Has any reigning champion just plain failed to qualify for Worlds?

Discussion in 'The Trash Can' started by MissIzzy, Dec 12, 2010.

  1. MissIzzy

    MissIzzy New Member

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    Listening to all the speculation right now about Mao Asada and whether or not she can pull it together enough to earn a berth to Worlds ahead of three well-skating countrywomen at Japanese Nationals in two weeks time, and about the possibility that she might not qualify left me wondering: has that ever happened to the reigning World Champion?

    Of course we've had reigning champions retire, we've had them miss out due to injury, and we've had one occasion of reigning champions out due to a doping suspension. But has any reigning World Champion, uninjured as far as anyone knows, compete at their Nationals or whatever other qualifiers their country uses(Europeans, etc.), and just not qualify? Any where they've just been named anyway?

    I can't think of any. If Mao doesn't right the ship, we could be looking at a completely unprecedented situation in figure skating.

    Of course, you don't get to be World Champion without having the mettle to deliver when the chips are down. So Mao probably still has a good shot at qualifying fair and square. But again, has anyone not done so?
  2. RFOS

    RFOS Well-Known Member

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    I can't think of a reigning World Champion not qualifying off the top of my head, but Irina Slutskaya was the World Silver Medalist in 1998 and didn't qualify the next year.
  3. ainouta

    ainouta Well-Known Member

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    And Suguri in 2007.
  4. chipso1

    chipso1 Well-Known Member

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    And Lu Chen ('96 silver medalist) who failed to advance from the QR in '97.
  5. miki88

    miki88 New Member

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    I think she was injured that year. I don't recall any reigning World Champion in this situation before, but then again I also don't recall a skater going through a major jumping rehaul at a later stage of their career. So Mao is really in unchartered territory so to speak.
  6. TwizzlerS

    TwizzlerS Well-Known Member

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    It didn't happen this fast for Kimmie Meissner but she was world champion in 2006 and then barely made it to Worlds in 2008 and failed to qualify in 2009.
  7. chipso1

    chipso1 Well-Known Member

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    Kimmie didn't even compete at Nationals in 2009 (withdrew a few weeks prior with injury), so I'm not sure this is the same scenario as a reigning medalist not qualifying. Kimmie was 7th in 2008, at both Nationals and Worlds.
  8. bardtoob

    bardtoob Well-Known Member

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    Li Mingzu wanted more of Lulu's prize money, so she went over Lulu's head to the skating federation. When Lulu fought back, Li accused Lulu of hiding money from the communist government. Lulu was basically under house arrest and with substandard coaching thereafter.
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2010
  9. The Accordion

    The Accordion Well-Known Member

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    :eek: I didn't know that!
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  10. briancoogaert

    briancoogaert Well-Known Member

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    Injured too : Jill Trenary !
  11. aliceanne

    aliceanne Well-Known Member

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    Shizuka Arakawa had very long up and down career. I don't remember all of the details but didn't she fail to qualify for Worlds for a few years and then won gold? Then the year after that dropped to 9th and then the next year won Olympic gold? I don't believe she ever won Japanese nationals.
  12. RFOS

    RFOS Well-Known Member

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    She did advance from the QR and placed 25th in the short, so she didn't advance to the free skate.
  13. Seerek

    Seerek Well-Known Member

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    In recent memory, World medalists who did not qualify for the following year's Worlds...

    2001 Michael Weiss
    *2004 Takeshi Honda (injured)
    *2004 Tim Goebel (withdraw @ Nats)
    2009 Johnny Weir

    1987 Tiffany Chin
    1991 Holly Cook
    *1996 Nicole Bobek (withdraw @ Nats)
    1999 Irina Slutskaya
    2000 Julia Soldatova
    *2003 Irina Slutskaya (ill)
    2007 Fumie Suguri
  14. TygerLily

    TygerLily Well-Known Member

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    This scenario could really only happen to a champion whose country has three or more others in the discipline with the capability of finishing top ten. Most countries haven't/don't have fields that deep, leaving most champions with an essentially guaranteed a spot the next year.


    Ahhh -- Seerek posted while I was writing. That list supports my vague theory. I was thinking of Japan, the US, and Russia (depending on the time frame of course) would be the countries with the kind of depth leading to champions (and medallists) missing out on Worlds the following year.

    Someone like Kostner or Kim could completely bomb nationals (and hasn't Kostner?) and still go to Worlds.
  15. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

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    Kurt Browning (1993 world champ) was 4th in the SP at 1994 Canadians. The CSFA officials said at the time that if he didn't pull up in the long program he wouldn't be sent to Olympics/Worlds.

    He did pull up to 2nd.

    And there was the exact same scenario with Tara Lipinski at 1998 Nationals, except I don't recall any specific statement about whether she'd be sent if she stayed in 4th.
  16. Ares

    Ares Guest

    Technically Irina did qualify for 2003 Worlds with a 2nd place finish at Russian Nationals and a 1st at Euros that year, but she ended up having to withdraw from Worlds.
  17. Triple Butz

    Triple Butz Well-Known Member

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    I suspect her "injury" was that her weak jumping was not going to cut it after the elimination of figures.
  18. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

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    There was a TV interview with her on crutches at some point during that season (Worlds? Nationals?) -- lot of extra effort for a ruse.
  19. briancoogaert

    briancoogaert Well-Known Member

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    I guess you're right gkelly.
    Then, she went back in the Olympic season (1991 Skate Canada ?). She finished in 4th, and realised that it would be to difficult to qualify, IIRC.
  20. Seerek

    Seerek Well-Known Member

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    Yes, you're absolutely right! thanks for reminding me.
  21. museksk8r

    museksk8r Well-Known Member

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    Yu-Na Kim doesn't even have to skate at her Nationals. She's gotten a free pass straight to Worlds since the 2006 season.
  22. 5Ali3

    5Ali3 Active Member

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    Absolutely not true - Trenary had a minor ankle injury, I think a sore caused by the rubbing of her boot against the skin, in the days before Bunga pads, that eventually became infected with staph. The staph infection was quite serious, and I recall that it required multiple surgeries over more than a year; the first was not too long before 1991 Nationals. If I am remembering correctly, the staph infection essentially ended her career.

    I wasn't there, but the story makes sense to me based on the mechanics of being in boots, and I know of another national competitor whose career ended for a similar reason - over a year spent battling an infection along her heal that involved an infected raw area that was at least 2"x3". Each time that it seemed healed, she'd try to skate again, and the boot would just rip it back up. By the time that it finally healed with nine full months of complete rest, including a hospital stay with IV antibiotics, it just wasn't worth coming back to skating.
  23. Triple Butz

    Triple Butz Well-Known Member

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    You know, you're right. It was really the next year when she tried to compete and it just wasn't going to be enough. I sort of blended 91 and 92 together. Sorry about that.
  24. bardtoob

    bardtoob Well-Known Member

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    And the myth continues ... sure, post-figures Trenary would've been competitive :rolleyes:
  25. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

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    She probably could have beaten Kerrigan and Kerrigan medaled in all the major events in 91-92.
  26. Seerek

    Seerek Well-Known Member

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    Jill seemed pretty optimistic in this January 1991 Interview on NBC that she would recover in time to get a bye to the 1991 Worlds. Interesting to hear that because her surgery was just recent.
  27. DreamSkates

    DreamSkates New Member

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    That must be just crushing, so so so disappointing to have that status and work so hard but not get back to worlds or your previous competitive form or ranking.
  28. Frau Muller

    Frau Muller President of Dick Button Appreciation Club

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    Actually, in her time, Jill was known as the musical artiste and a solid free skater. She just happened to do well in figures because of Carlo Fassi...but by no means was she a "figures-above-all" skater. Sure, she lost an edge against those with relatively weak figures (Bonaly, Ito, etc.) after 1990, but Trenary was never known as a figures specialist. She suffered a bad injury in summer 1990, that I recall. The elimination of figures simply opened the floodgates for Bonaly et al. I'm sure that a healthy Jill would have held her own through to 1992 Olympics.
  29. bardtoob

    bardtoob Well-Known Member

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    Jill won Worlds in 1990 primarily because of figures. She had a miserable SP and did not win the LP.
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2010
  30. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

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    She was 2nd in the LP so obviously she was competitive. She beat Yamaguchi who would go on to win the 91 Worlds, 92 Olympics, and 92 Worlds. I am not saying she would have beaten Yamaguchi at any of those events, I highly doubt it in fact. However I think she could have beaten Kerrigan at any of them, and Kerrigan medaled at each. Actually Kerrigan might have not even made a World team until 1993 if Trenary had stayed in.
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  31. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

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    I guess the question is whether, in those first two years post-figures, judges would have given more weight to total number of triples landed (and how many Kerrigan and Trenary each would have landed) or most difficult triples (Kerrigan had lutz and loop, Trenary did not), or whether things like edge quality and musicality as reflected in the second mark would have given Trenary an advantage.

    Certainly if she could have skated her best she could have been competitive. Much would depend who happened to have a good day at 91 and 92 Nationals.
  32. bardtoob

    bardtoob Well-Known Member

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    Yamaguchi went splat at 1990 Worlds. Had Yamaguchi not fallen apart at Worlds, then it would have helped Midori to the World title.

    It is interesting that you have left out Tonya Harding in your commentary.
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2010
  33. orbitz

    orbitz Well-Known Member

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    I don't think you have to win either the SP or LP to be considered a good freeskater. Mao won both of her World titles without winning either the OP or the LP and most people aren't going to call her a lousy freestylist.

    It's kind of sad to see so many people degrade Jill's quality as a skater. She was a good free skater for her era and was definitely no Kira Invanova in term of being only good in the figures, for example. I don't think you can really label any U.S. National champion as being a poor freeskater.
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  34. bardtoob

    bardtoob Well-Known Member

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    1. Are you serious, comparing Jill Trenary under the 6.0 with figures to Mao under the IJS. That is Apples to Pumpkins.

    2. I think Jill was a fine complete package skater pre-fall 1991

    3. I like Kira Ivanova's freeskating.
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2010
  35. miki88

    miki88 New Member

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    Well, it's was really debatable both times. I thought she should have won the SP in 2008 (still can't get over Kostner at that competition) and the LP in 2010.
  36. Mafke

    Mafke New Member

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    1. I agree.

    2. Yes, she was. she was also one of many female skaters who invested years of training for one sport (where quality figures mattered and thre different triples were enough) only to have the ground rules change under her skates (literally) into another very different sport when it was effectively too late for her to adapt. Leaving aside injuries she was on the old side to be learning new triples. Had she managed to come back she might have taken Kerrigan's place as third US lady in 1991-92 (whether she would have been satisfied with that is another question). Kerrigan had more triples on paper but she wasn't exactly miss consistent (though neither was Jill) but the judges did like Trenary's free skating basics probably better than Kerrigan's at that time.

    3. So do I.
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  37. Extranjera

    Extranjera New Member

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    "Has any reigning champion just plain failed to qualify for Worlds? "

    apparently no ;)
  38. briancoogaert

    briancoogaert Well-Known Member

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    Good summary !
    Anyway, I'm happy because due to this thread, I've rewatched some of Jill Trenary's performances. Not that bad !
  39. essence_of_soy

    essence_of_soy Well-Known Member

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    This was the first big international competition skated without the benefit of compulsory figures. Interestingly, Jill won the short ahead of Kerrigan (2nd), Yamaguchi (3rd) and Bonaly (4th). Here is her short program.

    Other competitors included Karen Preston, Natalia Lebedeva, and Margot Bion. Tonya Harding did not compete and in fact had been beaten by Kerrigan several weeks prior at the U.S. Sports Festival. Midori Ito did not compete, either.

    In the free Jill placed second and won the silver overall behind Yamaguchi, who placed first in the free. Kerrigan tanked and finished out of the medals behind Bonaly who was fourth in the free but third overall.

    Jill skated well, with a step - out on the triple flip and a touch down on her trademark one foot axel / triple salchow. Here is her free skate. Yamaguchi, from memory, landed five triples, but fell on a sixth, a solo triple toe loop.

    On this basis, I guess Jill could still have been competitive in the post - compulsory era.
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2010
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  40. bardtoob

    bardtoob Well-Known Member

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    I thought the 1990 Goodwill Games were in the Spring of 1990, during the figures era.