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  1. #61
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    Beautiful performance of Clair de Lune by Yoko & Sasha. Though they came in second, I'm sure they are more satisfied today than they were at Sapporo. Today's performance is by far the best so far. Moskvina must have been relieved about the jumps. Yuko made the same error in her landing of a throw jump as in the NHK SP. But at least, she hasn't fallen after her throw landing this season, I don't think.

  2. #62

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    I love the fluid style of Yuko and Sasha. One mistake on a throw but it was a lovely, effortless, beautiful performance at COR. I hope they win the world title this season, although S&S seem to have a very strong grip on it. I wonder if they need to add the throw quad at this point, to get a competitive edge over S&S?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vash01 View Post
    I love the fluid style of Yuko and Sasha. One mistake on a throw but it was a lovely, effortless, beautiful performance at COR. I hope they win the world title this season, although S&S seem to have a very strong grip on it. I wonder if they need to add the throw quad at this point, to get a competitive edge over S&S?
    Please no. They've finally achieved calmness and consistency in their free, and the quad would ruin that. I love Clair de Lune and the spell they cast, but what would help them beat S&S would be having more transitions in their program. In the "Second Mark" book Moskvina talked about how she would cut photos out of magazines and books that inspired her, each one being called a "masterpiece" and then incorporate those moves into her choreography. M&D and B&S had such beautiful and original moves. That's what K&S need more of. But with that said I am loving their chemistry, connection, and gentleness this season.

  4. #64

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cherub721 View Post
    Please no. They've finally achieved calmness and consistency in their free, and the quad would ruin that. I love Clair de Lune and the spell they cast, but what would help them beat S&S would be having more transitions in their program. In the "Second Mark" book Moskvina talked about how she would cut photos out of magazines and books that inspired her, each one being called a "masterpiece" and then incorporate those moves into her choreography. M&D and B&S had such beautiful and original moves. That's what K&S need more of. But with that said I am loving their chemistry, connection, and gentleness this season.
    M&D and B&S were both much stronger skaters (basic) than K&S. So it is natural that Tamara had more difficult choreography for her past pupils. B&S in particular were phenomenal in transitions. Too bad it was wasted in the 6.0 system.

  5. #65
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    http://www.sports.ru/others/figure-s...131806882.html
    Google-translate & I see that Smirnov is saying they are practising quad throws!! They seem to believe it's easier for them to perfect quads than improve twists, death spiral, lifts ...
    Much as I like K/S, their problem is that they don't have any elements they can sell. 5 years ago at COR, they landed 3T+3T sequence. They had 3T+3T at the beginning of this season but have replaced it with 2A+2A. I don't see any improvement in their elements over the years.

  6. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by Belinda View Post
    http://www.sports.ru/others/figure-s...131806882.html
    Google-translate & I see that Smirnov is saying they are practising quad throws!! They seem to believe it's easier for them to perfect quads than improve twists, death spiral, lifts ...
    Much as I like K/S, their problem is that they don't have any elements they can sell. 5 years ago at COR, they landed 3T+3T sequence. They had 3T+3T at the beginning of this season but have replaced it with 2A+2A. I don't see any improvement in their elements over the years.
    They now have the second highest free skate score and it's only their third competition so I'm not sure they can't "sell" their elements. They have their issues but so does S/S and V/T. They only got a level 3 on the last lift and that cost them 1.10 also the BiDs was only a level 3 and not worth as much a the BoDs, they should change that to maximize their points.

    The 3T and 2A+2A+SEQ is basically worth same as 3T+3T+SEQ and one 2A; so they are probably just doing what they like.

    I doubt anyone can talk Yuko out of doing the 4STh, she insists it goes back in; it has always been her dream to do them and at the Olympics she was robbed of it moments before the free skate. I'm glad there are teams who push themselves. Besides she dislocated her shoulder at the Olympics doing a triple, should they stop doing those as well? At the European Championships it popped out while she was standing still.

    They still have a lot to work on but they improve every single year. I would like to see her throws go higher and farther and for Moskvina to fix the twist. I'm not sure why she ignores that problem. Yuko has never done a good one with any partner, she needs to be properly trained to rotate and open up at the right time, she is thrown up in the air plenty high to have a nice twist. Their lifts are gorgeous, I hope they come up with new lifts and spins for next year.

    Peter Tchernyshev choreographed two great programs for them and the programs will get better and better. They have four major competitions left before worlds and I think by then it will be even better as long as they are healthy.

  7. #67
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    I almost had tears in my eyes at the end of their COR free performance. Their interpretation was simple beautiful. It's definitely their best program ever and my favorite of the 2011/12 season. I just hope they can do it justice at Worlds!

  8. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by julieann View Post
    They now have the second highest free skate score and it's only their third competition so I'm not sure they can't "sell" their elements. They have their issues but so does S/S and V/T.
    Dear Julieann, I value your opinion; it's nice to know you believe they can sell their elements. I want K/S to carry on safely til Sochi and sincerely hope Yuko won't injure her shoulders again. Watching Mao's 2A, I'm convinced less is more. Her 2A has more distance than her 3A and is more exciting because you can see her revolving through the air. I don't find Yuko's quad beautiful, but her triples if they are long and landed properly can be.

  9. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by Belinda View Post
    it's nice to know you believe they can sell their elements.
    So what the judges say don't matter? The score they got at Cup of Russia was their 3rd highest free skate/total score ever (nationals not included, that score is always over the top) obviously the short needs work, it's still new and they are still making changes but they are certainly on the right track given their scores and reactions to the programs.

    I want K/S to carry on safely til Sochi and sincerely hope Yuko won't injure her shoulders again.
    I hope they both remain healthy as well but skaters get injured, it happens; but not to do an element because she may get hurt doing it is not the mentality of a world class athlete. As I said before she broke her ankle on a triple, dislocated her shoulder on a triple, he sprained his ankle on a triple... should they stop doing all those elements as well? If Yuko's shoulder can't handle the pressure of being a pairs skater, I doubt it will be the quad that does it.

    Aliona has tried the 3ATh twice already and fell each time, so should they never try it again?


    Watching Mao's 2A, I'm convinced less is more. Her 2A has more distance than her 3A and is more exciting because you can see her revolving through the air. I don't find Yuko's quad beautiful, but her triples if they are long and landed properly can be.
    Less is not more when you are talking about a sport where every point matters. If the difference between a triple and quad is 4 points, I would go for the quad. Yuko has landed enough quads in competition to feel confident enough to put it back in. Or would you rather see this? Any skater will look better if they land an element over when they fall, but it doesn't mean they shouldn't stop trying more difficult things, unless you are skating on a broken foot or something.

  10. #70

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    Quote Originally Posted by julieann View Post
    So what the judges say don't matter? The score they got at Cup of Russia was their 3rd highest free skate/total score ever (nationals not included, that score is always over the top) obviously the short needs work, it's still new and they are still making changes but they are certainly on the right track given their scores and reactions to the programs.



    I hope they both remain healthy as well but skaters get injured, it happens; but not to do an element because she may get hurt doing it is not the mentality of a world class athlete. As I said before she broke her ankle on a triple, dislocated her shoulder on a triple, he sprained his ankle on a triple... should they stop doing all those elements as well? If Yuko's shoulder can't handle the pressure of being a pairs skater, I doubt it will be the quad that does it.

    Aliona has tried the 3ATh twice already and fell each time, so should they never try it again?




    Less is not more when you are talking about a sport where every point matters. If the difference between a triple and quad is 4 points, I would go for the quad. Yuko has landed enough quads in competition to feel confident enough to put it back in. Or would you rather see this? Any skater will look better if they land an element over when they fall, but it doesn't mean they shouldn't stop trying more difficult things, unless you are skating on a broken foot or something.

    This and the whole post!

  11. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by julieann View Post
    Aliona has tried the 3ATh twice already and fell each time, so should they never try it again?

    Less is not more when you are talking about a sport where every point matters. If the difference between a triple and quad is 4 points, I would go for the quad.
    I agree with a lot of what you say, especially about the athlete's mentality... we all know how tough Yuko is. I'd like to see Aliona continue to try the 3A, she's only tried it twice so far and almost no one lands a risky jump on their first one or two attempts. In Yuko's case though, as you said, she has landed the 4sal several times. It didn't make a huge impact for them. IIRC they did not land a quad in either of their world medal winning skates or in their Euros 2010 win which set a then-world record for the free skate. They don't need the quad, and the quad can be a distraction for them that leads to other mistakes.

    Would I like to see a performance of Claire de Lune like we have seen on the GP + the points for a clean quad? Sure! But odds are that it won't happen. The difficulty of quads lies not just in landing the quads but in holding together the rest of the program. That's precisely why it should be so highly valued. If they go for the quad, they could lose some of the momentum they've gained with clean skating. Claire is the kind of program where a big ass messy fall on the quad would really break the spell. Their CoR score without the quad was better than V&T have put out and better than all but one of S&S' skates this season. They would be better served to leave out the quad and work on upping the levels of their other elements and fixing their twist.

  12. #72

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cherub721 View Post
    Would I like to see a performance of Claire de Lune like we have seen on the GP + the points for a clean quad? Sure! But odds are that it won't happen. The difficulty of quads lies not just in landing the quads but in holding together the rest of the program. That's precisely why it should be so highly valued. If they go for the quad, they could lose some of the momentum they've gained with clean skating. Claire is the kind of program where a big ass messy fall on the quad would really break the spell. Their CoR score without the quad was better than V&T have put out and better than all but one of S&S' skates this season. They would be better served to leave out the quad and work on upping the levels of their other elements and fixing their twist.
    Normally I am all for athletes challenging themselves to do harder elements- in this case a quad throw-, but here I agree with you. This program is so seamless and dreamy that a fall could totally ruin it. However, without the quad, K&S cannot afford to make a single mistake, if they want to beat S&S (and it still may not be enough).

  13. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cherub721 View Post
    I agree with a lot of what you say, especially about the athlete's mentality... we all know how tough Yuko is. I'd like to see Aliona continue to try the 3A, she's only tried it twice so far and almost no one lands a risky jump on their first one or two attempts. In Yuko's case though, as you said, she has landed the 4sal several times. It didn't make a huge impact for them. IIRC they did not land a quad in either of their world medal winning skates or in their Euros 2010 win which set a then-world record for the free skate. They don't need the quad, and the quad can be a distraction for them that leads to other mistakes.

    Would I like to see a performance of Claire de Lune like we have seen on the GP + the points for a clean quad? Sure! But odds are that it won't happen. The difficulty of quads lies not just in landing the quads but in holding together the rest of the program. That's precisely why it should be so highly valued. If they go for the quad, they could lose some of the momentum they've gained with clean skating. Claire is the kind of program where a big ass messy fall on the quad would really break the spell. Their CoR score without the quad was better than V&T have put out and better than all but one of S&S' skates this season. They would be better served to leave out the quad and work on upping the levels of their other elements and fixing their twist.
    Any fall will break the momentum of a skate even when she fell on a 3S at worlds last year; I just hope they really work with what they have and make that even better. I would love to see their other elements get better but Moskvina must not see what we see; otherwise she would have fixed it by now. I would like to see more innovative lifts and spins, their death spiral is starting to look really wonky and they have done a 2FTh before, I have no idea why they aren’t working on the triple.

    I agree to a certain degree about trying hard elements but one would argue Aliona and Robin don’t need a 3ATh to win either. Nothing V/T does is that ground breaking that would make them panic and add it in unless they really wanted a change.

    K/S could have won 2 World silver medals instead of bronze; however a fall on the quad can’t really be blamed because in 2009 he doubled a 3T+3T+SEQ, so Yuko’s fall would have still had them in 2nd. Same with Worlds in 2010, she did fall on quad but she also fell on a triple, they could have stayed in 2nd ahead of S/S even with the quad fall had she landed the other throw. Doing the quad hasn’t really cost them competitions; even in worlds 2009 they had so much more difficulty in their elements over the rest, they must have thought the risk was worth it.

    In the 2008 and 2009 Cup or Russia and 2009 Europeans, if a triple was used instead of a quad it would have cost them 1 medal and 1 place at COR and a silver at Europeans; so sometime the risk is worth it.

  14. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by julieann View Post
    I would love to see their other elements get better but Moskvina must not see what we see; otherwise she would have fixed it by now. I would like to see more innovative lifts and spins, their death spiral is starting to look really wonky and they have done a 2FTh before, I have no idea why they aren’t working on the triple.
    Julieann, I thought you were arguing against me but what you say above is exactly what I mean. They should work on these elements. Your comment about the judges - of course I think they are fair. K/S's scores have been consistently lower in GOE and PCS than other top pairs, S/S, V/T, & usually P/T. As you say, every point matters in this sport, so improving GOE & PCS is important. I'm puzzled why Moskvina thinks this is more difficult than mastering the quad salkow throw, though I can understand why Yuko wants to go for it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Belinda View Post
    Julieann, I thought you were arguing against me but what you say above is exactly what I mean. They should work on these elements. Your comment about the judges - of course I think they are fair. K/S's scores have been consistently lower in GOE and PCS than other top pairs, S/S, V/T, & usually P/T. As you say, every point matters in this sport, so improving GOE & PCS is important. I'm puzzled why Moskvina thinks this is more difficult than mastering the quad salkow throw, though I can understand why Yuko wants to go for it.
    I have never said their elements are 100% and don't need constant work, far from it especially the twist. V/T has only competed against K/S twice and at nationals K/S were far from good because of injuries and time off. P/T have only been beaten by K/S twice, both at worlds in 2008 and 2009, but P/T have also been together 10 years longer. I also don't think a few points below on PCS scores is anything to get into a knot about especially if the team has only been together 1/2 the time. S/S are better skaters (more like Aliona is better than Yuko, not Robin better than Alexander) but again their PCS are not that much higher; usually a 1-2 point difference. But again S/S hasn’t had to take so much time off because of injuries and have been together since 2003.

    K/S training a quad over a triple is no different than S/S training the triple axel over the triple flip.

    They need to constantly train all their elements but if Moskvina won't admit there is a problem, they never will get better. However... to say "I don't see any improvement in their elements over the years" as you have said... I'm not sure what you are looking at or looking for. There has been a marked improvement in regards to how well they skate now verses a few years ago.

    2008 Cup of Russia
    2011 Cup of Russia

  16. #76

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    [julieann already posted a link to the LP; just wanted to group these together.]

    K&S CoR SP
    K&S CoR LP
    K&S CoR EXH
    [Couldn't find a broadcast video of the medals ceremony! Has one been posted at all? Anybody have a link to it?]

    As always, thanks to all who post on YouTube!

    SP: Much better than at NHKT. Slight change in the final pair spin and final pose.
    LP: A return to some of last year's choreography. Have a feeling there'll probably be more changes before the end of the season.

    * * *

    I have mixed feelings about K&S deciding to try the 4SalTh once more. I've been kind of enjoying them skating without it because it seems as if the circumstance of them refraining from attempting it--due to Yuko's surgery--has enabled them to concentrate on and develop other aspects of their performance and become more well-rounded. As I've commented before, they seem much calmer, settled, and unhurried this year; less anxious and less "scrambly" (if that's a word) while performing. I would be extremely glad if they could land the 4Sal successfully, but am uneasy at the thought that their program would be so dependent on that one, high-scoring element. Since what is distinctive about the LP is that it flows continuously from element to element with no stoppages, if that one element fails, how disruptive would that failure be to the rest of the program? The seamlessness of that program is, in my opinion, a great part of what makes it so beautiful to watch. I realize it is all about accumulating points, but, to me, "Clair de Lune" is becoming one of those programs that transcend the scoring, whether it gets the points or not.

    Perhaps they should consider higher-value sbs jumps/combinations? On the other hand, with their entering what seems to be a new comfort zone in their skating this year, it's possible that the 4SalTh may be an element that could become reliable and consistent for them. Guess we can only wait and see. (I wonder if they've ever considered doing a 4LpTh? To listen to the British EuroSport commentators talking, Yuko has ample time on the 3LpTh to add another rotation. Probably just wishful thinking on the commentators' part. Just a random thought.)

    At the moment, I guess, I'd prefer to see them perform a high, fully-rotated, cleanly caught 3twist lift and beautiful, fast death spirals rather than shaky quad attempts. I would love to see them be able to perform their twist with the same great technique as V&T and the Chinese pairs. I thought that their twist had shown some marginal improvement toward the end of last season, but they seem to have regressed a bit on it so far this season. I do love their unison and the way they interact on the ice. Would like to see how things could look with more polish and a little more speed.

    Anyway, that's all just my opinion. I am glad that they have finally developed a good connection between them. It has affected their skating in a really positive way, I think. As I've mentioned before, I do think that they are finally skating with heart. It's great to see.

    * * *

    Re: Yuko's shoulder--both Moskvina and Yuko, in separate interviews, have described what happened to Yuko's shoulder as "a slight sprain." Unlike at NHKT, she didn't have the right shoulder taped at CoR, so I guess that whatever happened in Japan has since been resolved.

    On to the GP Final!

  17. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by easilydistracte View Post
    K&S CoR SP
    K&S CoR LP
    K&S CoR EXH
    [Couldn't find a broadcast video of the medals ceremony! Has one been posted at all? Anybody have a link to it?]

    As always, thanks to all who post on YouTube!
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    They could do double rotations everything in their free and it would still be perfect to me. The choreo is sublime and she is a true job to watch. He has finally matched her in terms of emoting. Keep it as it is. ITA re: Mao. If you have reached a certain level of artistry, you don't need to risk as much. As to the German pairs, I think she is healthy and likes to take risks. Sometimes not a good idea, but I respect that as well.

    My only concern is Yuko looks so frail, not like Pang, but still kind of small upper-body-wise. I have a shoulder issue myself and it kills just doing normal tasks and ice dance, I can't imagine doing pairs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by julieann View Post
    Thanks!

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    K&S GPF SP
    K&S GPF LP
    GPF Pairs Podium [very brief clip]
    K&S GPF EXH
    As always, thanks to all who posted on YouTube!

    SP & LP: Not as good or relaxed as they have been previously this season. Some of the anxiety seemed to be back. (I don't especially like the change to the dismount of their last lift in the LP. To me, it doesn't seem consistent with the rest of the choreography and, in addition, seems somewhat derivative. Just me, I guess.) Sasha offered somewhat of an explanation for their performances in an interview he gave after the competition:
    Quote Originally Posted by TAHbKA View Post
    The annoying 0.18 Vaitsekhovskaya talks to Volosozhar/Trankov and Smirnov after the GPF LP
    Two Russian pairs finished the GPF on the podium. The 2010 European champions Kawaguti/Smirnov took bronze and the 2011 World vice champions Volosozhar/Trankov tood silver, loosing the 3 times World champions Savchenko/Szelkowy just 0.18 points. . . .

    . . . The bronze taken by Kawaguti/Smirnov could hardly be called a success. Yuko left the mixed zone right after the skate leaving Alexandr, who, it was obvious, didn't really want to comment on the GPF

    AS: We looked far better in the practices. Though I felt the same on the practices and the competition

    EV: What happened in the SP?
    AS: Not being ready enough showed. It's my fault. I was slightly injuried in my leg after the Moscow GP and we hardly trained after. This is why Yuko made the mistakes. The girls skate with their `heads' while we, guys, trust the muscle memory. It's easier for us.

    EV: I don't remember you ever being in the 2nd group. Was it very weird?
    AS: We were in the same situation in GP in Japan when we became 5th in the SP. It's unusual. After all we are more experienced then the other 2 pairs so we did everything we planned in the 20 minutes. The rest of the time we were just bothering them. Of course it's an annoying thing to know being in the 2nd group you are out of medals to begin with. Concolusion: don't make mistakes in the SP. It's possible. We have a good coach, a good relationship, we just need time. Fortunately there is enough time till the Olympics.

    EV: I can't get rid of an impression that after Yuko injuried her shoulder in Japan she is very tense again in her skating. As if she is constantly concentrates on not getting injuried again.
    AS: I don't think so. Yuko is stressed because she is not confident. I explained before why she lacks confidence.
    [Many thanks to TAHbKA, who posted the link and translated the complete interview (about V&T and K&S) in the From Russian With Love thread. I brought over just the part that was pertinent to K&S.]

    They seemed to be having quite a discussion after the end of their LP before they took their bows. Sasha seemed to be trying to reassure Yuko about something. Anyway, good for them that they won the bronze medal, given that they had placed 5th in all three of their previous GPF appearances.

    EXH: That first lift came down again; and again they did a pretty good job of improvising choreography on the spot. Seems like a fun number for them.

    * * *

    Re: Yuko's hairdo in the LP--While others seem to think that her hairdo is a "granny"-type hairstyle, Yuko's hair reminds me of how Demi Moore's hair was styled in the movie A Few Good Men.

    * * *

    Just saw as I was working on this post that they will be skipping Russian Nationals due to Sasha's injury. Shoot! Hope all the pairs recover quickly and completely. Amazing how precarious the status quo can be from day to day. Hope everyone is there at Europeans and Worlds!

    [Double post again. Oh, well.]
    Last edited by easilydistracte; 12-21-2011 at 03:30 AM.

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