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judgejudy27
01-19-2011, 10:31 PM
Actually Michelle and Irina didnt meet in the fall of 99. They met in the fall of 2000 at Skate Canada. Irina did win handily getting all the 1st place votes but 1 judge in each program. Both skated excellent shorts with Michelle skating her Rush program which she would soon dump. Both skated adequate but flawed longs with about 5 clean triples each. I thought the gap between the two skaters was somewhat inflated at this event and I thought Michelle's short was undermarked.

However the short program judging between the two during this period was consistent with the judges considering Irina the strongest technical skater in womens skating at the time, even a notch above Michelle. They just felt her elements were the better ones all things equal. I dont think it was jump content as Irina did a triple lutz-double loop and Michelle a triple lutz-double toe as the only difference but that is only a .2 difference (almost nothing today) in points under COP to put it into perspective. Under 6.0 it may have been seen as a more valuable difference to the judges though.

Irina was the judges pet the whole 00-01 season until Worlds. She easily beat Michelle several times for comparable performances. Her most controversial win of all was of course at NHK where Maria Butyrskaya had the best performance of any women that season until Worlds and still was beaten by Irina. Maria was so upset she didnt even stand on the podium. The Worlds panel was different though and seemed to favor Michelle and Irina equally, so Irina really was going to have to earn her win there which I think threw her off.

briancoogaert
01-20-2011, 12:23 PM
Technically Irina was far superior to Kwan in their prime. Her jumps were way higher and more powerful and this was what built Irina's reputation as sensational jumper, beside her difficult triple-triples.
Well, Irina has much more power. But you can't say Irina is technically superior.
Michelle's jumping technique is very good. The only jumps Irina does better than Michelle are the 2Axel and the 3Loop.

David21
01-20-2011, 12:35 PM
Well, Irina has much more power. But you can't say Irina is technically superior.
Michelle's jumping technique is very good. The only jumps Irina does better than Michelle are the 2Axel and the 3Loop.


Irina did ALL jumps better than Michelle since she got much more height on them. And besides, she didn't flutz as much. :P

alchemy void
01-20-2011, 12:53 PM
The only jumps Irina does better than Michelle are the 2Axel and the 3Loop.

Preposterous statement of the week! There are kits of things Kwan did better than Slutskaya but jumping (and spinning) was not one of them!

briancoogaert
01-20-2011, 03:13 PM
Preposterous statement of the week! There are kits of things Kwan did better than Slutskaya but jumping (and spinning) was not one of them!
My point is that technically, Michelle's jumps are very good. Her jumping technique was excellent, her take-off were clean, and her landing way better than Irina's. It's part of jumping technique, like it or not.
Although, I agree that Irina's jumps were more athletic and more impressive.

Figure skating technique is not just about athleticism. ;)

antmanb
01-20-2011, 03:56 PM
Did I wake up in 2002?

Ant

judgejudy27
01-20-2011, 06:57 PM
Well, Irina has much more power. But you can't say Irina is technically superior.
Michelle's jumping technique is very good. The only jumps Irina does better than Michelle are the 2Axel and the 3Loop.

I would say they are close to equal in the triple lutz, triple flip, and triple toe (some would say I am being generous to Kwan here). I would say Irina is easily better in the triple loop, triple salchow, and double axel.

orientalplane
01-20-2011, 07:01 PM
I would say they are close to equal in the triple lutz, triple flip, and triple toe (some would say I am being generous to Kwan here).

Slutskaya had miles more height than Kwan on the toe jumps.

judgejudy27
01-20-2011, 08:32 PM
Slutskaya had miles more height than Kwan on the toe jumps.

I thought Kwan had a quite big and almost textook triple toe and I give her brownie points since her triple toe-triple toe combination was outstanding.

I was impressed how Kwan would do a triple lutz very late in her long program and land it very consistently and often with good height and flow. I give her extra points for that. Irina's triple lutz in the short is definitely (usually) better.

bartek
01-20-2011, 08:38 PM
My point is that technically, Michelle's jumps are very good. Her jumping technique was excellent, her take-off were clean, and her landing way better than Irina's. It's part of jumping technique, like it or not.
Although, I agree that Irina's jumps were more athletic and more impressive.

Figure skating technique is not just about athleticism. ;)

Technically, Michelle's jumps are very good, but Irina's ones are just better. Both had full set of consistent triples and now compare them.

Lutz - the most difficult jump and Irina's highest one. Way higher than Michelle (2x). Sometimes however she lost speed at the end while Michelle had usually better flow out of it. We must remember though it was not always like that. Many of Irina's lutzes had good flow. Both had similar transition before the lutz. Michelle flutzed, Irina took off from flat or slight outside edge so next point for her. Both used the jump in combination, Irina usually with double loop, Michelle usually with double toe. This season the difference is bigger, 1.4 for 2T and 1.8 for 2L. However, Irina tried the most difficult triple-triple (3Lz+3L) and landed it succesfully three times in her career. Michelle tried it once and in fact did 3Lz and 2.25L and fell. Irin wins lutz.

Flip - Irina's one way higher (2x). Usually she didn't lose speed on the flip landing, but still I would give point for flow to Michelle. Both had the same entrance - one three-turn. Both didn't lip. Because of huge height and power, I give the flip to Irina.

Loop - Again, Irina had much more height. Flow I think comparable though Michelle just a little bit better. Irina's entrance much more difficult - four back three turns. Michelle didn't have any transitions before the loop. Beside it, Irina used it in combinations as opposed to Michelle's double toe. Sometimes however, Irina pulled off 3S+3L or 3Lz+3L. Michelle wasn't able to execute triple-triple with loop at the end. Irina easily wins here.

Salchow - Irina's one much higher for the fourth time. And this time flow is equall, I can hardly remember Irina losing speed at the end of salchow. The same entrance though Irina in her late career sometimes used Sasha's entrance (back three-turn on right foot). Salchow easily goeas to Irina.

Toeloop - this was the lowest Irina's toe jump, though still she had more height than Michelle. In terms of flow Michelle wins with beautiful flowing edge out of the jump. Different entrance but difficulty of it I think the same. In case of using it in combination, the only triple-triple Michelle did was 3T+3T and it was usually very well done. Irina did this combo cleanly only once (out of three attempts) and her second jump was higher than Michelle's first ones... Irina covered much bigger amount of ice as well. Michelle had only better flow. Here I would say draw or Irina's win but just by a small margin.

Axel - Irina had more height, covered bigger amount of ice and this is the jump where she had very good flow as well, the same as Michelle's flow. Next thing, Irina put it right after the triple flip what made it more difficult. In their long programs they both didn't have any transitions but in the short Irina sometimes used difficult entrance (the same Midori Ito had sometimes used). Another win for Irina.

Jumps go to Irina.

Spins don't need any comments. Clearly Irina wins. She had more speed, more flexibility, better and more difficult positions. The only difficult position Michelle had is Y-spin but. Irina executed difficult variations in layback (catchfoot, biellman) and camel (donought) what showed her flexibility. And of course her signature biellman with foot change which also had sit, camel and standard layback positions. When CoP replaced 6.0 Irina didn't have any problems. Changing from sideways lean to backwards in layback, changing edges in camel, using difficult variations (catch-foot, biellman, donought). The only bad thing was that Irina overused a biellman positions but she had full right to make the most of the rules. On the other hand, Michelle had big problems with her easy spins.

Spins go to Irina.

Spirals - finally Michelle is better. Legendary change of edge arebesque spiral, deep edges, good flexibility though not outstanding, position held for a long time, quite nice speed as well. One problem, the only really good spiral of Michelle's is arebesque. The others aren't that good. Wait, she did only an arebesque. When CoP appeared Michelle had to include two different positions and they weren't as good as her arebesque. Under 6.0 Irina had bad spirals, rushed and not good positions, not the same stretch and extention as in her spins. Though, her edges in spirals were good, in one performance, I can't find it now, she did an arebesque spiral with one of the deepest outside edge I've ever seen. CoP showed that Irina could do the spirals. Biellman with change of edge, though the change was usually a bit shaky, good speed and flexibility. In terms of variety I've seen Michelle doing arebesqe, Y, fan and probably Kerrigan spirals. Irina did Biellman, arabesque and fan spirals.

Spirals go to Michelle.

Speed without a doubt goes to Irina.

Moves in the field - Michelle sometimes did charlottes or spread eagles. I've never seen Irina doing them so this part go to Michelle.

Transitions before the jumps I included in part about jumps.

In my opinion, Irina is better than Michelle when it comes to technical side of skating. Irina - jumps, spins, speed. Michelle - spirals, moves in the field.

judgejudy27
01-20-2011, 09:30 PM
I think from 96-99 though Michelle was better than Irina both technically and artistically which is why Michelle dominated her that whole period. From 2000 onwards Irina surpassed her technically while improving artistically which is why she more than held her own vs Kwan from that point on. Kwan was still often the stronger competitor in big events though (except Olympics).

bartek
01-21-2011, 12:17 AM
I think from 96-99 though Michelle was better than Irina both technically and artistically which is why Michelle dominated her that whole period. From 2000 onwards Irina surpassed her technically while improving artistically which is why she more than held her own vs Kwan from that point on. Kwan was still often the stronger competitor in big events though (except Olympics).

Of course, in my big post I was comparing them in years 1999-2002.

Marco
01-21-2011, 03:52 AM
On top of height and difficulty, if also considering set up, technique, line, form, flow in and out, landing position etc, Kwan's jumps were not necessarily worse than Slutskaya's. I mean look at Kwan's jumps from 2000 Worlds lp and 2004 Nationals lp, and 2003 in general.

Spin-wise, Slutskaya had the better layback and flying camel, but flying sit goes to Kwan and IMO they are about even on combination spin when you take execution, centering, transition between positions and quality into account, not just difficulty.

mrinalini
01-21-2011, 04:16 AM
Sure, Slutskaya was better than Kwan in certain areas, but Kwan had it all over her in the artistry department; Slutskaya's artistry, in general, was deplorable to me. I can think of very few programs of hers that I truly liked (her 2002 short with the straight-line footwork all done on one foot is one of the few), and her 2002 Olympic LP with the chicken-feeding movements passing as choreography was particularly hideous. Ditto her 2006 LP.

I'm not one who can't stand that Sarah Hughes won the OGM because she really went for it in the LP whereas Michelle had such a subpar FS, but if Irina placing below Michelle in the LP would have given Michelle the gold, maybe Michelle should have won after all. IMO, Irina's artistry in the LP was virtually nil, and if I had it my way, none of her presentation marks would have been above a 5.0.

Oh, and I disagree that Slutskaya was a better all-round spinner than Kwan - Slutskaya is only better if rather messily prostituting the Biellmann is a qualifying criterion.

Fallcolor
01-21-2011, 06:03 AM
Spirals - finally Michelle is better. Legendary change of edge arebesque spiral, deep edges, good flexibility though not outstanding, position held for a long time, quite nice speed as well. One problem, the only really good spiral of Michelle's is arebesque. The others aren't that good. Wait, she did only an arebesque. When CoP appeared Michelle had to include two different positions and they weren't as good as her arebesque. Under 6.0 Irina had bad spirals, rushed and not good positions, not the same stretch and extention as in her spins. Though, her edges in spirals were good, in one performance, I can't find it now, she did an arebesque spiral with one of the deepest outside edge I've ever seen. CoP showed that Irina could do the spirals. Biellman with change of edge, though the change was usually a bit shaky, good speed and flexibility. In terms of variety I've seen Michelle doing arebesqe, Y, fan and probably Kerrigan spirals. Irina did Biellman, arabesque and fan spirals.

IIRC Kwan also did a hydrant position in her spiral-- something she added later to suit the COP requirements (2005 worlds I think?).

Also, although Ira had bigger jumps, aesthetically speaking, I prefered Kwan. For example, landing them almost 90% of the time with a nice straight arch of the back, requires skill and technique, too.