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judgejudy27
04-02-2012, 04:19 PM
Alena's career seems to be hitting its peak with a GP final bronze and World silver, but next year is when all the younger Russians stats to become age eligible and even more in 2014. What are her chances to make future teams and continue to contend for big event medals. I fully expect her to make the 2013 World team, but her chances to make the 2014 Olympic team will depend largely how she does at those Worlds I suspect.

PashaFan
04-02-2012, 04:35 PM
Good question.
I've enjoyed watching her skate this season but was not a fan of her before that. I think she needs to improve the artistic side of her skating. The Eurosport commentators at the World's felt she struggled to connect with the crowd. I did not see her as a World silver medalist going into the Championships. This may be her peak at World's. I think the Europeans may be her strength in years to come.
No Kim or Ando this year. Asada going through a tough time. This may have been her best chance at World's.
Chris Howarth on Eurosport said that Makarova might not be seen again with the younger Russains coming through. But I do hope both of them improve & fight for their place.
It's a shame that every country only gets limited places at the Major Championships. I would like it to be based on ranking through the season.
The World Championships should be more like a Grand Slam in tennis.

museksk8r
04-02-2012, 04:41 PM
While Alena can tend to run hot or cold through the GP series, as of late she has been succeeding at peaking at the right times. 2011 and 2012 Worlds are great examples and the Russian federation should not turn a blind eye to that fact. Europeans are her bugaboo though; I guess every skater has that one event where they freeze up.

love_skate2011
04-02-2012, 08:12 PM
I was sure that Leonova with Makarova will be dumped by next season
although I dislike her, she has proven me wrong and she is indeed a fighter
and will not give up without a fight, I admire her for that, a world medalist :blah: when pigs fly , who would have thought, I used to say. :slinkaway

so far this season she was able to beat all young russian upcomers and wonderbabies except Lipnitskaya either in grand prix or nationals this season.

she won against :

Adelina - check
Elizaveta - check
Radionova - check
Shelepen - check
Korobeynikova - check
Biryukova - check
Shershak - check
Medvedeva - check
Agafonova - check

Leonova is the definition of an underdog
the more you wish she won't medal. she will medal. lol
I was one of those expecting she will not medal at worlds

ltnskater
04-02-2012, 08:30 PM
Barring an absolutely disastrous next season, Alena should be kept on the world team. I highly suspect it will be of her (one with experience) + 2 relatively inexperienced, but just came from juniors jumping beans (i.e. byebye Makarova).

I certainly was not expecting her on the world podium, but it was never out of the realm of possibility if she skated close if not her best and you look at the standard of ladies skating this season. But I was happy for her when she got a medal, which should keep her up in the Russian Federation's eyes for the moment!

(Look at Korobeynikova - probably mispelled, she was the inexperienced one this time around and didn't do so well even though they were expecting her to do better than Makarova, so sending 3 inexperienced young Russians to worlds will probably not be the best idea, especially when you now have a world silver medallist hanging around).

doubleflutz
04-02-2012, 08:33 PM
I think she's going to keep fighting for the #3 spot on the Russian team. In fact, I think she could be very valuable to them. She, Adelina, and Liza all seem to be good friends already, and since she's already been to four senior worlds and an Olympics, she'd make a great "team captain" of a sort. Maybe Julia L. will replace Adelina by Sochi, but as mentally fragile as Adelina can be, I have some big doubts about Julia. They're both big question marks to me. Adelina is a bit headcasey, and of all of them, Julia has the worst jump technique and seems the most vulnerable to potential body changes from puberty. Plus being uber flexible makes her more at risk for injury, if she starts seriously pushing for 3-3s in competition.

Unless all three of the top little Russians do extraordinarily well as seniors, I think it would be wise for Russia to keep sending at least one veteran to Worlds and even to the Olympics. None of them are actually good competitors except Liza. Alena has shown she can hold up to the pressure at worlds, and I only expect her mental game only to improve as she grows older. PashaFan is right; I think Morozov is very smart about getting his athletes to peak at the right time and do what they need to do.

smarts1
04-02-2012, 09:28 PM
My wish is that she's dumped next year. :D

VALuvsMKwan
04-02-2012, 09:35 PM
My wish is that she's dumped next year. :D

By His Sliminess or by the Russian Federation?

victoriaheidi
04-02-2012, 09:37 PM
While Alena can tend to run hot or cold through the GP series, as of late she has been succeeding at peaking at the right times. 2011 and 2012 Worlds are great examples and the Russian federation should not turn a blind eye to that fact. Europeans are her bugaboo though; I guess every skater has that one event where they freeze up.

Truth be told, as long as she makes top 10 at Euros, she's actually pretty safe. She can't screw up Nats or Worlds, and if she does well on the GP, the one event where a screw-up can be overlooked is Euros. JMO

judgejudy27
04-02-2012, 09:42 PM
Yeah a skater like Makarova is now history (atleast in Russia), but Leonova has shown she wont be cast aside easily. That makes the next couple years even more interesting. The 3 Polinas and other up and comers need to step up even more now as with Leonova fighting strong and Julia emerging as well, they are even further from making a major team for Russia anytime soon.

leafygreens
04-02-2012, 10:05 PM
OK, the Russian "jumping beans" coming up does not mean Alena must retire. How many times has ________ skating federation expected to be saved by the newest jumping bean, who later gets a growth spurt or crumbles under the pressure. There is a lot to be said for maturity.

Nomad
04-03-2012, 03:47 AM
As the first Russian lady to medal at Worlds since 2005, I think Leonova bought herself another year of support by the RF. Something she might not have if she'd skated like she did at Euros.

Proustable
04-03-2012, 04:03 AM
Pretty much - by doing her part, earning a medal and contributing to the maintenance of the third spot, she's earned at least a year if not two. And I suspect she'll make it two years with her competitive spirit and vigour. She won't be cast aside lightly.

aftershocks
04-03-2012, 04:09 AM
...
It's a shame that every country only gets limited places at the Major Championships. I would like it to be based on ranking through the season.
The World Championships should be more like a Grand Slam in tennis.

^^This. I've previously posted similar thoughts. Although figure skating is not tennis, I think in the way tennis has Davis Cup for top tennis athletes to compete for their countries, it might benefit the sport of figure skating to try and separate politics from the World Championships. Even in gymnastics, although the gymnasts are competing as teams from different countries, they are able to win individual medals in a variety of disciplines, and then compete for an all-around medal if they are high enough in the standings. I think the models offered by tennis and gymnastics in how the individual athletes are allowed to compete in top events based on the level of their talent (regardless of their country of origin) is something figure skating should adopt. It is a different world in figure skating with deep talent in some countries vs. lesser talent in others. This means that many talented skaters have to stay home while some countries are able to send skaters with lesser talent. There are skaters from different countries teaming up and becoming successful in pairs and ice dance. Coaches from different countries coach skaters from different countries more than ever. This is in sharp contrast to the fact that figure skating is run in an antiquated and out of touch way by the ISU.

The World Team Trophy is an idea similar to Davis Cup, which could be expanded in a way similar to Davis Cup with round robin competitions to determine which countries reach the finals -- this could allow countries with lesser figure skating talent to have the opportunity to represent their country and gain the experience of competing against more talented teams, and maybe even beat them on occasion. Most of all, it would give skaters in countries with greater depth of talent, more opportunity to test themselves against the best in the world based on their level of talent and not on competing at their Nationals for 2 or 3 spots.

In regard to Alena: I enjoyed her programs at Worlds last year and felt she should have won the bronze medal. This season I did not enjoy either of her programs, and although Alena often performed well technically, I think her marks were inflated on a number of occasions, including at Worlds in Nice.

Marco
04-03-2012, 05:00 AM
Is Lipnitskaya really too young for 2013 Worlds? If the 4 youngsters (Tuk, Sot, Polina K, Polina S) don't all skate solidly next season, Leonova might still have a chance.