Don't Know/Too early to tell?
Yup. Sotnikova/Tuktamisheva, Plushenko, or V/T. Possibly I/K but, they'll have a better chance in 2018.
13 points is a large margin of victory IMO, and Adelina had a mistake in both of her programs at Junior Worlds, which wasn't her best competition of the season, unlike Agnes who made more mistakes at all her other events. Adelina won every competition she entered last season and only fell once! And this was as a 14 year old in the midst of puberty - she grew 5 centimeters over the course of the season and was still reeling off the money combos like they were doubles! If that's not impressive, I don't know what is.
As for Liza, I don't think she will surpass Adelina, at least not any time soon. She has good technique, but her jumps are not very big even now and she does not look anywhere close to full grown. Also, she is not as consistent as Adelina, her 3-3 is often MIA and a lot of her good results last season were due to PCS she was lucky enough to receive for error ridden performances. If she is having such issues now, I fear for what happens when she finishes puberty. Yes, she has 3a, but she hasn't even done it in competition and when you are competing against someone who has no 3a but everything else, it won't make a difference - at least it didn't for Mao. Adelina is comparable to Yuna (jumps are as big if not bigger) but has potential to be even better because she points her toes and has a more balletic presence on the ice, something Yuna never had. Liza I think will fare more like Mao if she continues to be inconsistent and does not get her 3-3 down solid.
I think Adelina will most likely win in Sochi barring injury or a severe growthspurt/body change, but where she grew 5 cm last season I tend to think that won't happen. Also, there are so many talented pairs in Russia that I could definitely see them winning that discipline too. And who knows, maybe I&K will finally skate up to their potential, if they do they could spoil for gold. In any event, I expect Russia to be a major factor at the 2014 games, regardless of if they end up winning any gold medals or not.
Pressure is a big factor in big competitions and particularly in the Olympics. We don't know yet if any of these young skaters has the ability to handle pressure. Yu na clearly has it, but she may not even be competing by then. It will be interesting to see if we see (once again, like in 2002) a lady with the least amount of pressure win the gold, or if we will see a tough as nails (like Yu na) lady win. She could be from any country.
At the end of the 08-09 season S/S were gold medal favorites and ended up winning the bronze and it had nothing to do with S/Z coming back, they just had a bad season. So you just never know what can happen.
It's nice to have that kind of rivalry in your own country. It makes both skaters stronger. Classic example: Yagudin and Plushenko.
What an interesting discussion, but somewhat rather suprising, actually.
As for me, I believe we need to first see them at Euros and (hopefully) Worlds, but this will happen only in 2012-2013 season.
We actually still don't know if he is going to have any starts this season and you still firmly believe he is one of the candidates for gold?
For winning gold in Sochi he will need to have a lot of work to be done. The skating changed and changed greatly since he last skated. If he returns with the programs of the same type, he will surely secure himself a place in the top 15, but definitely not in the top 3.
I saw Tuk skate at the Jr Worlds and was somewhat disappointed at her jumps. She seems to have correct take-off edges but her jumps were smaller than I had expected, and didn't have great flow on landings.
It might have been her off day, but I certainly didn't see signs of THE cleanest technique. If you had said ONE OF cleanest techniques, I wouldn't have challenged your statement though.
I'm fine with any Russia's win except men or silver (if gold is locked for Chan!!!).
As I cannot stand the fact that Artur Gachinski might get on podium just because he land all jumps regardless of how his program will be.
I really don't know which nowdays lady skater has cleaner technique. Kim? Her toe jumps are great, but edge jumps - not so much, and she didn't do 3Lo for a while now. Other ladies have problems with edges and/or rotation of their jumps
My problem is crowning her with title of having The Cleanest Technique. Don't you think it is a little premature since she has shown so little?
As for which skater has the best technique, I can only determine by looking at who did the best in a given day.
Because I like Adelina's skating, I will not predict her to get the gold in Sochi, since we all know what tends to happen when we start crowning people four years in advance. But I'm unsure if Adelina really has the advantage over Liz in terms of jumps. Liz's jumps aren't as big but she does have better technique. I wonder if the judges will start scrutinizing Adelina's lutz more after she becomes a senior. It's borderline at least to me. Adelina has advantage over Liz in consistency and presentation at this point, but these things can change in the future.
Of course, having good technique itself doesn't guarantee her anything, there are still nerves, pressure, puberty... But she already has solid basics and don't have to worry about fixing her take-off edges or anything and other girls have to.
I really don't know about ladies, because anything could happen with the 'wonderbabies.'
For the men, Gachinski could be a contender, but it's too early to say. I guess Plushenko would still have a chance if he comes back too, depending on how well he's skating. Something tells me Plushenko nor Gachinski will actually win the GOLD in Sochi, though.
Volosozhar and Trankov are a strong possibility for gold in Sochi. I think it'll be them up against Savchenko and Szolkowy, although other teams could become a factor and Pang and Tong will probably be in the mix if they stick around.
In ice dance it's hard to say. Ilinykh and Katsalapov are pretty good, but it's hard to picture them becoming a #1 team by 2014, especially if Davis and White are still competing.