View Poll Results: Which of these 3 skaters is most likely to win the Olympic Ladies competition?

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  • Ashley Wagner

    58 58.00%
  • Carolina Kostner

    30 30.00%
  • Akiko Suzuki

    12 12.00%
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  1. #61

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    Quote Originally Posted by judgejudy27 View Post
    if Yu Na is even 75% of her 2010 form she is a mortal lock to win the gold, period. She does not even need to be back at her best, just about three quarters of it. I am almost certain there will be nobody in Sochi even skating at the level Asada and Rochette (especialy Asada) were around the time of Vancouver, and she absolutely killed them there. If she isnt then it becomes interesting. Yu Na at even 60% could have a chance depending how the other ladies are doing, just wouldnt be a lock like if she reaches 75% or hgiher.

    I agree Elizaveta might have the best chance of the Russians. I wouldnt count Julia L. out yet but she has alot of work to do. Sotnikova has the most ability right now, but it is looking inreasingly doubtful she has the nerve and toughness of a real champion.
    I am not so sure about a 75% Yu na being a lock for the OGM in 2014, although she would be a contender for it. I also disagree that in Vancouver she absolutely killed Mao and Joannie. The judges gave her insanely high marks, and the margin of her win should have been more like 10 points rather than 25-30 points. Artistically she is the best, so she could win even without a 3-3, but she will need to land most of her jumps. She could afford to make a couple of small mistakes IMO. I don't think a 60% Yu na really has a chance of winning the OGM, barring mistakes by other ladies. She has already proven her champion's heart, so if she is mentally motivated to win again, I like her chances. I just would not crown her quite yet.

  2. #62
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    Lets face it the level of ladies skating the last couple years hasnt been that good, and there is no sign of a rapid improvement anytime soon. That is what I base my figures on. As for Yu Na only deserving to win by 10 points in Vancouver I would have to disagree. Asada's major mistakes in the long program alone were worth more than 10 points, and all things considered (superior GOEs for Kim, especialy on the jumps, Mao while having the triple axel not having all the other triples and losing difficulty compared to Yu Na in other ways, Mao's Tarasova programs not even being that good and up to her artistic potential, and Yu Na's usual dominant short program) she wasnt going to win after Yu Na'a performances even with a clean performance. The scores indicate had Mao skated clean like Yu Na did she would have lost by about 10 points, only about 5 of those points in the long program, which was probably about right.

  3. #63

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    I have to disagree with you. Mao did not have 'major' mistakes in the LP. She did have a couple of small ones (no falls) but she landed two triple axels in the LP, which should have counted a lot more. Her score in the SP was particularly unfair, imo. She landed a 3A-2t combination which no one else was even attempting. She was held down on the PCS after skating a clean SP. Yu na's lead after the SP was ridiculously high, as if to make sure that she would win the OGM, regardless of how she skated. I never had a problem with her win; just her marks.

    About the level of ladies skating today, I do agree with you. It has been a big disappointment to me, and I put the blame squarely on COP for this. The ladies are not even attempting difficult jumps or pushing the envelope in that department anymore. When a skater without even a triple lutz is considered a favorite to win the OGM, that is a sorry state of affairs. If Yu na does return to eligible skating, at least the ladies will be motivated to try something harder, just to be competitive, regardless of how Yu na is skating. I do believe that eventually skaters like Liza and Adelina will bring up the standard of skating (jumping) in the ladies field, but it may be hard to do it by Feb. 2014. There just isn't enough time.

    I have not lost faith in Mao, but the COP judging has been particularly cruel to her. I have not seen a skater being chopped down from the top, the way she was. She is a fighter, and hopefully she will develop the needed consistency to be a contender for the OGM. Most other skaters would have retired after winning 2 world championships and an Olympic silver medal. Still she does not seem to get the respect of fans or the judges. This year could be critical for Mao.
    Last edited by Vash01; 11-23-2012 at 02:40 AM.

  4. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vash01 View Post
    I have to disagree with you. Mao did not have 'major' mistakes in the LP. She did have a couple of small ones (no falls) but she landed two triple axels in the LP, which should have counted a lot more. Her score in the SP was particularly unfair, imo. She landed a 3A-2t combination which no one else was even attempting. She was held down on the PCS after skating a clean SP. Yu na's lead after the SP was ridiculously high, as if to make sure that she would win the OGM, regardless of how she skated. I never had a problem with her win; just her marks.
    If under-rotating and two-footing a 3flip and tripping on the ice and singling a planned 3toe are not "major" mistakes, then what exactly is a "major" mistake to you? Singling a jump is the most major mistake that a skater can make in terms of loss of points.

  5. #65

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    Quote Originally Posted by museksk8r View Post
    If under-rotating and two-footing a 3flip and tripping on the ice and singling a planned 3toe are not "major" mistakes, then what exactly is a "major" mistake to you? Singling a jump is the most major mistake that a skater can make in terms of loss of points.
    Singling a triple jump is a major mistake, which she did have (and I forgot), and so is a fall, which she did not have. Mao did not ur in the Olympics, although she had the problem before and after. I am also focusing more on the SP marks where she skated clean, with the most difficult combination, no ur or two foot. Her marks should have been a lot closer to Yu na's in the SP. Her LP was overall very strong, in spite of the two mistakes. When Chan gets away with 4 falls, you have to wonder why Mao is never given the benefit of doubt, and is not given high marks for what she does well.

  6. #66
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    Of these three, Wagner.

    Suzuki's certainly been successful and has actually improved past the point where we could realistically expect it (I mean, landing her first triple-triple in her mid 20s? The oldest first time medalist in a really long time). On the other hand, she looks like she's in a similar position to Kozuka. Sandwiched between a more senior/laureled skater (Asada/Takahashi) and a younger up-and-comer (Murakami/Hanyu), the federation doesn't seem to support her as whole-heartedly as it does the others. It's disappointing, because I think she'll be the top performing Japanese lady heading into Sochi (Ando's not coming back; Murakami and Asada have weaknesses that are seriously penalized by the system), but will be a bronze medal candidate at best.

    Kostner will be a contender, but I wonder how strong her cachet will be if she's not the top European - which she's basically been post-Turin (2009 and 2010 notwithstanding). I do wonder how likely it is she'll regain the lutz, but I'm optimistic her new consistency and incredible skills will remain. I do wonder to what extent she'll be committed to competing as well - I really thought her victory would be a Buttle like moment for her and then she'd retire. She's as successful as he if not moreso (though that depends on Olympic bronze vs two World bronzes, but her European run is admirable as well)

    So that leaves Wagner. I don't think she'll actually win, but of these three, she's the best placed, imo.

  7. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vash01 View Post
    I have to disagree with you. Mao did not have 'major' mistakes in the LP.
    Singling a triple jump and having a triple downgraded due to underrotation were as serious as a fall under COP, so yes those are major mistakes. They would have lost her about 10 points outright, then combined with possible GOE and PCS loss close to 15 points.

    I agree the triple axel should be worth more, but I dont blame the judges for that, but the people who decide on the points. As it was Yu Na's triple lutz-triple toe was worth more in base value than Mao's triple axel-double toe, and with Yu Na's jumps being bigger, having more flow out, and being deserving of higher GOE, there isnt much that the judges could do about that.

  8. #68
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    I fully admit that I'm in the minority, but I actually don't mind the technical deficiencies we see in ladies skating--most of the time. Ashley's LP is stunning. Could she add more difficulty? Sure. But look at Jeremy Abbott's LP. It's so messy (even though it's beautifully choreographed) because of his jump issues. I hate seeing stuff like that. I'd rather that skaters go clean.

    This is why I don't really like COP. The points aren't necessarily well-spread across elements. Nonetheless, being a COP-era fan, I totally don't understand how 6.0 works.

  9. #69

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    Quote Originally Posted by judgejudy27 View Post
    Singling a triple jump and having a triple downgraded due to underrotation were as serious as a fall under COP, so yes those are major mistakes. They would have lost her about 10 points outright, then combined with possible GOE and PCS loss close to 15 points.

    I agree the triple axel should be worth more, but I dont blame the judges for that, but the people who decide on the points. As it was Yu Na's triple lutz-triple toe was worth more in base value than Mao's triple axel-double toe, and with Yu Na's jumps being bigger, having more flow out, and being deserving of higher GOE, there isnt much that the judges could do about that.
    IIRC Mao's three 3A's in the 2010 Olympics were ratified as 3A's. She really skated well there, but the point spread did not indicate that. That's where I have a problem. It's not like Mao did not have other skills.

    The men are going for quads and they know that they cannot win without a quad. The ladies have regressed seriously, and diluting their programs even more. It is sad that in 1992 ladies were doing 3A's and 3-3 combinations (even 3L-2t) and now they are content with landing toes, salchows, flips and loops.

    Just the fact that we have this poll, with these three ladies as OGM contenders says it all- the sorry state of ladies skating.

  10. #70

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vash01 View Post
    Her score in the SP was particularly unfair, imo. She landed a 3A-2t combination which no one else was even attempting. She was held down on the PCS after skating a clean SP. Yu na's lead after the SP was ridiculously high, as if to make sure that she would win the OGM, regardless of how she skated. I never had a problem with her win; just her marks.
    While I agree no one should count Mao out or takes things for granted with what happened at Vancouver, I have always find this believe that Yuna's SP mark too high quite puzzling? 3A scale of value has increased many times prior to the Olympics and everyone already knows the value before finalised their programs. This jump increased again after the Olympics. Look at the protocols, the two SP have the same base value 34.40. Are you really going to claim, that they should have more or less similar GOE and PCS? Even if Mao were able to benefit the rule changes after the Olympics with Triple axel increased from 8.2 to 8.5. It is only 0.3 difference. Are you really going to be squabble over the difference of 5.2 vs 4.9?

    Their TES were only 3.2 apart determined GOEs, and their PCS is only 1.52 apart. How else would you mark it fairer? Even if you increase the 3A to today's standard it would hardly make any difference consider it is still a 2T at the end. Today's base value of 3Axel is already heavily favoured relative to other triples, 8.5 for 3A vs 6.0 for the 3Luz, 5.3 for the flip, 5.1 3Lp, 4.2 Sal, 4.1T.

    2.5 difference still not enough? Just how much more do you think it should be when one 3A now is now worth more than 2 x 3S!!!

    The TES for the FS on the other hand was 13.62 apart based on 5.04 base value difference already with a higher Technical content for Yuna. Like many pointed out, Mao made costly errors, but it seems the consequence from this competition have change the ISU rules since to to lessen penalties for UR from a downgrade.

    While we can argue about what it should be, and that some how 70% of Yuna would be sufficient but I'd argue it is impossible to talk bout the future in that regards without recognized many of the key rule changes that paved the way for Mao leading up to Sochi, makes it a completely different judging field from Vancouver. I find it really funny for example the 'coincidental rule changes' in values of scales for all triple jumps that Yuna is good at has gone RIGHT DOWN and all values that were deemed Mao's strength shot RIGHT UP.

    Everything considered, all the rule changes after the Olympics have already paved the way for Mao to succeed, and designed to repress what Yuna does.

    6.6 for 3 lz reduced to 6.0
    4.95 3 sal reduced to 4.2
    5.5 3 flip reduced to 5.1
    5.0 to 5.1 for the 3Loop (Yuna doesn't include)
    3A, 8.2 to 8.5 (Yuna doesn't do)

    - Lessen UR penalties from Downgrades. Those do perfect fully rotated jumps like Yuna lose advantage. Those who cheat get 70% score. 1/4 cheated to 1/2 under rotated 3A is worth practically the same as a fully rotated 3lutz.
    - No more than 2x2A allowed during FS, without a 3Loop means Yuna can no longer get 9.5 for her excellent 2A3T with good GOEs.
    - Reduced the scale for GOEs by 30% (all except the 3A), arguably one of Yuna's greatest strength in terms of pure quality for the sport. Bear in mind 100% Yuna from Vancouver is already handicapped by 30% reduction in pure GOE terms, means the maximum GOE she can hope to gain is only at 70% of her life time's best. This makes the 70% Yuna at Sochi is really merely at 49% Yuna from Vancouver in terms of pure GOEs scoring ability (0.7x 0.7)

    GOE (+++, ++, +, -, --, ---)
    Triple toeloop through lutz
    New: (2.1, 1.4, 0.7, -0.7, -1.4, -2.1)
    Old: (3.0, 2.0, 1.0, -1.0, -2.0, -3.0)

    Triple Axel
    New: (3.0, 2.0, 1.0, -1.0, -2.0, -3.0)
    Old: (3.0, 2.0, 1.0, -1.4, -2.8, -4.2)

    - There seems a trend to reward Ladies step sequences level 4 these past 2 years compare with previous to the Olympics. It would be interesting to see whether this will apply to Yuna's step sequences, since she has never had a level 4.
    - Have I missed out another rule changes regards to 3:3 combo, means 3Lutz3T is not that much different from 3T3T unlike before? Can't remember off the top of my head.

    So basically these changes will prove to be a different playing field that could really handicap Yuna's strength and ability to score.

    I personally think at least a Russian young lady will medal (my bet would be on Liza), they grew up with COP post Yuna/Mao/Miki scale of values and probably trains well in the 3:3s and 10% jump bonus in the 2nd half.
    Last edited by os168; 11-23-2012 at 12:21 PM.

  11. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vash01 View Post
    IIRC Mao's three 3A's in the 2010 Olympics were ratified as 3A's. She really skated well there, but the point spread did not indicate that. That's where I have a problem. It's not like Mao did not have other skills.

    The men are going for quads and they know that they cannot win without a quad. The ladies have regressed seriously, and diluting their programs even more. It is sad that in 1992 ladies were doing 3A's and 3-3 combinations (even 3L-2t) and now they are content with landing toes, salchows, flips and loops.

    Just the fact that we have this poll, with these three ladies as OGM contenders says it all- the sorry state of ladies skating.
    You make it seem like there have always been lots of Ladies doing 3axel's at any given time. The only reason there were two Ladies doing triple axels in the early 90's at the same time was because Ito and Harding were two of the greatest jumpers ever. That's why there have only been 5 women to ever do a 3axel in competition. Just because nobody is doing them doesn't mean that the ladies have regressed technically it is just a hard jump for women to do otherwise they all would be doing them.

  12. #72

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jammers View Post
    You make it seem like there have always been lots of Ladies doing 3axel's at any given time. The only reason there were two Ladies doing triple axels in the early 90's at the same time was because Ito and Harding were two of the greatest jumpers ever. That's why there have only been 5 women to ever do a 3axel in competition. Just because nobody is doing them doesn't mean that the ladies have regressed technically it is just a hard jump for women to do otherwise they all would be doing them.
    I am not referring to just the 3A. If you look at what the ladies were doing from the early 90s until recently, fewer ladies are doing a 3Lutz, and even fewer are trying 3Lz-3t combinations. The 3Lz-3R is completely gone. It should have been the opposite. Even though Ito and Harding were exceptional jumpers that could do the 3A, others were at least trying to do it. As a sport progresses, athletes challenge themselves to do more difficult- athletically challenging things. We see that in the mens field. In the ladies field they are avoiding the more difficult jumps - even the 3Lutz which was practically a requirement to win a title not so long ago- that's why I feel the ladies have regressed technically. If the younger ladies start landing difficult jumps consistently and winning competitions, it can put pressure on other ladies to improve, but I don't see that happening before the next Olympics.

  13. #73
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    I think you can blame the COP for the regression in difficult jumping passes. Unlike in the 6.0 system where there was little footwork and other elements now the skaters have to work on all parts of their skating unlike 15-20 years ago. So that leads to watered down jumps. Gracie seems to be one of the few to really be pushing herself technically but isn't skating clean perhaps because she has to work on other things besides jumps now.

  14. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vash01 View Post
    IIRC Mao's three 3A's in the 2010 Olympics were ratified as 3A's.
    It was not her triple axel which was downgraded. It was another the first part of her triple flip combination, and it was clearly badly underrotated. Check 3:10 of the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5y5mcxHe9Qc Those two jumps alone cost her about 15 points probably factoring in GOE and PCS. I also dont think she should have won over Yu Na how she skated there even had she skated cleanly. I dont believe any women in figure skating history would have beaten Yu Na Kim, atleast under COP, in Vancouver to be honest. Maybe if Mao had better programs which really reflected her true artistic talents better than her 2010 ones, and was doing all the other triples Yu Na was doing as well as the triple axels (as already noted Yu Na will get higher GOE even on their clean jumps than Mao and rightfully so), it would be different. So a gap of more than 15 points total (the approximate worth of Mao's mistakes plus GOE and PCS points) is to be expected (and more than 15 points in the LP itself too). Saying Yu Na should have won by only 10 point is like saying had Mao skated cleanly she should have won, and I dont feel that is the case given how incredibly Yu Na skated. So by that account the points gap was about right. The only thing I believe Yu Na was overscored in was her spiral sequence in both programs, but seriously how much does she gain by that alone. We will have to agree to disagree here.

  15. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vash01 View Post
    I would not make that prediction about Liza. In 2002 Sarah Hughes clearly did not have the maturity to win the OGM. Before the competition we were discussing her chances of her winning the bronze, as her best shot. In 1998 Tara was not exactly 'mature'. She was just a jumping bean with a huge smile and energy. If Liza can land her jumps, there is no reason to count her out. I am not saying she will win the OGM, but she should be in the mix. I would not put Sotnikova in the mix only because she does not seem to really compete. I don't see a fire in her. Julia has the fire, but as you say, she is likely to lose her jumps, and they already are rather smalll. I don't think she lost her last competition because she is already losing the jumps, but because this kind of pressure- of leading after the SP in the senior ranks- is new to her. I see it more as a mental problem which can be worked through, but she may not have the time to work through everything, given that Sochi is just 14-15 months away.

    I also disagree with you that a mature lady will win because 'the world' wants it. It depends on how they skate and how the judges see it. Where was the world in 1998 and 2002? In 2006 a mature lady won with a so so jump content because there was no 16 year old around to challenge her.

    Yu na was a natural artist, and it was not surprising that she was a complete skater at a young age in 2010, as was Michelle at age 17, in 1998 (but she did not win).
    I really agree with everything you said. I put Sotnikova on the list because her jumping ability is impeccable and she has personality. In my experience a skater goes through a point where their jumps are fantastic and awful all at the same time when they grow. Sometimes they're on, sometimes they aren't....but most get through it if they have sound technique. I am not aware of her past (I've only watched her this year, so I don't know if there's a mental competition issue there).

    I agree with the maturity comment, although it is harder to swing skating Junior-esque under the new system. Sarah had all the technical goods (well kind-of....we won't go into that) on a night where the favourites made lots of mistakes. I think Liza could pull a similar thing, on my breakdown I gave her a pretty decent %. Although I personally feel that someone else will pull through, unless we see major improvements in Liza's skating; namely spins and speed/edges. If she makes improvements she can be a MAJOR threat. She has the potential.

    My comments about a lady winning the OGM are completely opinionated, but I hope that the cleanest most well-rounded mature skater wins that night in Sochi

  16. #76

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    ANDO WILL CLASH ALL THOSE THREE!

    (my wishful thinking, but has to be said )

  17. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeschke View Post
    ANDO WILL CLASH ALL THOSE THREE!
    Ando has moved on to costume design?
    It's official. I am madly in love with Meryl Davis.

  18. #78

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    Why only three competitors?
    Prosperity makes friends, adversity tries them. – Publilius Syrus

  19. #79
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    The results of this season's NHK Trophy is proof positive that the ISU judges do not value Akiko Suzuki as a skater, let alone an Olympic medal contender. She even gets duped in a GP event held in her own country even when she out-skates everyone. To hold a 6 triple Suzuki behind Mao despite Asada singling 1 triple, doubling 3 triples, and only achieving 3 triples in her LP was a travesty. Forget about Chanflation . . . at least when Patrick is held up, he actually attempted the 3 or 4 rotations despite falling. Mao doesn't even have to attempt the 3 rotations to win. What indeed were the judges watching and judging at this event? . . . absolutely frustrating and more reason why the public shouldn't take figure skating seriously as a sport.

  20. #80
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    ^^ Yes, even Asada herself was nonplussed when her scores came up, but grateful. Akiko smiled a little on camera for Mao (but it was a long-suffering kind of smile).

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