the woman at the boards seems to be bo luan or?
I am very happy that Y/J have also been pulled to Yao Bin's team. Bo Luan obviously is not Chinese Federation's favourite but so far she's failed where Yao Bin succeeded. She needs to change her attitude and start seeing the bigger picture.
For a while, though, Yao Bin didn't have much success in finding anyone after the Zhangs, while Bo Luan looked like she was bringing up some talented Juniors, like Wing/Lowe are doing in Canada and Nina Mozer did for years in Russia. Ding/Ren won two Jr. Worlds medals in the early 00's, Sui/Han were her team until this season, Yu/Jin have done very well, including making JGPF for the last two seasons and winning both of their JGP events this season. Her teams have a lot more expression from the start than Bin Yao's have, and I doubt she's had the same support and infrastructure as Bin Yao.
I'm excited to hear about the program he's finally implemented -- I wouldn't be surprised if Hongbo Zhao has had a lot to do with it, and Pang/Tong are good role models in that regard -- and that his training methods aren't as frightening as Bo Luan's, but she has had some success along the way when he had it with no new teams.
"The team doesn't get automatic capacity because management is mad" -- Greg Smith, agile guy
I think Luan Bo and Yao Bin both have their strengths and weaknesses. They both teach great twists and throws. Yao Bin's couples have better basic skating skills and single jumps; Luan Bo's couples have better chemistry and personal relationships. For yea's, YB's couples had good technical elements but didn't relate to each other well on ice (S/Z and P/T both developed their chemistry very late, while Z/Z never found it), whereas both S/H and Y/J have good on-ice chemistry and off-ice relationship -- the male partners are all super sweet and protective of their female partners, which is so nice to see.
But Zhao's coaching style seems to combine the best of both worlds: great techniques and great personal relationships.
I would say that prior to joining Zhao's group, S/H were regressing due to injuries (Sui's injury was in large part due to over-training of the quad-twists and quad-throws that Luan was making them repeat over and over; and it was said on Chinese skating forums that Luan sent Sui home and off the ice for a month or more because she didn't like Sui's attitude, and that this is a rather common method for punishment in her group), and Y/J had largely stalled. Y/J's poor skating skills were keeping them back: until this season, they hadn't improved since their GP debut in 2011.
Luan certainly has had some success with junior couples, but in part it's because she's in charge of pairs coaching in Harbin, the hometown for the majority of competitive Chinese skaters. Every pairs skater from Harbin probably has to go through her group at some point. I'm really glad for S/H and Y/J that they now have Zhao's guidance.
Hopefully Luan learns something positive from this experience: how to help her remaining pairs improve using methodology similar to those that have helped S/H and Y/J improve so much so quickly.
Article in English about Zijun Li after her rough showing at Cup of China and before her withdrawal from NHK: http://english.sina.com/sports/2013/1102/642596.html
"The result from Cup of China just faithfully reflected her bad condition both physically and mentally in the recent days," commented Li's coach Li Mingzhu, who's also in charge of the Chinese women's national figure skating team.
"I'm quite disappointed with the result. That's for sure," admitted the teenage sensation. "But I've given all I have. It's the first time that I've completed a whole routine of free skating since last summer."
After coming to the summit of her career so far by finishing the seventh at 2013 world championships earlier this spring, Li is regarded a promising future star of the Chinese figure skating next to Chen Lu, the former world champion back to 1990s.
The Changchun native, however, kept going low after then and hit the bottem here at her first GP this season at home.
"What Li's experiencing is the common problems of women skaters at the age of puberty," said Li Mingzhu.
"She's getting taller and bigger, but losing power and coordination. She's been feeling overwhelmed from time to time even during routine sessions of training, and has been absent from regular training series for a long time.
"The bad conditions of physical also cost her of self-confidence. That's why she made errors on unexpected parts, that should not happening," added the coach.
On Li's schedule, the teenager skater will compete in the NHK Trophy in just a week. "I'll put all my strength in preparing for the next GP, rather than regretting for the bad position here and thinking too much of the coming Winter Olympics," she said. "That's the right thing to do right now."
"We hope that Li Zijun could go back to the right track as soon as possible, but no one can tell," said her coach. "What we can do is just to get her less burdened and to encourage her more."
"Randy [Starkman (1960-April 16, 2012)] lived by the same motto as the rest of us. The Olympics isn’t every four years, it’s every single day. He just got it." --Canadian Olympic kayaker Adam van Koeverden
Any Zijun Li updates?
So hoping Zijun can get through this difficult period and be back on track. I'll be absolutely crushed if not. But she has plenty of time and seasons ahead of her so fingers crossed.
More news articles about pairs:
P/Z ahead of S/H in terms of selection
Now that Yan Han's lost in tes, he mentioned it's not easy being senior. He said he needed to upp his technical
Tong: the kiss was not planned.
Argh sounds like Yao Bin was not happy with Yan Han's performances at the GPF. He should keep in mind that Yan at least he made GPF and beat Song's SB by about 30 points.
The situation with ladies and pairs are clear now.
I love Peng and Zhang. He always was the more expressive of the Zhangs and she is wonderful for a 16 year old. I wonder if they can develop even more, I can see podium material for next year. Their sp music is really captivating too