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  1. #1
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    What did the very strong skaters who never won Worlds have which prevented it

    What do you think the following top skaters lacked in their skating that prevented them from winning a World title:

    Women:

    Surya Bonaly
    Fumie Suguri
    Joannie Rochette
    Caryn Kadavy


    Men:

    Christopher Bowman
    Norbert Schramm
    Takeshi Honda
    Philipe Candelero


    Pairs:

    Meno and Sand
    Beckhe and Petrov
    Selezneva & Makarov


    Dance:

    Drobiazko & Vanagas
    Dubreuil & Lauzon
    Belbin & Agosto
    Moniotte & Lavanchy
    Rahkammo & Kokko
    Wilson & McCall


    I did not mention Cohen, Goebel, Kostner and the Zhangs as in each of their cases it is fairly obvious what prevented each from winning a major title. Cohen and Kostner their inabillity to not self destruct in big events, and Zhangs and Goebel a long list of things when they werent in the air.

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    I watched video of Fumie Suguri with commentary from Dick and Peggy, Scott Hamilton, and the Euro Sport team from Fall 2000 to Spring 2002, and they all talked about 3Lz-3T which always turned out to be a 3Lz-2T that had enough height for an extra rotation. It was that jump combination that would have made the difference, particularly when Michelle and Irina were in their "not to loose" mode.

    Caryn Kadavy had enough to win, but she did not have a "winning attitude" a la Katarina Witt. Basically, Katarina had decided that she deserved to win years before she was ever in a position to win.

    The French Federation basically killed Surya's chances of developing into a World Champion by letting her get international exposure too early. She should have never been allowed to go to 1989 Worlds with no freeskating skills, let alone no figures skills. There was no chance she was ever going to live that down.

    Christopher Bowman was capable of a consistent 3A when he was trained, but he never trained since he was rewarded with stuff like a World Silver Medal for an improvised program he had only been working on for 6 weeks.

    IMHO, Rochette could have probably won 2010 Worlds except for her unfortunate circumstances.
    Last edited by bardtoob; 07-24-2010 at 06:04 PM.

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    Consistency first, some didn't have flare (minus the French and Bowman), then maybe I'd say big weapons like big lifts in dance, big throws or jumps in pairs, a clean 4 or 3-3s in the rest.
    Last edited by Kwantumleap; 07-24-2010 at 05:37 PM.

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    I don't think Bonaly and Candalerro ever had the judges' favor so unless all the other top skaters had meltdowns, they wouldn't have been awarded the gold. Rochette's chances were hindered by the lack of a 3-3 in her arsenal. Her best chance would have been this year but she had to withdrew for personal reasons. I'm not sure if she has another chance at the gold unless she gets a 3-3 since many of the younger competitors already include a 3-3 in their programs.

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    Just a few comments:

    The competition was too strong and maybe some of these skaters could have had more consistency.

    About Rochette I have gotten the general impression, that she skates her best in the events held in Canada.

    Bonaly´s skating lacked flow and her stroking looked strange (for lack of a better word).

    Rahkamo & Kokko came from the wrong country...

    Bowman did not work hard enough

    Candeloro was wonderful in presentation, but his posture was not good and of course he was not really consistent
    Last edited by Jaana; 07-24-2010 at 07:40 PM.

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    Not only skating reasons

    Pairs:

    Meno and Sand – simply not a WCh gold medal caliber pair. Esp. with B/S around (despite 1998 worlds and their lead after the SP). And even before 1998 K/N, E/B, S/N, W/S were better.
    Bechke and Petrov – 1st reason - Mishkutionok/Dmitriev. 2nd – they probably retired too early. Had they stayed till 1993 – they would have probably won, or at least got a medal.
    Selezneva & Makarov – 1st reason – Valova/Vasiliev as the top Soviet pair for 1984. 2nd reason – Gordeeva/Grinkov. 3rd reason – their not so traditional style.


    Dance:
    Drobiazko & Vanagas – weak federation for sure. Plus she was a weaker skater than her partner. IMO they should have stayed for at least a year after 2002.
    Dubreuil & Lauzon – Denkova/Stavijskiy were a better team.
    Belbin & Agosto –Their solid but not exceptional skating and programs + S/Z orientation on promoting the younger teams.
    Moniotte & Lavanchy – Grischuk/Platov I guess . Plus the French fed. supporting the young Anisina/Peizerat.
    Rahkammo & Kokko – Grischuk/Platov and probably a weak fed.
    Wilson & McCall – two superior Soviet teams.

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    Men & Ladies

    Quote Originally Posted by judgejudy27 View Post
    What do you think the following top skaters lacked in their skating that prevented them from winning a World title:
    Women:

    Surya Bonaly
    Decent edges-in the 6.0 era, flutzing was ignored by and large, but Surya was always slammed for not having decent edges. Plus it never helps when everyone thinks your mother is crazy.

    Fumie Suguri
    IMO, Perhaps the most overscored female skater of the last ten years. The answer as to what she needed depends on whether it's Fumie in the 6.0 regime or Fumie in the COP regime. In the 6.0 regime, she never landed the full set of triples at Worlds, which meant something back then. She was an SP skater, mostly. 2003 she finished 3rd overall (1st in the QR, 3rd in the SP, 4th in the LP) And she had an utter inability to extend her foot, toe or leg in a spiral.
    SP 2003
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vg1aGFbxvyI
    This is typical Fumie. The combo is not well performed-the 2t landing squiggles around a lot. (the 3F is excellent) The layback is uglier than the backside of a blue baboon. And there is no connection to either the audience or the music.
    LP 2003
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6dPQT...eature=related
    Squicky landing on the combo. Popped the 3T. Rotated out of the 3S. And the 3LP wasn't great. You don't beat Kwan with this program, nor Sokolova who had two 3/3's and endless whimsical charm on the ice.

    By the time we get to COP, her only medal is 2006 Worlds:
    SP
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xy55CL_XVtY

    Here she does a nice 3lz3t but turns out of her triple flip. There is a huge amount of crouched over skating transitionless, but with great speed.

    LP at Olympics 2006, probably her best program that I can remember
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qtF8SMGMeLQ

    http://www.isufs.org/results/owg2006..._FS_Scores.pdf

    She doesn't get the level4 spins or spirals the way Sasha does. She didn't excite the crowd like Irina. And she wasn't flawless like Arikawa, so she didn't medal. And her flip combination was 2F2t. And no 3LP. And her positions in the spirals are still wretched.

    Joannie Rochette
    Joannie is still skating and still improving. But she didn't seem to have the competitive toughness of some other skaters in the past. OTOH, she was so tough at Olympics, I have hopes for her in the future. She shouldn't be in this list.

    Caryn Kadavy
    Had not so hot figures in an era when figures were required. Then she retired before figures were not required. She was a much-praised skater who didn't inspire the crowds like either an Ito, a Witt, a Thomas, or a Manley. Then it didn't help that she couldn't skate her LP at the Olympics in 88.


    Men:

    Christopher Bowman
    Chris's training habits did him in. Plus in his era, triple/triples were not valued as highly as they are today. He never had either a quad or a 3A/3T, the big jumps of the era.

    Norbert Schramm
    Norbert didn't come into his own until 1982 and 1983 when he finished 2nd to Scott Hamilton, skate god for life. He should have stayed in until 1985, but instead he retired.

    Takeshi Honda
    Takeshi's best years were skated against Plushenko and Yagudin. If one of them didn't win, the other did. And his quad was not as consistent as either Plushenko or Yagudin's. (which mattered back then)

    Philipe Candelero
    Philippe didn't have a quad. Elvis, Kulik, and Yagudin did. Q.E.D. Those were the 6.0 days. Plus he was a very sloppy technician.

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    Dance:

    Belbin & Agosto
    Drobiazko & Vanagas
    Dubreuil & Lauzon
    Moniotte & Lavanchy
    Rahkammo & Kokko
    Wilson & McCall

    One problem with all of the above teams is that they were not Russian, nor did they skate entirely in the Russian style. There are judges for whom the Russian style is the only style. Bourne & Kraatz recognized that, acquired a Russian style, and won a world championship.

    Belbin & Agosto tried this solution, but left it too late in their career, until the definition of dance under COP had moved away from many of the characteristics implicit in classic Russian style. Other times when B&A might have won, they had problems, as in 2006, and the fall in the CD in 2008. In 2009, IMO, they were robbed. Sorry about that. There was no US judge on any panel. And V&M were just better than B&A this last season.

    Dubreuil & Lauzon couldn't do a twizzle in the opposite direction without doing them as jumped 3 turns. This affected them a bit in COP days, although not as much as it should have. They should never have gotten higher than level1 in a twizzle sequence. Their greatest plus was their lifts, but their weakness was a great difference of height (which was one of the enablers of their lifts), which was not favorably looked on in their early (pre COP) competitive career.

    Wilson & McCall's CD's were not as good as the Russians, in an era when 3 CD's were skated in any World Championship. And while they were clever quick-footed, and peppy, this was an era when the !Drama! of B&B was the most admired thing. They did have some really great snappy footwork.

    Rahkamo & Kokko's best years were skated against Grishuk & Platov. No way were R&K winning against them. G&P skated faster than anyone, and speed was God in those years. Plus from 1994 on, FD's were supposed to be dancy R&K were always a creative force, and did what they thought was interesting, not a great idea in that era. This got them in trouble from time to time, as with their drunken sailor polka that they switched to a drunken Sammi polka in 1992. I loved them to pieces. I wish they had coincided with the Duchesnay years more, because that was their style, not dancey dancey.

    Moniotte and Lavanchy were criminally boring to watch, so boring that their Fed ditched them for A&P as soon as possible (2nd 1998 at French championships). IMO. I can't remember a single program they skated to or something interesting they ever did. I was shocked, looking back, to see that they medalled twice at worlds. I would have sworn it was only once. Their entire upper level career coincided with Grishuk and Platov, who were unbeatable in their era. Their best finish was 2nd in 1994, due to second retirement of T&D post Olympics. It did not help their cause that they had to sit out the 1995/1996 season. Momentum is a big deal sometimes in dance.

    Drobiazko and Vanagas didn't skate for a powerful federation and choreographed themselves for much if not all of their career. That didn't help them a bit. You'd think if F-P/M could win worlds that D&V could, but it wasn't to be. They won one bronze medal. One thing they did wrong was choreograph without that much in the way of interesting patterns in their FD, I remember some commentator saying. They didn't have that pure matching of line of a Navka or great speed. They were weak in pair spins, too. But I don't remember watching them that closely back in the day.
    Last edited by DORISPULASKI; 07-24-2010 at 10:50 PM.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by bardtoob View Post
    The French Federation basically killed Surya's chances of developing into a World Champion by letting her get international exposure too early. She should have never been allowed to go to 1989 Worlds with no freeskating skills, let alone no figures skills. There was no chance she was ever going to live that down.
    I don't know about this. Tara Lipinski went from 15th in '96 to 1st in '97, and she was also a jumper with no artistry. I wouldn't say that '89 was the cause for Surya. IMO, it was because she had a jerky skating style which wasn't very pretty.

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    Quote Originally Posted by leafygreens View Post
    I don't know about this. Tara Lipinski went from 15th in '96 to 1st in '97, and she was also a jumper with no artistry. I wouldn't say that '89 was the cause for Surya. IMO, it was because she had a jerky skating style which wasn't very pretty.
    These situations are not the same at all. 1)Tara had already had two decent seasons on the junior circuit. 2) There were no figures. 3)Tara's basic skating was solid. 4)Tara was only the third ranked US Skater and all of the pressure was on Kwan to win and Kwiatkowski to place top ten. 5)Despite a poor SP, her LP was sensational and the comeback created a buzz that extended into next season. 6)Check out Tara's presentation marks- the judges obviously didn't agree with your assessment that she was only a jumper.

  11. #11
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    Here are my feelings:

    Suguri- very good all around but nothing spectacular. Nothing that stood out enough to make her World Champion potential. I agree with bardtoob that had she unveilved the triple lutz-triple toe she did in practice it could have given her a push.

    Bonaly- weak basic skating, unusual skating style, and crazy Mom. The powers that be did not really like her or want to see her win a major title for all those reasons, and went out of their way to make sure she didnt to the point she wouldnt even beat inferior performances- eg Biaul at 93 Worlds.

    Rochette- showed too much lack of self confidence and consistency issues when she was young so it took her too long to develop a name. Also no true triple-triple combination at a time Kim, Asada and others are taking jumping difficulty to higher levels again. Rarely if ever skates a totally clean long program outside Canadian Nationals either.

    Kadavy- bit of bad timing perhaps, came up when Witt was already established, and came up just after Thomas was already establishing herself as Witts main rival. Skated lights out and her best ever thoughout the 87 Worlds but still was not quite enough. Shared a famous coach with Trenary and the USFSA seemed to see Thomas as their present, Trenary the future, and Kadavy the extra middle child.


    Men:

    Bowman- not as strong a jumper as Petrenko or Browning.

    Schramm- not a strong enough jumper as well. Inconsistent somewhat.

    Honda- like a male Suguri, very good all around, nothing standout enough.

    Candelero- very entertaining but overall technically not that polished and not at the level of other top skaters on the technical side.


    Pairs:

    Meno & Sand- technically not strong enough. Not huge throws, particularly strong side by side jumps, or a strong twist.

    Bechke & Petrov- too inconsistent, in the shadow of Miskutienok & Dmitriev. I also disagree with the poster who says they could have won the 93 Worlds or any Worlds had they stayed. Bechke & Petrov would have no chance at all against a clean Brasseur & Eisler (I prefer B&P, but B&E as amateurs were clearly viewed much higher by judges). And by 94 Worlds they would have been overtaken as the #1 Russian team by an improving Shishkova & Naumov most likely, most likely missing the Olympics that year with the reinstatements altogether. I think they definitely turned pro at the right time, cashing in on their surprise Olympic silver and had a great pro career where they actually had much more success then amateurs. A major title as amateurs was not their destiny.

    Selezneva & Makarov- In the shadow of Valova & Vasiliev and Gordeeva & Grinkov. Also that they had an unconventional skating style which was often not so appreciated on the artistic side by judges (their 2nd marks were almost always lower than their 1st even when I disagreed with it often).


    Dance:

    Drobiazko & Vanagas- they werent as strong a team as Anissina & Peizerat, did not have the political boost of Fusar Poli & Margalio or Lobacheva & Averbuhk, and did not have a biased and sometimes hostile NA media backing them like Bourne & Kraatz.

    Dubreuil & Lauzon- not strong enough in doing the harder footwork well enough. Technically outside of their lifts they were not as strong as any of the D&S combinations or B&A.

    Belbin & Agosto- not sure what to say on them. They rose the top quicker than some expected/wanted, them begun getting passed by older teams they had been beating, and eventually by younger teams.

    Moniotte & Lavanchy- too boring, no defined style or the amazing feelings of emotion and performance that are so key in dance.

    Rahkammo & Kokko- not enough technical difficulty in their free programs. Also not strong enough in the compulsory dances.

    Wilson & McCall- competition too tough and the pecking order of dance too political and firmly entrenched back then (not saying they ever deserved to win, just that it was almost impossible to make a big move once your place was established then).



    On another note I dont think the judges ever wanted Chen to win a Worlds. Had Bobek not fallen twice in the LP at the 95 Worlds she never would have. At the 93 Worlds she should have won, both she and Bonaly outskated Baiul who was given the gold anyway.
    IMO she should have won the 96 Worlds over Kwan, and atleast silver at the 94 Olympics too. She was not in favor by TPTB at all.

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    I think some of those simply had the "misfortune" to be born at the wrong year.
    Honda and Sugury, for example, were never as consistent as some others, but they were very strong 6.0 competitors. Unfortunately for them (but not fo us), Honda had to compete against Yags and Plushy and Sugury against Michelle and Irina (she has proven that she can beat Cohen).

    Joannie Rochette, although a couple of years older than her rivals, has peaked at about the same time as Yuna and Mao, and the rest is history.

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    Quote Originally Posted by umronnie View Post
    I think some of those simply had the "misfortune" to be born at the wrong year.
    Honda and Sugury, for example, were never as consistent as some others, but they were very strong 6.0 competitors. Unfortunately for them (but not fo us), Honda had to compete against Yags and Plushy and Sugury against Michelle and Irina (she has proven that she can beat Cohen).

    Joannie Rochette, although a couple of years older than her rivals, has peaked at about the same time as Yuna and Mao, and the rest is history.
    Would it be any different for any of those in any era though.

    Suguri be even worse off competing against Kim and Mao in her prime probably than Irina and Kwan. Or Kwan and Tara. And she certainly wouldnt be competitive with Yamaguchi and Ito. And probably not even with Baiul, Kerrigan, and Chen in their primes. And is she peaked in the Witt-Thomas time, first of all she would probably be doing easier jumps had her prime been back then than she was in her prime in the 2000s , and it is unlikely she would reach the top then either.

    Rochette likewise would have a hard time reaching the top when Witt and Thomas were on top, when Yamaguchi and Ito were, when Tara and Michelle or Irina and Michelle were.

    Honda wouldnt have been a real threat to Browning and Petrenko in their primes unless he consistently skated cleanly with the quad, nor to Stojko, Kulik, and Urmanov in the 94-98 period (thought he could have challenged Eldredge). He likely wouldnt break into the Boitano and Orser rivalry before all that. And his skating under COP probably wouldnt stuck up to Lambiel, Buttle, Lysacek, or Joubert even had he been in his prime, especialy considering his consistency issues (Lambiel and Buttle have those too but are much more advanced choreographically and in many other areas).

    I think these are people destined to always be 3-5 type skaters.

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    Honda- like a male Suguri, very good all around, nothing standout enough.
    Honda had amazing musicality. Re-watch his 2002 Olympic SP and LP - IMO he had more musicality than Yagudin, Plush, and (obviously) Goebel.

    But he didn't has the technical skills of those three men, which is why he finished fourth at that games.

    And then he started to focus on the quad, and he lost his musicality. Remember The Mummy?

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    I agree Honda had excellent musicality when he was younger, definitely better than Goebel and probably better than Plushenko. However better than Yagudin. Not sure I agree with you there. It is hard to see anyone topping Winter, Gladiator, or even Man in the Iron Mask. He lived those programs and the music. I also agree he suffered in other ways when he became quad obsessed. And then in his final season he longer could do quads and the rest of his skating was weaker so he had nothing.

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    I distinguish between performance ability and musicality and would say that Yagudin was the better performer. He reached out to the audience and he also had skated with tremendous passion and confidence. IMO that is different than the innate sense of musicality which Honda had - which was subtle and a bit introverted.

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    just my 2 cents:

    Surya & Phillippe: highly entertaining performers who unfortunately couldn't really skate. Horrible tech on both. They're lucky to have gotten as far as they did, but also unlucky because their powerful fed pushed them down everyone's throats. In another era they would have either had the time to develop properly, or never been heard from.

    Fumie and Honda: not the best, just the best that Japan had at that time. I love Fumie, but one only has to look at the Sato and Shiz bookends to see what Fumie was missing. Honda was a good 'B level' skater, but his medal at 02 world totally "wuz robbed" Abt imho.

    Speaking of Abt, is he not on this list because it's too obvious?

    Kadavy is interesting because OT1H she always bottled it. Even her 87 worlds career highlight had flaws. But OTOH she often got the shaft even when skating well, like at 88 Olys SP.

    Bowman: I think it's interesting that people obsess non-stop over Evan's skid-axel, trashing him as a mediocre skater, yet Chris, who had the same tech and a much less reliable result, is hailed as the greatest skater to ever live "if only". If hard workers like Evan and Weiss couldn't rid themselves of the dreaded skid, how was lazy Chris going to? It's possible he could have worked harder, and ended up with the same career results.

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    I didnt include Abt for the obvious reasons yes. That plus he never even actually medaled at Worlds.

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    Quote Originally Posted by berthesghost View Post
    just my 2 cents:

    Kadavy is interesting because OT1H she always bottled it. Even her 87 worlds career highlight had flaws. But OTOH she often got the shaft even when skating well, like at 88 Olys SP.
    Reputations counted a lot back in the days. If Karyn had demonstrated a consistent fierce competitiveness ala Witt from 85 to 88 then the international judges would have shown her more respect. I wonder if Karyn ever skated clean programs with all the planned triples in practices.

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    For Bonaly, she had working against her

    - being French (how many French skaters have ever had really good basics? Millot? Fat lot of good it did him)

    - being surrounded by people who didn't make it easy to improve those basics (Didier, crazy mother, French fed)

    - her own attitude, which was probably shaped by some very nasty, hurtful things were said about her way too publicly (I'm looking at you Sandra Bezic!) this didn't make addressing her basics any easier and probably made it harder

    - not being traditionally feminine enough (the biggie - Baiul's faults were just as pronounced as Bonaly's but she was a girly girl and the judges like girly girls)

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