Not sure about Gracie, though. Controlling nerves doesn't seem to come easily to Gracie at all.
Not sure about Gracie, though. Controlling nerves doesn't seem to come easily to Gracie at all.
"Marge, if you're going to get mad at me every time I do something stupid, then I guess I'm just going to have to stop doing stupid things!" - Homer Simpson in the Mr. Plow episode
I think y'allll being overly pessimistic.
Asada, Kim and Kostner will probably get the top three spots in some order. After that, it's anyone's; Suzuki is fantastic, but has been very up and down this year; Tuk and Sot are at their first worlds, and still a bit insecure from one competition to the next and Murakami at her best probably won't outscore either of the Americans at their best.
I just have a feeling this is going to be a big worlds for Wagner and/or Gold - but especially Ashley. She's had a few rough skates, but what strikes me most about her is her determination and apparent mental strength. I think she's going to be ready for worlds and ready to give great performances - I'd be surprised if she isn't at least top 5.
I'm not sure how Alissa's injury was hid at all last year. She skated at a test skate right before Worlds and didn't land a single jump. The real issue here is the US federation doesn't think its somehow important to see at all what kind of shape their skaters are in before they send them off to Worlds.
Gold does have a higher upside but right now it really is more on the TES base, her better PCS internationally at Cup of Russia were only about a point higher. Gao could potentially reintroduce her 3flip/3toe....
Yes Gold has more upside but its technically and she hasn't shown yet that she can be relied on to hit that tech content... I think that does matter. Gao has consistently gone out and hit 5/6 triple longs internationally. She continues to do that and gets political support her PCS will go up.
I agree Gold has the more "potential" but the fact that Gold has issues delivering that potential shouldn't be ignored. As for Wagner at least in the long the main difference between her and Gao was PCS. And I highly question if Wagner continues this kind of performances she put out at US Nationals and GPF she will continue to get those PCS.
I also think the fact that the landscape has changed is going to affect Wagner's PCS too. Kostner/Kim are back the Russian ladies are starting to get some nods....The fact that Wagner's technical content is a bit lacking could affect her PCS.
And I'm sorry if your going to take into account Wagner's good season, you need to take into account Christina's, it can't be one or the other. And the fact that the grand prix final skate was poor on Wagner's part shouldn't be ignored either
The previous system was under 6.0. Under that system Gold would not have made the world team due to her placement in the short. And the judges would have probably not been able to give Wagner the National title like the handed her because they would have had to answer why Wagner's free skate was really second best.The procedure isn't the problem. The problem is we haven't had two girls good enough to get that 3rd spot back since Michelle and Sasha retired. Simple as that. Mirai sure isn't one to rely on when the pressure is on either plus she can't rotate her jumps. As for Gao i'm not really sold on her yet. The system worked well for over 60 years so maybe just maybe the problem isn't the system but the skaters are just not getting it done and are not good enough. It's been almost 7 years now since a US Lady has won any kind of medal at Worlds. Since 1950 the longest stretch a US lady went without being on the podium was 3 years and that was after the plane crash in 1961 that wiped out the World team and sent US figure skating back almost a decade. That says it all.
The problem here is that we now have a new scoring system which makes it very easy for the powers that be to manipulate scores. The issue here is that US nationals is being questionably judged.
But, realistically speaking, she does NOT have a 3-3 or a 2A/3T, so that's throwing away some points. And she is losing the consistency she had early in the season. 4 falls in the past two competitions - just isn't that great of a track record for the US champ. (flashback to Meissner 2007-2008, 3 falls in GPF & Nationals, she got the number down to 2 for Worlds but it was still rough.) Like I pointed out, we're probably looking at 6th-9th if she holds the course.
Gold's 4CC score would have had her in the top 10 at Worlds last year and in 2011...but she still has to do much better. Probably more concerned about Gold at this point, but Wagner is by no means a done deal.
What was Gao's score at SA when she went SQUEAKY CLEAN? You ready for this?...................here it comes, 174.25.
Gao's score at 4CC? 176.28, still below Wagner's GPF score.
I think that says it all
Meissner was held up for awhile PCS by the international judges too-but that eventually changed....At that point two may I mention Kostner was gone, Kim wasn't there etc. So Wagner was one of the more mature lady skaters out there.
Now the judges have Kostner, Kim back both who are better skaters/packaged than Wagner. And they also have that young jumpers who are continuing to jump well and getting some big PCS boosts.. The landscape is changing and Wagner is showing up as a skater who is neither all that special PCS wise and with lesser technical content.
I do think Wagner is overall better than Gao, but.....
I don't really have an issue with Wagner's placement on the world team but what I'm saying you can't have it both ways. You can't say the previous skates matter for one person (Wagner vs Gao) but than say they don't matter in relation to Gao vs Gold... Gold's much better skate vs Gao at Nationals matters.. But Gao's much better skates at Nationals vs Wagner- don't.
That's what I'm saying a fair procedure for all. If you want Nationals to be it than judge it correctly. If you want previous results taken into account than take previous results into account.
But the current US way of doing so what it reaks of is favoritism. Whatever standard gets the girls the USFSA wants on the team on the team, is what goes.
Last edited by bek; 02-10-2013 at 07:37 PM.
I'm really looking forward to seeing the improvements Gao can hopefully make with a full off-season with Mitchell/Johansson. She barely trained post-junior worlds until sometime in the summer, so bearing that in mind, her success this season is even more impressive, IMO. I really hope she can get the 3F-3T back and am also looking forward to a Mitchell-choreographed long program. This year's short was a huge (positive) step up for her.
In that sense yes I think our team very well could have been Wagner/Gao....The point though is you can't make the argument that the US system of Nationals only worked for 50 years because we have a different "numbers based scoring system now." That allows judges to give certain skaters HUGE PCs, inflated GOE, and judge downgrades harshly for some and not so harshly for others.
This system is frankly more easy to manipulate than 6.0 is and thats what makes this Nationals only thing so questionable. Because in a lot of cases a lot of us are seeing Nationals being extremely questionably judged.
Under 6.0, Gao would have been in 5th place going into the FS, and that's not the easiest deficit to overcome. I'm still not sure Wagner wouldn't have been given the presentation marks to place her above Gao, since Wagner is not expendable to the US team, at least this year. Wagner might have gotten 5.6 and 5.7 in the technical score, but she'd have gotten the 5.9's she needed to be above Gao, since US judges aren't as taken with Gao's presentation, and presentation was the tie-breaker. Look at the early/before-Kwan era, where Bobek got her share of presentation gifts.
Whether Gold delivers on her technical potential isn't the point: it's when, in the most reasonable weak scenario, i.e., barring disaster, the end-result for Worlds place is likely to be the same, i.e., two spots for the US, which is the most likely for the unlikely to happen? Gao hasn't shown herself to have the potential, in a strong field, to be more than seen as in a lower rank. She doesn't have even Murakami-like rep in PCS, so her presentation skills won't compensate if she has technical issue. Gold has shown at least once that she has the technical goods to lay down the type of performance that garners higher-than-expected PCS from international judges, and barely weaker PCS than Gao when she falters. If Gold is strong at Worlds, the speed, power, and ice coverage will compare favorably to Tuktamyshema (one of my favorites).
What is the downside of choosing Gold over Gao, especially when Gold outperformed Gao at Nationals in the entire competition, and in which their PB's in international competition are 1.25 points in Gao's favor, only because of 4C's where Gao, arguably, had nothing to lose for the last competition of her season?
"The team doesn't get automatic capacity because management is mad" -- Greg Smith, agile guy
And once again its arguable whether Gold should have placed ahead-overall at US Nationals, given that short. And its definetly questionable that Wagner did.
And if we want to talk about technical merit one could quietly point out that Gao has done a 3flip/3toe in the past and actually went for it at the GPF... She's landed those before....
Once again the issue here is the way this selection procedure works. I'm not sold on the idea that Gold is going to go out there and perform all of those 3/3s at Worlds. I do think Gao is more likely to land her jumps than Gold is. And Gold's PCS for good performances internationally aren't that much higher than Gao's...
And I do think I can see a scenario where Wagner skates similarly poorly and Gold does as well and its not so good for the US ladies.....Not with the 3 potentially good skaters from Japan, 3 (if Leonova shows up) good skaters from Russia, Kim, Kostner...This girl from China who is fabulous, and Osmond...All it takes is Marchei/Korpi... and one other skater. And I'm sure even if both girls are disasterous one will get enough PCS to keep us in the top 12, but I'm making the point the field in ladies is getting deeper....
I'm not so sure its wise to take a chance on a very hit and miss skater, when you have the National champ who is starting to so some signs of us all struggling under the pressure. Especially when you have another skater who all season long has consistently put out 5/6 triples a program....
To be honest if I were making selection procedure I'd probably send all of Wagner, Gao and Gold to Four Continents and see how they do there. If Wagner wasn't ready for Four Continents, I'd have had her skate in a test skate before Worlds and see that she was back in her old fighting shape.... I do see the argument for Gold vs Gao its just I think Gold's massive inconsistency is a concern...
Last edited by bek; 02-10-2013 at 08:41 PM.
How many times can i say this? No matter who is sent we are NOT going to get that 3rd spot back. So i say let Gold get the experience she needs and let's see what happens.
It seems to me that we very much could have won three spots for the last two years if we had made all of our skaters show a semblance of readiness before we sent them to worlds. And going to Worlds and placing not so well may not be so great for Gold's confidence.
Or frankly Wagner places fourth which Wagner very well could and then all Gao would have to place is 9th... Add into US politiking a bit for higher PCS for Gao. Gao finished pretty close to Kaneko here especially in the free skate and that was with Gao falling...And Murakami does have some jump rotation issues.
I think you are underrating Gao a bit here Jammers. And once again I don't particularly adore Gao, I agree Gold is more likely the future champ....
Last edited by bek; 02-10-2013 at 08:59 PM.