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  1. #1
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    Has any reigning champion just plain failed to qualify for Worlds?

    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?

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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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RFOS View Post
    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.
    And Suguri in 2007.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ainouta View Post
    And Suguri in 2007.
    And Lu Chen ('96 silver medalist) who failed to advance from the QR in '97.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chipso1 View Post
    And Lu Chen ('96 silver medalist) who failed to advance from the QR in '97.
    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.

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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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TwizzlerS View Post
    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.
    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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chipso1 View Post
    And Lu Chen ('96 silver medalist) who failed to advance from the QR in '97.
    Quote Originally Posted by miki88 View Post
    I think she was injured that year.
    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 by bardtoob; 12-12-2010 at 06:58 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bardtoob View Post
    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.
    I didn't know that!

  10. #10
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    Injured too : Jill Trenary !

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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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chipso1 View Post
    And Lu Chen ('96 silver medalist) who failed to advance from the QR in '97.
    She did advance from the QR and placed 25th in the short, so she didn't advance to the free skate.

  13. #13
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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. #14

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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.

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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. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seerek View Post
    In recent memory, World medalists who did not qualify for the following year's Worlds...

    *2003 Irina Slutskaya (ill)
    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. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by briancoogaert View Post
    Injured too : Jill Trenary !
    I suspect her "injury" was that her weak jumping was not going to cut it after the elimination of figures.

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Triple Butz View Post
    I suspect her "injury" was that her weak jumping was not going to cut it after the elimination of figures.
    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. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Triple Butz View Post
    I suspect her "injury" was that her weak jumping was not going to cut it after the elimination of figures.
    Quote Originally Posted by gkelly View Post
    There was a TV interview with her on crutches at some point during that season (Worlds? Nationals?) -- lot of extra effort for a ruse.
    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. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ares View Post
    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.
    Yes, you're absolutely right! thanks for reminding me.

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