First of all, I love the programs that Carolina, Mao and Ashley are coming up with, I do think we're getting some extra artistry, intracacy, and performance level in exchange for the the somewhat lesser jump content. I thought Worlds was to be a close competition between these three and I didn't think I missed the lesser jump content.
But then YuNa debuted her programs, and I was reminded just how easy she made 3z-3t and 3F look, huge jumps with great flow and correct edges, effortlessly executed in SP and LP. I still think at this point Carolina/Mao/Ashley have more developed programs, more tailored to their particular music choices, and nuanced in the interpretation. But YuNa clearly still has everything that made her great...flowing edges, great flexibility, great speed and carriage, coverage of the rink. Her PCS will be great despite having less 'special' programs, her jumps are in a class by itself.
The others, despite wonderful programs, will have to rely on her mistakes if they want to win. Yuna had intentionally done easier spins at NRW, so that's some points she left on the table she'll likely take back by Worlds. I don't think it'd be so easy for Caro to add multiple lutzes/flips, for Mao to have lutzes/3axels or for Ashley to add 3-3s, and if they did, certainly not with the surety, consistency and quality of Yuna. Younger skaters like Liza, Gracie and Julia have the jumps, but they are miles away from Yuna in presentation, and deservedly should get much lower PCS.
After seeing NRW, I'm convinced it's YuNa's Worlds to lose. It's like she took us all back Vancouver 2010.
^ I think it's a little early to assert that Yu Na is in '09 - '10 form. While I think she is the favorite for a 2nd World title, I don't think that she's the sequined steamroller she was at Vancouver. Mao and Ashley are closer to her points-wise than Mao and Joannie were leading up to the 2010 Olympics.
Oh, I agree with you, like Yuna said, she's at 80%. But Mao isn't at 100% either, she had 3 triple axels in Vancouver, now she had neither 3A or any 3-3s. I don't think her improved artistry can make up for that, because Yuna can rack up the big PCS too. Carolina yet to prove she can deliver great skates with substantial jump content. I really admire all the improvements Ashley has made, but neither her skating skills or her jumps are at Yuna's level. So I still think this is YuNa's to lose.
^ Mao will do very well but w/o a 3x or 3-3's, I doubt she'll beat Yu Na if Yu Na is on.
Carolina Kostner (just saw her "Bolero" the other day).
Never thought I'd say this, but imho the only one that can compete head on with Yuna Kim is Caro, jump for jump, move for move, but most importantly the *intangible*.
At this point I really don't think Mao can beat Yu na unless she gets her 3A back, and continues to improve her other jumps.
Does everyone feel that the run for the Worlds podium (at this point) will be a race among Yu Na, Mao, Ashley and Carolina??
Of the four top ladies I mentioned, I think Carolina is the one most likely to splat. I think Akiko is hindered by being the #2 JPN lady right now and I don't see the judges putting her ahead of a clean Ashley. Either Kiira or one of the Russian gals will most likely be final group material
I also think if Ando comes back next season in good shape and wanting to go to the Olympics, while she wont get her former stature back, she will be given Japanese #2 status, as the back up plan for a possible bronze if Mao their #1 hope falters. In the event that happens I could see the Japanese sending Murakami to the Olympics for experience, and leaving Suzuki at home entirely. I actually like Suzuki and her skating, and some thought I was bashing her when I said there is no way the Japanese want her to be their #1, but I was just being a realist. They had every opportunity to start giving her #1 backing with all that she has done, and all the others have been floundering or absent the last 2 years and they still havent done it. Even at Worlds when Mao bombed she was not given the boost in scores a #1 Japanese would get, which cost her atleast the silver. They were always holding out for one of Asada, Ando, or Murakami to start skating better. This year Mao is only getting 4 ratified triples a program at best, sometimes not even that, but for the JSF that is apparently good enough to get firm #1 support again and encourage her to do better, they clearly were desperate for anyone but Suzuki as their #1.
^Isn't Akiko taking it season-by-season? I mean, she hasn't even as of now committed to Sochi and I think she's close to Butyrskaya's age during the '99 - '02 quadrennial.
Well being honest I think 85% most likely Ando doesnt come back at all or doesnt come back in good enough form to be competitive, and in that case Akiko is probably fine staying as their #2 (or dropping to #3 behind Murakami). Just saying that in the unlikely event Ando comes back quite stronly she will be given their #2 skater status immediately, and Akiko could easily find herself off the team as they would probably look to groom some kind of future hopeful by sending them as their #3 in that case.
I did not see Yuna's recent competition. Does anyone who did think that she was scored appropriately? After reading she had a "mistake-filled program" I'm wondering if that is worth 200+ points.
If the scoring was truly unfair, then nobody is going to beat her because she is viewed as a 200+ skater even with mistakes.
Kim had these jump mistakes in her FS: 1A+1T+1Lo and 3S+2T(fall). Korean TV broadcast video of her FS: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rw_pRAcTCmg
Her SP: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RQdr3fb2CXc
Re-posting from another thread...
Opining on NRW Trophy: Kim's comeback, fairly scored? An analysis:
Last edited by Sylvia; 12-19-2012 at 06:20 PM.
"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