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View Full Version : Does Mirai Nagasu have the talent to catch/pass Mao or Yu Na?



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pinky166
07-30-2010, 10:26 PM
I may be in the minority, but I feel like Mirai is at a very comparable level to Mao right now. Mao has the 3a, but apart from that, I feel like the two are pretty even, like closer than Mao is to Yuna. Also Mirai is the most promising US ladies skater right now, IMO, as Zhang and Czisny have lots of issues, Flatt is boring, Wagner and Gao need to improve skating skills a lot to contend with the top, and Zawadzki is still a question mark at this point (though her height concerns me). Mirai is the best shot for now, I like to hype Gao, but I've watched her recent programs and while she's very promising, she's not soup yet and probably needs at least another season before she has a chance at challenging the top ladies internationally.

miki88
07-30-2010, 10:36 PM
I may be in the minority, but I feel like Mirai is at a very comparable level to Mao right now. Mao has the 3a, but apart from that, I feel like the two are pretty even, like closer than Mao is to Yuna. Also Mirai is the most promising US ladies skater right now, IMO, as Zhang and Czisny have lots of issues, Flatt is boring, Wagner and Gao need to improve skating skills a lot to contend with the top, and Zawadzki is still a question mark at this point (though her height concerns me). Mirai is the best shot for now, I like to hype Gao, but I've watched her recent programs and while she's very promising, she's not soup yet and probably needs at least another season before she has a chance at challenging the top ladies internationally.

I don't think anyone is debating that fact. I'd be surprised if she doesn't win Nationals this year. I think Mirai, when she's really on, may be comparable to Mao if she remains in status quo condition. But I don't think she is if Mao regains her 2008 condition. I am talking about the Mao who's capable of doing triple-triples and triple axels. Anyways, the new UR rules benefit both of them, so we'll see what happens. Who knows, maybe this may be Mirai's year. She has a great chance to at least medal at next year's worlds. Depending on her progress, she could be a darkhorse for the gold.

hanca
07-30-2010, 10:44 PM
I may be in the minority, but I feel like Mirai is at a very comparable level to Mao right now. Mao has the 3a, but apart from that, I feel like the two are pretty even, like closer than Mao is to Yuna. Also Mirai is the most promising US ladies skater right now, IMO, as Zhang and Czisny have lots of issues, Flatt is boring, Wagner and Gao need to improve skating skills a lot to contend with the top, and Zawadzki is still a question mark at this point (though her height concerns me). Mirai is the best shot for now, I like to hype Gao, but I've watched her recent programs and while she's very promising, she's not soup yet and probably needs at least another season before she has a chance at challenging the top ladies internationally.

I don't think Mirai is comparable level to Mao yet, but she may become in the near future. She can surely beat Mao if Mao messes up, but I think if Mao goes clean and Mirai goes clean, Mao would win it. Saying that, her skating is very nice and I do agree that she seems to be the most promising US ladies skater right now. I really like her skating and wish her the best.

museksk8r
07-30-2010, 11:02 PM
Wagner and Gao need to improve skating skills a lot to contend with the top.

I'm curious . . . what in your opinion is wrong/lacking with Ashley's skating skills to where she's any less in quality from Rachael, Mirai, and Alissa in skating skills? The only one from the 3 who can match her in speed is Nagasu. IMO, Wagner has much better choreography than Mirai and Rachael. Ashley also has terrific transitions from what I've seen. Ashley's entry edge can be questionable on her Lutz attempts, but so can Mirai's and Rachael's. Wagner made so much progress this past season in her PCS, which is why I'm dumbfounded that you'd bunch her with the much inferior Christina Gao as one who is lacking in skating skills.

chipso1
07-30-2010, 11:23 PM
I agree. Ashley's problems certainly aren't her skating skills, they're her jumps (rotation, entry edges and two-footing).

olympic
07-30-2010, 11:36 PM
I agree. Ashley's problems certainly aren't her skating skills, they're her jumps (rotation, entry edges and two-footing).

..and that may add up to a sloppy-looking performance which gets lower marks from the judges on the PCS side, too

blue_idealist
07-31-2010, 01:12 AM
Rochette isnt even competing this season. I doubt we will see Rochette again actually.


Yeah.. I was just theoretically speaking.

chipso1
07-31-2010, 01:24 AM
..and that may add up to a sloppy-looking performance which gets lower marks from the judges on the PCS side, too

Characteristics of Skating Skills:

Balance and rhythmic knee action and precision of foot and placement
Flow and effortless glide
Cleanness and sureness of deep edges, steps and turns
Power/energy and acceleration
Mastery of multi directional skating
Mastery of one foot skating


If the judges were to "deduct" from Ashley's PCS due to her jump issues, it would likely be seen in the Performance/Execution category, not the Skating Skills category. There's nothing wrong with Ashley's skating skills.

pinky166
07-31-2010, 01:47 AM
I'm curious . . . what in your opinion is wrong/lacking with Ashley's skating skills to where she's any less in quality from Rachael, Mirai, and Alissa in skating skills? The only one from the 3 who can match her in speed is Nagasu. IMO, Wagner has much better choreography than Mirai and Rachael. Ashley also has terrific transitions from what I've seen. Ashley's entry edge can be questionable on her Lutz attempts, but so can Mirai's and Rachael's. Wagner made so much progress this past season in her PCS, which is why I'm dumbfounded that you'd bunch her with the much inferior Christina Gao as one who is lacking in skating skills.

Ashley gets quite low PCS internationally, I've noticed, so for some reason, the international judges don't think she's as good as the US judges think she is. I mean, she didn't break 60 points for her SP internationally all last season, and that was mainly because her PCS were always in the mid-20s. Mirai has gotten high PCS internationally and even Rachael's are usually higher than Ashley's. Czisny doesn't get great PCS internationally either but I tend to think some of that is due to her tendency to skate error-ridden freeskates. Isn't PCS mostly based on skating skills? Maybe it's her interpretation and expression that aren't so great then, idk, but she needs to figure out a way to raise her PCS if she wants to be competitive with the top internationally.

pinky166
07-31-2010, 01:48 AM
Characteristics of Skating Skills:

Balance and rhythmic knee action and precision of foot and placement
Flow and effortless glide
Cleanness and sureness of deep edges, steps and turns
Power/energy and acceleration
Mastery of multi directional skating
Mastery of one foot skating


If the judges were to "deduct" from Ashley's PCS due to her jump issues, it would likely be seen in the Performance/Execution category, not the Skating Skills category. There's nothing wrong with Ashley's skating skills.

I should have just said the PCS score in general, that's what I meant. She is nowhere near the top ladies in terms of PCS right now (based on her scores in international competition) and in order to be competitive with those ladies, she needs to figure out a way to get her PCS up, otherwise she'll just continue to be tier 2 internationally.

Maybe the jumps and sloppiness have something to do with her mediocre PCS, but I actually think jumping is one of her strengths, her jumps are very big and powerful.

In terms of Mao vs. Mirai, one thing Mirai has on Mao is speed. The commentators at the Olympics mentioned speed when comparing Mao and Yuna, and they said Yuna's speed made a big different. Mirai is very fast while Mao is not, so there is one area where Mirai has an advantage over Mao. I agree though that at this point clean Mao would beat clean Mirai, although probably not by a very large margin.

museksk8r
07-31-2010, 01:53 AM
I should have just said the PCS score in general, that's what I meant. She is nowhere near the top ladies in terms of PCS right now (based on her scores in international competition) and in order to be competitive with those ladies, she needs to figure out a way to get her PCS up, otherwise she'll just continue to be tier 2 internationally.

PCS improve when consistency improves. Ashley far too often has shot herself in the foot by skating error-filled SPs. Your PCS are shot if you can't skate clean SPs. Her lack of a stand-out senior international resume/reputation/competitive experience doesn't help her politically either.

chipso1
07-31-2010, 02:22 AM
I should have just said the PCS score in general, that's what I meant. She is nowhere near the top ladies in terms of PCS right now (based on her scores in international competition) and in order to be competitive with those ladies, she needs to figure out a way to get her PCS up, otherwise she'll just continue to be tier 2 internationally.

I'm not quite sure what you're getting at. For example, on the GP last season, Ashley averaged 25.94 for PCS in the short program (second behind Czisny who lead the U.S. ladies with a 26.06 average). In the free skate, Ashley was averaging 53.92 PCS (again, only second behind Alissa Czisny who was averaging 55.56). I know PCS isn't truly comparable across events, but clearly the judges have shown that they will reward her with good scores when she skates well (ditto for Czisny). Aside from Kim, Rochette, Ando, Asada and Lepisto, there weren't many skaters pulling as big of numbers PCS-wise as Ashley did.


Maybe the jumps and sloppiness have something to do with her mediocre PCS, but I actually think jumping is one of her strengths, her jumps are very big and powerful.

Powerful -- yes, but Ashley has issues with many of her jumps. The obvious flutz problems, the nervous 2-footing, and the small, UR 2A's are a few. Granted, she does have gorgeous 3F's and her 3L's are among the best in the World.


In terms of Mao vs. Mirai, one thing Mirai has on Mao is speed. The commentators at the Olympics mentioned speed when comparing Mao and Yuna, and they said Yuna's speed made a big different. Mirai is very fast while Mao is not, so there is one area where Mirai has an advantage over Mao. I agree though that at this point clean Mao would beat clean Mirai, although probably not by a very large margin.

Back to Mirai: on the GP series, she was only averaging 24.42 for PCS in the short, and 50.04 in the free skate (fourth among U.S. ladies behind Czisny, Wagner and Flatt). However, her PCS greatly improved at the Olympics and Worlds once she was "finally" considered one of the best in the U.S. (and did she ever deserve these scores, compared to the shaft she got on the GP):

Olympics --
SP: 26.76
FS: 60.56 (over a 10 point jump from her GP average! And rightfully so, IMO.)

Worlds --
SP: 30.20
FS: 57.04

So, yes: Mirai can be competitive with Mao and Yu-Na, especially now since the judges seem more willing to reward her with higher PCS. Do I think she can catch them this year? No, because 1) they will both continue to pull higher PCS this season, 2) Mao's 3A gives her a large SP cushion, even if she only gets 70% of its value, and 3) though superior in this area, Mirai won't be able to make up *that* much ground on her in spins, IMO.

miki88
07-31-2010, 03:14 AM
PCS improve when consistency improves. Ashley far too often has shot herself in the foot by skating error-filled SPs. Your PCS are shot if you can't skate clean SPs. Her lack of a stand-out senior international resume/reputation/competitive experience doesn't help her politically either.

Agree. At this point, PCS is more of an reputation score rather than a reflection of actual skating skills. And the only way to improve one's reputation is to become more consistent and build one's resume by earning medals.
About the speed debate between Mao and Yuna; I have to say that was overblown by the commentators. Mao is not as fast as Yuna and Carolina and that has always been the case. However, this didn't seem to make such a difference when she was doing well in 2008. Speed is not the thing that made the difference. The real difference is the fact that Mao's reputation had been given a blow with her recent slump and she lost some momentum which has decidely swung toward her rival's side. In figure skating, once you gain the judges' favor, you're going to have the edge over all your competitors.

pinky166
07-31-2010, 03:30 AM
I'm not quite sure what you're getting at. For example, on the GP last season, Ashley averaged 25.94 for PCS in the short program (second behind Czisny who lead the U.S. ladies with a 26.06 average). In the free skate, Ashley was averaging 53.92 PCS (again, only second behind Alissa Czisny who was averaging 55.56). I know PCS isn't truly comparable across events, but clearly the judges have shown that they will reward her with good scores when she skates well (ditto for Czisny). Aside from Kim, Rochette, Ando, Asada and Lepisto, there weren't many skaters pulling as big of numbers PCS-wise as Ashley did.


Yes but all the top competitors have PCS of near or above 30 for SP and 60 for LP. Ashley may have PCS comparable to Flatt and Czisny now, but her PCS are still quite a bit lower than what Kim, Asada, Rochette, Ando, Lepisto, an on Carolina, and now Mirai regularly receive. Further, Czisny is a tier 2 skater and Flatt is only a tier 1 skater because of her dependebly high TES which make up for her PCS which are significantly lower than the top guns (the same can be said of Akiko Suzuki).

To be competitive with the best, Ashley needs to either find a way to boost her PCS or become extremely consistent with her jumps and start doing 3-3s in competition to raise her TES enough to make up for her lower PCS (which likely would also result in higher PCS). This makes sense if you think about it, I mean Lepisto scored 114 for her double filled FS at Worlds, but that was because she got 60+ for TES. For Ashley to score 114 now, it would mean she'd need a TES score of 60+ which is quite hard to receive, because her PCS are only going to be mid 50s.

ChibiChibi
07-31-2010, 03:39 AM
I think what Mirai needs to do at this point is to stay healthy and injury-free.