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  1. #61
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    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.

  2. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by pinky166 View Post
    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.
    Last edited by miki88; 07-30-2010 at 10:45 PM.

  3. #63

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    Quote Originally Posted by pinky166 View Post
    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.

  4. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by pinky166 View Post
    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.
    Last edited by museksk8r; 07-30-2010 at 11:11 PM.

  5. #65

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    I agree. Ashley's problems certainly aren't her skating skills, they're her jumps (rotation, entry edges and two-footing).

  6. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by chipso1 View Post
    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

  7. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by judgejudy27 View Post
    Rochette isnt even competing this season. I doubt we will see Rochette again actually.

    Yeah.. I was just theoretically speaking.

  8. #68

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    Quote Originally Posted by olympic View Post
    ..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.

  9. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by museksk8r View Post
    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.

  10. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by chipso1 View Post
    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.

  11. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by pinky166 View Post
    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.

  12. #72

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    Quote Originally Posted by pinky166 View Post
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by pinky166 View Post
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by pinky166 View Post
    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.

  13. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by museksk8r View Post
    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.
    Last edited by miki88; 07-31-2010 at 03:58 AM.

  14. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by chipso1 View Post
    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.

  15. #75
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    I think what Mirai needs to do at this point is to stay healthy and injury-free.

  16. #76

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    Did you read what I wrote? I said aside from Kim, Asada, Rochette, Ando and Lepisto, Ashley was receiving some of the highest PCS scores on the GP series. The same can be said for Alissa. Neither are ever going to match Kim, Asada or Rochette on PCS, but it's pretty clear that when they skate well, they get rewarded for their skating skills, choreography, interpretation and style.

    I fully expect Mirai's PCS to be significantly higher this season on the GP than it was last season, but she (like everyone else) is still going to need to skate well.

    ETA: ^ChibiChibi, I agree that Mirai staying injury-free is going to be the key factor for her this season. She's proven to be a bit "breakable" the past few seasons, and I hope her current injury isn't too serious.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChibiChibi View Post
    I think what Mirai needs to do at this point is to stay healthy and injury-free.
    This, and:

    To answer the thread title, I think she has the talent to CHALLENGE Asada, not sure about Kim though, especially since the latter may not even be a factor past this season.

    The Olympics, as well as the Worlds SP, showed that when she's on, she can play with the big boys (girls). But when she's off, barely top 10 material if even that.

    The challenge for Nagasu, besides health, is going to be consistency and nerves. She fell victim to them at the Worlds FS. I thought she showed incredible mental toughness in situations like her '09 Nationals FS, but am not sure what happened in Torino. I predict the next season or two will be her exploration as she tries to establish herself as one of the best. This "exploration" I speak of can include Olympic-like performances as well as Worlds-like ones. But if she ever finds herself nervous to the point of being paralyzed, if she is capable of digging deep like she did that night in Cleveland, you bet she'll be a force to be reckoned with. The question we really should be asking is, is she willing to TRY? Because the past couple performances I've seen her do- including the one I saw live- she sure wasn't...and, like I said in another thread, sport waits for no one, so while she goes through this phase, you bet up-and-comers from the US and Russia will try to give her (and Asada) a run for their money.

  18. #78
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    Mirai showed during last year's Worlds SP that she is capable of out-skating Asada. She was better in most of her elements, and it also helped that Asada's triple axel got dinged for under rotation as usual.

    With the new rules however, Asada will likely get an huge edge by receiving at least intermediate points for triple axels. Even with underrotations, she will rack up 6 points in base value which is same as a clean triple lutz, and possibly a lot more if axels are rotated. If she performs it 3 times it could add up to lots of points.

    IMO, Miari doesn't stand a chance this year.
    Last edited by RumbleFish; 07-31-2010 at 06:16 AM.

  19. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by RumbleFish View Post
    Mirai showed during last year's Worlds SP that she is capable of out-skating Asada. She was better in most of her elements, and it also helped that Asada's triple axel got dinged for under rotation as usual.

    With the new rules however, Asada will likely get an huge edge by receiving at least intermediate points for triple axels. Even with underrotations, she will rack up 6 points in base value which is same as a clean triple lutz, and possibly a lot more if axels are rotated. If she performs it 3 times it could add up to lots of points.

    IMO, Miari doesn't stand a chance this year.
    If Mao skates like she did in last year's GP season then Mirai definitely does stand a chance. Also, I think this will be a rebuilding year for Mao, she will work a lot on her jump technique and stuff, so she might not be the most on with her jumps. But who knows, I really don't think she's that much better than Mirai at this point though, a little better yes, but not by much. IMO the gap between Kim and Asada is greater than the gap between Asada and Nagasu at this point, and yet Asada was still able to beat Kim at Worlds. Anything can happen.

    I think consistency is key for Mirai, and she doesn't even need to always skate perfectly clean, what's more important is that she avoids the kinds of near meltdowns she's had in the past. I tend to think this is possible, because remember Miki Ando pre 2007? She was a great talent but young and inconsistent. Since she won worlds in 2007, she's been pretty consistent, she doesn't always skate great but she always manages to skate well enough to place well at Worlds, win medals on the GP and qualify for the final, avoid bombing Japanese Nationals, etc. I mean this past season Miki wasn't even at her best/most exciting, and she still managed to earn 2 GP golds, silver at the GPF, 4th at Japanese Nationals when she already had her Olympic spot reserved, 5th at the Olympics, 4th at Worlds. That's pretty good and shows great consistency and the ability to control nerves. I think for Mirai this will come will age and experience, as that appears to be what did it for Ando.

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    Mirai is very good, and I'm sure she can beat Mao Asada. Not sure about YuNa Kim, because of her big GOE.

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