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  1. #141
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    The difference with strategy here is that countries don't have as large of a pool of athletes to choose from as say swimming. The US swim team has everyone to choose from because they are all relatively tight with each other's times. And they have different strokes/distance they specialize in that their greatness incomparable (compared to FS' wholesome nature). A key difference with swimming is as the relays are a category in itself, some swimmers just swim the relays with no individual events. Which is not prohibited in FS. Also, the qualifiers with swimming simply qualifies the team into the finals and the slate is clean for the final swimmers.

    The SP "qualifiers" in FS make a difference. If a country has a bad SP, that's it. The deficit to make up for is sometimes just too large. The difference between a country's number 1 and 2 skaters are generally way way off by like 30pts so there's not much leeway there to switch. They would have to take the gymnastics strategy with little to no choice in strategy and just go with the better one for both.

    I would have to say most of the strategies will be predictable for most countries' disciplines but it'll still be interesting to see if the popular vote is correct. There's no more than 2 handfuls of countries that are blessed with skaters that are on each other's back with points and abilities and are within top 5 of their discipline. Canada's pairs, Russia's pairs & dance, Japan's men, US men, Japan's ladies, I guess France's men ....although Flo would be the clear winner for consistency over Brian I would think. I think these are the only ones where strategy would make a difference.

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    Quote Originally Posted by starryxskies View Post
    The difference with strategy here is that countries don't have as large of a pool of athletes to choose from as say swimming.
    There are plenty of differences, the main one being the concept of clean slate, but that wasn't the question, The question was whether a team would let someone the other segment to have a chance at a medal, and there are, although, most of the time, that person is filling a role. Strategizing who will skate the first phase to accommodate the schedule and wishes of the member(s) who have a great chance for an individual medal in another event is where the Team skating event could very well have a lot in common with swimming and track, even if the slate is not wiped clean after the SD.

    Quote Originally Posted by starryxskies View Post
    The SP "qualifiers" in FS make a difference.
    In quali heats for track and swimming, the top teams almost always rise to the equation and make the finals. Some of the middle teams do and some don't. The clean slate aspect is important in these sports, but that doesn't preclude poor performance(s) or a bad pass-off that mars the race, and these things can be huge because the times are so close.

    Quote Originally Posted by starryxskies View Post
    If a country has a bad SP, that's it.
    Of course, if they don't qualify for the final five, that's it, just as if they don't qualify for the final in another sport. However, one think that mitigates having a bad SP is the placement system: they're not using totals, only placement points. If the US Pair is expected to place behind whatever RUS or CAN Pair who skates, plus GER if S/S skate and CHN if P/T skate, then it only matters which Pair beats B/H (ITA), K/K (GBR, if GBR makes it), P/Z if P/T don't skate, V/V if S/S don't skate, J/C (FRA) (assumes JPN doesn't have a Pair.) C/S, for example, might beat B/H, K/K, J/C (and V/V and/or P/Z) as well as D/C, and if they lose a point or two to CHN, FRA, and/or ITA, it might not make that much of a difference to USA's medal hopes.

    Quote Originally Posted by starryxskies View Post
    The deficit to make up for is sometimes just too large.
    That's always true, including team relays in other sports.

    Quote Originally Posted by starryxskies View Post
    The difference between a country's number 1 and 2 skaters are generally way way off by like 30pts so there's not much leeway there to switch.
    Of the eight teams most likely to qualify for the finals -- RUS, CAN, USA, ITA, JPN, FRA, CHN -- plus GBR and GER -- this all depends on how the minimum scores are set (if they are) and whether they apply to appointed skaters -- the countries and disciplines where the Top 2 are separated by 30 points are:

    ITA, Ladies, Kostner and Marchei, Dance (C/L and G/F), Pairs (B/H, DM/G)
    GER, Pairs, S/S and V/V.
    CAN, Men, Chan and Reynolds. Possibly Ladies if Osmond earns two spots and Rochette doesn't come back and have an injury flare-up after the Team event.
    CHN, Pairs, 22pts in their head-to-head competition, P/T and P/Z, but this is P/Z's first year, and if they improve, I'd expect that gap to start to close by Sochi.
    USA, Dance. 26 points between D/W and the Shibs, which might as well be 50 in Ice Dance.
    FRA, Dance. P/B and whoever is next, hopefully juniors P/C.

    ITA is the only country where there is a big gap in more than one discipline; in ITA's case, in all disciplines where a very strong skater/team ensures as second entry.

    Gachinski's SB last season was only 15 points lower than Plushenko's. Kovtun looks like the early front-runner, if a Russian man even earns two spots in London, which Kovtun has a chance of doing, and even Menshov. (His scores are slightly lower than Menshov's, but Jr. competition has one fewer jump element.) This is only an issue if the RUS man in London makes Top 10. If Plushenko really doesn't want to skate both SP and FS, he's probably lighting a candle or two for this to happen.

    Of the teams that are likely to have two or three, the total scores between the top two aren't close to 30 points:
    RUS, Pairs (V/T and B/L or K/S), Ladies (Tuktamysheva, Sotnikova, Leonova), Dance (B/S, I/K)
    CAN, Pairs (D/R, M/T-M), Dance (V/M, W/P)
    USA, Men (Abbott, Miner, Rippon, Dornbush, Farris), Ladies (Wagner, Gao, Gold, Nagasu -- so far this year, the last three are within 15 points of Wagner's top score and within five points of Wagner's lowest score), Pairs (D/C and C/S, within five points until Coughlin's injury).
    CHN, Men (Yan, Song) and Ladies (Geng, Li). (They'll likely have one in Dance)
    JPN, Men (Takahashi, Hanyu, Kozuka, Oda), Ladies (Asada, Suzuki). They'll have one in Dance.
    FRA, Men (Amodio, Joubert), Ladies, were they to earn two in London (Meite, Silete), Pairs, if J/C sneak into the Top 10 (J/C, P/M, if she's a citizen by then).

    GBR is unlikely to have more than one in any discipline. Were CZE to make it, they'd have two only in Men, and the way Verner has been skating lately, there's close enough to a 30-point gap. Were GER to earn two in Dance, juniors Koch/Nuechtern are right at Z/G's heels. (I think one of them ages out of junior after this season.)

    Quote Originally Posted by starryxskies View Post
    I would have to say most of the strategies will be predictable for most countries' disciplines but it'll still be interesting to see if the popular vote is correct. There's no more than 2 handfuls of countries that are blessed with skaters that are on each other's back with points and abilities and are within top 5 of their discipline.
    There are no more than two handfuls of countries that will make it to the team event, and only a handful of them will make it in to final. To be evenly matched, two skaters/teams don't have to be in the Top 5 in the World: they just have to be evenly matched, whether that's 200 vs. 195 points or 127 vs. 122 points.

    There are many other strategies to think of, such as: if a team is unlikely to make it into the final, like GER, I think it would depend on whether S/S want a warm-up. If a team makes it into the final, but is unlikely to medal, they can easily skate their second skater/team in the FS. There's also the issue of placements and who else skates, who wants the warm-up and early comparisons and who doesn't. It's a very different ballgame if V/M and D/W decide to skate the FD, and W/P and S/S dance the SD. It likely won't matter if USA and CAN lose a few SD placement points points to FRA in the SD, because FRA is unlikely to challenge either for a medal, given weaknesses in two disciplines. If it's the same technical team and judges, they might sit back and see how P/B are scored. If P/B don't skate 1. It's unlikely for FRA to make the final, and maybe FRA doesn't care unless both Joubert and Amodio want a warm-up, although they'd be nuts not to give deference to P/B's wishes (whatever they are), because they are far more likely to medal than either Joubert or Amodio and 2. Then W/P battle it out with whichever RUS team skates, and the Shibs could skate the FD later, because they only teams to which they'd lose are CAN, RUS, and ITA. (It's unlikely they'd lose to the Reeds or Huang/Zheng). CAN and RUS are likely to win gold and silver anyway, and ITA isn't a medal threat against USA.

    Also, where the two skaters/teams are relatively balanced evenly, the difference in the SP/SD might be a lot smaller than the difference in the FS/FD and total score. One skater/team might have more competitive technical content, like a 3/3 in the SP, but falter in the FS. Hanyu, for example has two WRs this year in the SP, but Takahashi has been stronger in the FS. One skater might be in contention and not want to open the Team event in the SD/SP, to put themselves at a disadvantage before the individual events, but wait to see how things pan out. After the SD/SP, Feds might want to give different skaters/teams the FD/FS as a warm-up, if the change is unlikely to impact the medal results. The two Feds likely fighting for the gold might see different strengths in practice or in competition and decide to make a change to maximize their chances for gold. One skater's/team's SP might be more rewarded all year round or be less risky.

    There's plenty of strategy to go around.
    "'Is this new BMW-designed sled the ultimate sledding machine for Langdon and Holcomb?' Leigh Diffey asked before the pair cruised to victory. I donít know, but I know that sled is the ultimate Olympic Games product placement.." -- Jen Chaney

  3. #143
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    Oh my goodness. I would ask for a tl;dr version but it kept me busy while I'm currently super idle at work, so thank you
    No need to take the 30pts part very literal. It was seriously just a random number off the top of my head to make my exaggeration point. I was having Chan vs Reynolds in my head as I was making that up. Skate Canada would be crazy to get Reynolds to follow or precede Chan. He'll create too big of a SP deficit for Chan to make up to get a good final placement (to get 10 or 9 points) and he won't be able to hold on to the momentum after Chan's SP lead to keep those 10 or 9 points that Chan would've gotten on his own. That's my main point.

    I would group the 15pts category as the same message I was trying to convey as well. For example, US ladies, Wagner is way ahead of Mirai, Gao or Gold right now. If they were to switch, I would say the same thing as I said with Chan/Reynolds. They won't be able to get the placement points that Wagner would be able to get if she were to skate both SP/FS alone. Of course, anything can happen (broken boots, injury) but just as a casual observation at this point in time. So I guess I should reword myself and say if the Federations are looking to garner the highest possible placement points that they realistically can, most countries' disciplines won't have much strategy room especially with tight disciplines like mens and ladies (I'll be completely honest and say pairs bore me atm and I don't give a quarter of my attention to pairs at all but speaking from what I saw at GPF, the spread of points weren't too far off, though I know the Russians got this in the bag) Unless Feds hire a data management analyst and match up all the possibilities of points they can get from each discipline and total it against all the possibilities of their main competitors. Something like, "ok we put our #3 skater to skate FS to maximize our chances at Ladies gold with our #1 so we lose 3 points here and get 7 points but we win this disciplines with 10 full points.....Therefore, we will beat Canada their their max possibility of points" Yeah sure there's tons of strategy if we get mathematical that way. But that's outright gambling and we all know the odds to that, especially with a sport like figure skating where results of tight disciplines all depend on whether a skater is "on" that day - no dependent variables at all. I guess with the exception of PCS with a 5pt variance - where every single FS argument disputes from. But please don't quote and write an essay on this.

    I'm really only considering strategies to get to the podium for countries that are in reach of it. I barely consider GER using the team event as a practice field, a strategy.
    I apologize for not being clear when I was talking about 2 handfuls, I was splitting up the countries with their disciplines. With the countries and their disciplines I named in my previous posts, that's already more than 1 handful.

  4. #144
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    The point is not even whether Wagner is 15 points ahead of Nagasu or Gold or Gao. The question is where would Wagner place? If she goes into next season as a world medalist and is strong throughout the GP season, all things being equal, it's a no-brainer to put her in the SP, if that won't impact her individual event. On the other hand, if she's behind Kim, Kostner, Suzuki, Asada, and Tuktamysheva -- and that assumes Leonova won't be back to strength -- in London after the SP, and they run a scenario where JPN, RUS, and ITA are ahead of USA after the SP, then they only need a Lady who'll beat Meite, a lady from GER, probably Li, Osmond, and McCorkell, and whichever Lady the 10th team is from. It doesn't matter which US lady comes in 4th, and it probably doesn't matter in the long run if the US Lady comes in 2nd or 5th, since the US in not likely to be in contention for gold with RUS and CAN. In the FS, the strength in the US team at this point is Wagner.

    The whole team event is going to be most interesting for Ladies and Dance, the last two disciplines, where in any other year, they could take their time getting there. If they are skating in the Team event, they have to start a week early, and some of them will be on call, not knowing until 10 minutes after the SP/SD are completed to find out if they're skating.

    The majority of disciplines in which the country is a medal contender -- CAN, RUS, then USA, then potential dark horse FRA -- the skaters/teams are either very close -- RUS Pairs, Dance, Ladies, USA Men, Pairs, CAN Pairs, FRA Pairs, Ladies, Men -- or close enough that it's a matter of very few placement points that make other tactical and strategic choices come into play. There are only a few, like Chan/Reynolds, P/B and FRA #2, D/W and the Shibs, and Kostner/Marchei where there's likely to be a spread of 3 or more points, and that's only if all of the Feds put their top guns in everything. They may or they may not, considering health, skater's preferences, and/or how much they take the potential impact on the individual events into consideration.
    "'Is this new BMW-designed sled the ultimate sledding machine for Langdon and Holcomb?' Leigh Diffey asked before the pair cruised to victory. I donít know, but I know that sled is the ultimate Olympic Games product placement.." -- Jen Chaney

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    Quote Originally Posted by PeterG View Post
    In other events (swimming relays, gymnastics), do countries enter different competitors in different segements so that those individuals also have a chance to get an Olympic medal?
    In swimming relays, they do it. Generally it is done in order to avoid wearing out the stars but also because, in swimming, you get 6 entries in the 100 and 200 free (so your two individual events and 4 extra) so you might as well use them. It isn't usually to get those people a medal but because it isn't that hard for the top relay countries to qualify without tiring out their best swimmers. In Gymnastics, no. It's not really the same situation because all of the gymnastics athletes must be on the team so you wouldn't enter anyone in different segments. And with only four team members, no one can afford dead weight.

    The big difference between swimming and skating is that the scores will carry over in skating. If the US, for example, only needed to qualify in the top 5, it would make sense for them to send the Shibs and their second lady to the SP to give Ashley and D&W a break as their best medal hopes (as of right now). But since the scores carry over, the US (and every other team) will not be just trying to qualify in the SP but trying to get as many points as they can.

  6. #146
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    Quote Originally Posted by kwanfan1818 View Post
    Of the eight teams most likely to qualify for the finals -- RUS, CAN, USA, ITA, JPN, FRA, CHN -- plus GBR and GER...
    Was Japan hoping at one time for Mervin Tran to obtain Japanese citizenship? And now that Takahashi and Tran have split, does the Japanese Federation have a plan to get a pair together and in shape in just over one year? I've looked over the Japanese National results on wikipedia back to 2006-07 and T & T are the only senior pairs team Japan has ever had.
    It's official. I am madly in love with Meryl Davis.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PeterG View Post
    Was Japan hoping at one time for Mervin Tran to obtain Japanese citizenship? And now that Takahashi and Tran have split, does the Japanese Federation have a plan to get a pair together and in shape in just over one year? I've looked over the Japanese National results on wikipedia back to 2006-07 and T & T are the only senior pairs team Japan has ever had.
    I think they must have some plan because the split apparently came from her, and everyone seem to assume that she was pushed into it by her skating Federation. If they indeed pushed her into it, one would think that there is a plan in place.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PeterG View Post
    Was Japan hoping at one time for Mervin Tran to obtain Japanese citizenship? And now that Takahashi and Tran have split, does the Japanese Federation have a plan to get a pair together and in shape in just over one year? I've looked over the Japanese National results on wikipedia back to 2006-07 and T & T are the only senior pairs team Japan has ever had.
    Not that it does any good for Sochi, but T&T aren't the only senior pair team Japan's ever had. Yuko Kawaguchi competed for Japan with her then partner Alexander Markuntsov, must have been early 2000. Japan also entered a pair in their home Olympics Nagano 1998. I don't remember their names, but they were very cute, though not so skilled, and I believe only put together for that particular event.

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    I'm sure the Federation official(s) lobbying for an exception for Tran were hoping T/T would be able to skate, but even without them, the qualification criteria guarantees that JPN will be included. I think that two of the spots will come down to within a couple of placement points after the SP/SD round, and that if JPN can field a Pairs team, they'll be in a stronger position to do so. Not every country in the Top 10 will have a Pairs team necessarily, and, for example, last place in a field of nine gets two points for finishing the SP.

    The other advantage to a Takahashi/new Japanese partner is that they can qualify, like Peng/Zhang, for two GP's as a "Split couple.". The GP part would be true with any eligible partner (ie someone who hasn't competed for another country this season), but I'm assuming she wants an Olympic-eligible partner.
    "'Is this new BMW-designed sled the ultimate sledding machine for Langdon and Holcomb?' Leigh Diffey asked before the pair cruised to victory. I donít know, but I know that sled is the ultimate Olympic Games product placement.." -- Jen Chaney

  10. #150
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeterG View Post
    Was Japan hoping at one time for Mervin Tran to obtain Japanese citizenship? And now that Takahashi and Tran have split, does the Japanese Federation have a plan to get a pair together and in shape in just over one year? I've looked over the Japanese National results on wikipedia back to 2006-07 and T & T are the only senior pairs team Japan has ever had.
    They did but where told that Mervin Tran was very unlikely to get Japanese citizenship considering he never resided in Japan, and that there had never been any exception before so they didn't see how they could make an exception in this case. And in an official announcement following shortly that of T/T's separation, they said they hoped to form a new pair with her as soon as she was ready to resume training

  11. #151
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    Tikhonov spent some time in Japan, partnering Yukiko Kawasaki. According to his Wikipedia article, they won bronze at NHK in 1993 and place 15th at 1994 Worlds.
    "'Is this new BMW-designed sled the ultimate sledding machine for Langdon and Holcomb?' Leigh Diffey asked before the pair cruised to victory. I donít know, but I know that sled is the ultimate Olympic Games product placement.." -- Jen Chaney

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    Quote Originally Posted by kwanfan1818 View Post
    Tikhonov spent some time in Japan, partnering Yukiko Kawasaki. According to his Wikipedia article, they won bronze at NHK in 1993 and place 15th at 1994 Worlds.
    I remember back in the day the tv commentators would often mention that. And that in exchange for Tikhonov, the Russian federation got a car from the Japanese federation. I seem to remember Terry Gannon and Uncle Dick saying that a lot.
    Last edited by AJ Skatefan; 01-02-2013 at 12:59 AM.

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    Now it would cost them Machida
    "'Is this new BMW-designed sled the ultimate sledding machine for Langdon and Holcomb?' Leigh Diffey asked before the pair cruised to victory. I donít know, but I know that sled is the ultimate Olympic Games product placement.." -- Jen Chaney

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    Quote Originally Posted by AJ Skatefan View Post
    I remember back in the day the tv commentators would often mention that. And that in exchange for Tikhonov, the Russian federation got a car from the Japanese federation. I seem to remember Terry Gannon and Uncle Dick saying that a lot.
    It was a minivan, and yes, Terry loved telling the story of Russia trading Alexei for a minivan.

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    Quote Originally Posted by casken View Post
    It was a minivan, and yes, Terry loved telling the story of Russia trading Alexei for a minivan.
    Oh yes, a minivan!

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    Quote Originally Posted by SmallFairy View Post
    Japan also entered a pair in their home Olympics Nagano 1998. I don't remember their names, but they were very cute, though not so skilled, and I believe only put together for that particular event.
    Mari Arai-Shin Amano, placed last and were a truly home-olympics made couple

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    USFS' annual press conference at Nationals included information about the team event. Phil Hersh tweeted:
    Fig skate team event will begin day before opening ceremony and end 2 days after opening

    Fig skte team event rules very intricate. Countries can switch skaters between SP and LP in only 2 of 4 disciplines

    Next year's US champs will get first crack at spots in new team event at 2014 Oly. They can choose to do SP, LP, both or neither

    Clarification from David Raith: champions can declare interest in doing SP, LP or both in team event but it does not guarantee spot
    I'll post a link if an article turns up later.
    "Randy [Starkman (1960-April 16, 2012)] lived by the same motto as the rest of us. The Olympics isnít every four years, itís every single day. He just got it." --Canadian Olympic kayaker Adam van Koeverden

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sylvia View Post
    USFS' annual press conference at Nationals included information about the team event. Phil Hersh tweeted:

    I'll post a link if an article turns up later.
    So the clarification means that "neither" is not an option?

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    Quote Originally Posted by sap5 View Post
    So the clarification means that "neither" is not an option?
    Maybe neither might be the only option if a wildcard wins the gold, but has such a bad track record that the USFSA vetoes their request to be part of the team event? ()
    It's official. I am madly in love with Meryl Davis.

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    Basically it sounds like "you can tell us what you want and then we'll do what we want"

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