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  1. #21
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    I remember 87 NHK and was a bit perplexed by the results. I cannot see how Ito did not win this competition. There were no figures, and her freestyle was extraordinary. I always knew that at Worlds Witt would win over an Ito due to figures, but in a competition w/o them, how in the world could a judge give Witt a first place ordinal? Even Harding was outskating Witt by 1987. And yeah, what judge could give the same technical merit mark to both Ito and Witt given those performances? As much as I detest this new system, at least there can be SOME objectivity.
    There wasn't a rivalry, the judges wouldn't even consider it back then. If it wasn't for the fact that Jill Trenary was a total headcase, Ito would NEVER have won a world championship because Japanese fed politik was nonexistent at the time. Yamaguchi was too young and Trenary too unstable, so Ito snuck in for the title. Any other year a strong fed would have pulled out a win over Ito entirely due to figures.
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  2. #22
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    Let me guess the judge who gave both Ito and Witt the same technical mark was probably from a eastern bloc country.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex Forrest View Post
    There wasn't a rivalry, the judges wouldn't even consider it back then. If it wasn't for the fact that Jill Trenary was a total headcase, Ito would NEVER have won a world championship because Japanese fed politik was nonexistent at the time. Yamaguchi was too young and Trenary too unstable, so Ito snuck in for the title. Any other year a strong fed would have pulled out a win over Ito entirely due to figures.
    Well Jill did her best in the figures and short program, and Ito still was in position she only had to win the long program to win. So no even a non headcase Jill could not have stopped her that year, the event was already in Itos control after the short program. If Ito didnt bomb her final figure at the 1990 Worlds she would have won there too, even if Jill had done her short program well.

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vash01 View Post
    You can't compare Ito with Bonaly. Ito skated and jumped with correct edges, had good basics and flow, and she was never just a jumping bean. She had both musicality and choreography. She did difficult combinations, like a camel spin right after a triple jump, or spread eagles into triple loop. She had excellent footwork, and she was a very good spinner. She is most famous for her awesome jumps, but she was so much more. Bonaly OTOH did not use the edges, and was heavily criticized for her technique. The only other skater who comes close to Ito is Tonya Harding, but she was less consistent; still a great jumper though.
    Bonalys jumps werent even that good in a way. She entered and landed with no flow, and she basically pole vaulted her way into them with mostly bad technique. The only impressive thing was she muscled off 7 triple programs, triple-triples, and good quad attempts inspite of that. Her lack of basic skating skills already made it impossible for her to do jumps the way excellent skaters like Ito and Harding could.

    Harding probably had even more natural talent than Ito. It is too bad not only she sabatoged herself, but the USFSA seemed blind to her potential, that are unable to look past her upbringing, in the second half of the 80s and constantly held her down, which I am sure contributed to her later jaded attitude, and also helped waste away many of her developmental and possibly prime years.

  5. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex Forrest View Post
    . If it wasn't for the fact that Jill Trenary was a total headcase, Ito would NEVER have won a world championship because Japanese fed politik was nonexistent at the time. Yamaguchi was too young and Trenary too unstable, so Ito snuck in for the title. Any other year a strong fed would have pulled out a win over Ito entirely due to figures.
    Trenary could not have beaten the 1989 worlds program by Ito.She had five 6.0s, the rest 5.9s on tech, and her artistic marks went down only slightly (5.8s mostly). I remember Scott Hamilton's comment just before Jill started skating- (paraphrasing) she has to hope for 6.0s. It was not going to happen, and Jill skated like she knew there was no way she could beat those marks by Midori. She was not necessarily a head case. She was just very limited technically. Her hardest jump was the 3 flip, and she did not even land that consistently. At the 1990 worlds she did, and won with a decent but not great LP, but only because Midori blew the figures completely.

  6. #26
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    It wasnt a rivalry due to figures. Had it not been for figures it probably would have been quite a close rivalry from 86-88 or atleast in 87 and 88. Witt always beat Ito in short and long programs but both skating in the final flight and having a chance at the medals they probably would be scored closer. In 88 Ito was probably really far superior but due to Witt's reputation they would still score them closely.

  7. #27
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    If figures had been done away with in the late 70s or early 80s rather than early 90s, then yes it would have been a great rivalry as Ito would have been able to realistically challenge Witt at the big competitions. Unfortunately Witt entered the 87 NHK event(even with no figures) as a huge favorite, and just needed to stand up to win. Ito was only considered a jumping bean(who made a small error on a combo to boot), who had to wait her turn till the next quad. That being said I disagree that Ito never raised the level of the sport. Ito came into her own as an all around skater at the 88 Olympics, and developed her own style. Quite frankly her skating and presentation was better than alot of Witts posing and resting sections in 87-88.(Her Carmen was very good at Euros, but I found it phony at the Olympics and worlds).

    And yes Ito did have a real triple Lutz.

  8. #28
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    Witt's West Side Story was her best program ever. She should have kept it for a 3rd year since it was like her signature program especialy after how she skated it at the 87 Worlds. Her short programs were mostly really good too.

    Her Carmen was awful I thought, but I also cant think of any really good Carmens in skating ever. Krylova & Ovsiannikov's Carmen in 98 was scary bad. Sasha Cohen's Carmen in 2002 was weak with mostly just alot of ugly stroking between the elements. Plushenko's in 2002 was yucky. Fratianne's and Rueben's in 1980 and 1984 were boring. Slutskaya's in 2000 despite the year of her artistic growth was trivial with bizarre interpretation of the Carmen theme, and a trite ending which is why she lost that Worlds to Kwan as even with mistakes and less tech. content the judges gave her the highest tech. scores but she lost on some very low pres. scores. Navka & Kostomarov's in 2006 was decent although not spectacular, but I guess by default theirs is the best recent one.

  9. #29
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    Then you have Thomas Carmen the same years as Witts. I think it was a good program for her, but I don't think it was her best vehicle either. She did skate it nice at nats that season.

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