'WSS' with less going on, more poorly structured and additionally, she popped an axel, doubled her hardest combo to 2s-2f -seq. and her other 3sal was barely held onto. Cracks in the iron facade!
10. Poetzsch '80 - Just as Trenary's '90 performance may have belonged to the '80s, this performance belonged in the 70s; 1 triple, clunky performance, anyone other than Witt doing Jutta Mueller's choreography was :scream: She was beaten [again] by Fratianne in this phase of the competition.

briancoogaert
07-04-2010, 05:37 PM
I have exactly the same order. And I like your explanations !
For sure, ito is miles ahead of the others, another decade was already starting !

olympic
07-04-2010, 05:44 PM
I have exactly the same order. And I like your explanations !
For sure, ito is miles ahead of the others, another decade was already starting !

Thanks. I surprised myself by ranking early 80s performances from Biellmann and Zayak high on the list

briancoogaert
07-04-2010, 07:06 PM
Thanks. I surprised myself by ranking early 80s performances from Biellmann and Zayak high on the list
It may be explained by the fact that Katarina Witt won 4 of the 10 titles. And, IMO, it was worse and worse (except 1987, very good LP) ! I still can't believe that she won the 1988 Olympics and Worlds !!!

olympic
07-04-2010, 08:30 PM
It may be explained by the fact that Katarina Witt won 4 of the 10 titles. And, IMO, it was worse and worse (except 1987, very good LP) ! I still can't believe that she won the 1988 Olympics and Worlds !!!

Yeah. IMO Witt's competitive career ended with probably her worst performance to 'Carmen' [not counting the brief '94 postscript].

I think her WSS '87 performance was a home run because her loss in '86 awoke her competitive fire. She had been on a small slide that culminated in her losing her world title to Thomas. If anything else [despite the fact I'm not a fan], she was the most competitive skater I can ever recall and I think her loss in '86 forced her to come back strong in '87, but her 3t and 3sal routines would have fallen victim to the future of Ito and others in the '89 - '92 quad. She was lucky she got out when she did. In fact, it's been rehashed elsewhere but her win in '88 was kinda lucky, and even though she hated Figures, they did help to buffer her against Ito and Manley

judgejudy27
07-05-2010, 02:48 AM
1. Ito 89- a performance for the ages

2. Biellmann 81- I just find her a better skater at her best than Witt at her best. Witt cant come close to matching her spins even on a great day, and there is a just a presence and bigness about her skating, and that triple lutz as well.

3. Witt 87- the best performance ever by this great champion as she convincingly turned aside an outstanding field who virtually all skated inspired performances that night as well.

4. Witt 85- her best performance ever at this point. Yeah she wasnt doing even the 2 lutz-3 toe anymore, but she had 1 more triple than 84 and her jumps, overall skating, presentation, and confidence had all risen since 84. She truly looked like the dominant queen of the ice now. If she had won in 86 I would fit 86 in between these last 2.

5. Thomas 86- I thought it was an impressive performance. Her jumps were powerful and strong even if 1 or 2 had iffy landings still mostly clean. Her spins were good. Her program is disjointed with wierd music edits and not up to the standard of her Carmen but she showed good basic skating, nice style, very nice line, and good interpretation and phrasing to the music. I probably rate this higher than some others will, I like Debi and her skating alot though I admit.

6. Zayak- an athletic triumph for womens skating at the time. Really one of the first to raise the athletic bar, setting the stage for Ito and others to do so as well in later years. And even her triple toe craze she was criticized for deserves alot of credit as she got the women forced to do different types of triples earlier than they otherwise would have. This might seem like a harsh ranking but the rest of her skating was really not that strong outside of the jumps yet this year. She had much improved as an overall skater by 84, but unfortunately was no longer able to do all those triple toes by then which negated some of her big edge; plus had been too inconsistent in the 2 years between here and the 84 Olympics to be viewed as much of a factor by then.

7. Sumners 83- one of her better jumping performances. Great artistry even if flat and one dimensional. I never got into her skating but she was a great artist and sometimes strong jumper on her day.

8. Witt 88- meh, I liked her West Side Story better and this wasnt even a great skate for her this day.

9. Witt 84- nothing special for me. Only 3 triples, 1 less than Witt in 85, and Thomas and Witt both in 86. The program does nothing for me at all, and it didnt seem as developed as it was a year later.

10. Poetzsch- blech, how the heck did she beat Watanabe's stunning program which IMO should have even beaten Fratianne in the LP phase (talking about Emi of course). Even for her standards this was "sub par". Actually the whole World ladies event was this year. I wuold hardly ever pop in a tape to watch Poetzsch skate again for any other reason but to verify my already held opinions unless I am getting my toenails removed or something.

judgejudy27
07-05-2010, 02:52 AM
Yeah. IMO Witt's competitive career ended with probably her worst performance to 'Carmen' [not counting the brief '94 postscript].

I think her WSS '87 performance was a home run because her loss in '86 awoke her competitive fire. She had been on a small slide that culminated in her losing her world title to Thomas. If anything else [despite the fact I'm not a fan], she was the most competitive skater I can ever recall and I think her loss in '86 forced her to come back strong in '87, but her 3t and 3sal routines would have fallen victim to the future of Ito and others in the '89 - '92 quad. She was lucky she got out when she did. In fact, it's been rehashed elsewhere but her win in '88 was kinda lucky, and even though she hated Figures, they did help to buffer her against Ito and Manley

The funny and sad thing is with figures Witt might have actually won the World title in 89 and 90 had she stayed. She generally beat Leistner and Trenary in figures. And of course Witt with a triple toe combo would crush Trenary or Leistner with the same combo in any short program. Add to that I am not sure Ito with a double toe-triple toe would be placed over Witt with a triple toe-double toe just because she is Witt. And coming 2nd in the LP would have been very easy for Witt, Witt at her worst ever could probably beat a very subpar Leistner or Trenary which is what happened. I actually think it would have been very hard for Ito to win the 89 Worlds overall had Witt been there, as much as it pains me to say that. For that reason I am very glad she wasnt.

As for 1990 the fact that Trenary won already says enough. Witt could beat Jill in any phase of any competition in her sleep and I dont think that would have ever changed. Anyway Trenary won even with that double toe-double toe combo in the short. So even if Witt semi bombs one of the SP or LP she probably still wins overall over Trenary or Witt if she does what she regularly did in figures (which was place over Trenary).

essence_of_soy
07-05-2010, 03:03 AM
I recall Jirena Ribbens saying in a doco about U.S. Ladies, something like, Katarina may not have been the best skater, but she was easily the best competitor. Against Thomas, Sumners, Zayak, Chin, Kadavy and Trenary, she beat them all.

Technically, this is how I would have ranked them:

1. Ito 89
2. Biellmann 81
3. Zayak 82
4. Witt 87
5. Witt 85
6. Witt 84
7. Thomas 86
8. Sumners 83
9. Witt 88
10. Poetsch

Artistically
1. Biellmann 81
2. Witt 87
3. Zayak 82
4. Thomas 86
5. Sumners 83
6. Ito 89
7. Witt 88
8. Witt 84
9. Witt 85
10. Poetsch

olympic
07-05-2010, 05:50 AM
The funny and sad thing is with figures Witt might have actually won the World title in 89 and 90 had she stayed. She generally beat Leistner and Trenary in figures. And of course Witt with a triple toe combo would crush Trenary or Leistner with the same combo in any short program. Add to that I am not sure Ito with a double toe-triple toe would be placed over Witt with a triple toe-double toe just because she is Witt. And coming 2nd in the LP would have been very easy for Witt, Witt at her worst ever could probably beat a very subpar Leistner or Trenary which is what happened. I actually think it would have been very hard for Ito to win the 89 Worlds overall had Witt been there, as much as it pains me to say that. For that reason I am very glad she wasnt.

As for 1990 the fact that Trenary won already says enough. Witt could beat Jill in any phase of any competition in her sleep and I dont think that would have ever changed. Anyway Trenary won even with that double toe-double toe combo in the short. So even if Witt semi bombs one of the SP or LP she probably still wins overall over Trenary or Witt if she does what she regularly did in figures (which was place over Trenary).

I always had a feeling, though, that if a skater 'stays' beyond a certain point, the judges always scrutinize a little more, perhaps as a gentle nudge toward the door. I think the judges would've started picking apart any of Witt's deficiencies if she didn't leave by her 'sell by' date [1988]

essence_of_soy
07-05-2010, 06:25 AM
I'm sorry Manley didn't stay around for another year, and take a shot at the World title in 1989.

According to Debi Wilkes, she could land triple axels in practice, and did so at prior to Worlds in 1986.

As a side note, I believe both she and Biellmann were seriously considering comebacks for Lillehammer, which explains why they did so well as pros in the fall and winter of 1994.

briancoogaert
07-05-2010, 08:55 AM
I recall Jirena Ribbens saying in a doco about U.S. Ladies, something like, Katarina may not have been the best skater, but she was easily the best competitor. Against Thomas, Sumners, Zayak, Chin, Kadavy and Trenary, she beat them all.
She was an amazing competitor (Witt), but she was helped a lot by the judges in 1988.

cem
07-05-2010, 09:05 AM
I'm sorry Manley didn't stay around for another year, and take a shot at the World title in 1989.

According to Debi Wilkes, she could land triple axels in practice, and did so at prior to Worlds in 1986.

As a side note, I believe both she and Biellmann were seriously considering comebacks for Lillehammer, which explains why they did so well as pros in the fall and winter of 1994.

Based on Ito skate in 1989 would've eaten Manley for lunch. Midori on a weak day could easily do five triples. She made the right decision. She had already won the Olympic silver medal and she had always seem to really feel the stress of competition with the exception of 1988.

judgejudy27
07-05-2010, 09:23 AM
I always had a feeling, though, that if a skater 'stays' beyond a certain point, the judges always scrutinize a little more, perhaps as a gentle nudge toward the door. I think the judges would've started picking apart any of Witt's deficiencies if she didn't leave by her 'sell by' date [1988]

Good point but would they have picked them apart enough for her to be placed below Trenary even with clean skates. Since it appears under the scoring format still in place that is what it would have taken. :lol: Or perhaps more likely they would have stopped "holding up" her figures which were probably always inflated during her dominance. And in that case Trenary, Leistner, Lebedeva, Neske, and even Cook could probably have all legitimately been placed over her in figures; which would have already allowed Ito the chance to catch her on her control in 89 and 1990.

olympic
07-05-2010, 01:50 PM
Good point but would they have picked them apart enough for her to be placed below Trenary even with clean skates. Since it appears under the scoring format still in place that is what it would have taken. :lol: Or perhaps more likely they would have stopped "holding up" her figures which were probably always inflated during her dominance. And in that case Trenary, Leistner, Lebedeva, Neske, and even Cook could probably have all legitimately been placed over her in figures; which would have already allowed Ito the chance to catch her on her control in 89 and 1990.

All valid points. Besides Ito, in '89 it was pretty craptastic on the part of several other top skaters- Trenary, Leistner, etc. KY was also not where she would be in coming years. I think Witt would've legitimately been in contention for a medal in '89 among a muddle of skaters. OTOH, also consider that Witt didn't look in '88 as if she could even handle complex routines with solid 3toes and 3sals anymore. 'Carmen' was watered down in comparison to 'Gershwin medley' and 'WSS'. I honestly think she would've started giving us more subpar performances starting in '89 at a time when figures counted for less. Also, I think like you it may have been the judges no longer held her up in figures. Due to mistakes by Ito in Figures and Trenary in the SP in '90, she may again have been in contention, but again who knows if by then the judges would've decided to start dumping her and her less complicated 'show' routines. In '91, she would've been dead in the water

judgejudy27
07-05-2010, 02:05 PM
I agree the judges would have stopped doing Witt any favors after 88 had she stayed and might have even been eager to dump her. And actually her technical standard and consistency was going down the drain somewhat in 88. If the judges really wanted to encourage her to finally retire maybe they would have say placed a clean short program from her below Leistner and Trenary doing the same jump combination jump at the 89 Worlds, just to give her a message. That would have made her bolt for the door fast, maybe she would have even withdrawn from the LP with an "injury" in this case, LOL! Leistner they were probably just being nice to only since they knew it was probably her last year and she really only stayed in for one last chance at another World medal or the World title (plus a European title), and they were rewarding her for her years of service and solid skating without many medals behind all the big guns throughout the 80s.

I was always dissapointed Jill was injured in late 1990/early 1991 and could never get past the injuries, and we never saw her take up the challenge of what she might have been able to do in 91 and 92. I was never a fan but I still felt sorry for her. I know nearly everyone says she had no chance and maybe that was true. However at the Goodwill Games in the summer of 1990 she skated a very subpar performance with several mistakes and still lost only a 4-3 split to Yamaguchi who made only singled her last triple lutz. Still Kristi had not build up to the dominant skater she would soon be at that point, and Jill had the World Champion tag behind her at that point. It seems based on the level of skating Kerrigan was putting out Jill was atleast capable of beating her in any event in 91-92, and Nancy medaled at every Nationals, Worlds, and Olympics. So it would seem Jill had potential to atleast continue to be on the podium. Then again Jill was a headcase of sorts who so rarely did clean performances and competitions as well. Jill would have had a huge reputation advantage over Nancy too.