It's always depressing to listen to the commentary during many of Tanja's skates. Many times, they refer to her as the "next Katarina Witt," Germany's star, etc. Even Dick Button said something to the effect of "perhaps this is her chance to break through" during her 1996 Worlds SP after mentioning that she was always lingering around 5th-6th. Yet, in spite of two clean programs, she ended up 6th.
She was a skater who would have been much more successful had had she reached her peak about 4 years sooner- her 1993, 1994 and 1996 Worlds skates (and 1998 GPF, of course) would've been competitive at any meet prior to 1992, IMO, assuming her figures were on par. Ladies skating in 1996 was just packed, and she had yet to reach her peak in 1993, was injured in 1995 and 1997 during weaker years, and then missed out on her biggest opportunity- an Olympic medal in 1998- because of illness. I do think there is a case for saying she was robbed in 1996, though. Bonaly in Slutskaya weren't extraordinary in Edmonton, IMO.