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  1. #61

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sylvia View Post
    Takahashi/Kihara scored 90.05 in the FS at Lombardia Trophy today and attained the Olympic minimum TES - video filmed from the stands: http://youtu.be/5Zx9B5HmOJ8
    They finished 7th overall (138.03) - on to Nebelhorn!
    While I'm happy that they achieved the Oly-minimum scores, I'm a bit nervous about their chances of earning one of the 4 remaining Oly spots via Nebelhorn. The good news is that the competition in Obertsdorf is not so tough; Kemp/King (UK) are my only "sure bets" to earn one of those 4 spots. Japan has, IMO, as good a chance as Belarus, Bulgaria, Poland, & Ukraine to earn one of the others. So I continue to hope and pray for Japan.
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  2. #62
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    Poland definitely isn't going to be earning one.

  3. #63
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    It's official. I am madly in love with Meryl Davis.

  4. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeterG View Post
    He definitely looks skinny for a pairs skater.

  5. #65

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    Some of the Chinese male skaters in pairs field like Jian Tong and Cong Han are not macho type. Yeah, Jian Tong is definitely tall but Cong Han is rather short. I don't think Kihara is too short as a pairs skater. The point is Kihara is still skinny as a pairs skater, while his upper body looks much more built than in spring. He has long way to go but anyway he's been going aherad. I'm pretty much moved by their efforts to be a serious team.
    Last edited by rosewood; 09-23-2013 at 04:02 AM. Reason: to add a link

  6. #66

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    Maybe this is exactly what the Japanese Federation needs. Maybe this will jump-start an interest in Pairs and bring more Pairs-appropriate men into skating.
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  7. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frau Muller View Post
    While I'm happy that they achieved the Oly-minimum scores, I'm a bit nervous about their chances of earning one of the 4 remaining Oly spots via Nebelhorn. The good news is that the competition in Obertsdorf is not so tough; Kemp/King (UK) are my only "sure bets" to earn one of those 4 spots. Japan has, IMO, as good a chance as Belarus, Bulgaria, Poland, & Ukraine to earn one of the others. So I continue to hope and pray for Japan.
    I think they have a really good chance of qualifying, helps they are better single skaters than Kemp/King so we will have to see
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  8. #68

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    Quote Originally Posted by VIETgrlTerifa View Post
    Maybe this is exactly what the Japanese Federation needs. Maybe this will jump-start an interest in Pairs and bring more Pairs-appropriate men into skating.
    Japan has such a wealth of talent in singles! Many talented skaters don't even make the world/Oly team. Pairs could be an option for them, if the men work on strengthening certain muscles. Narumi is tiny, so it's not hard at all for Kihara to lift and throw her. They are understandably slow, as a new pair. They have to develop their timing and togetherness. It will be great if they make the Olympic team.

  9. #69
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    I don't think he is given enough credit for time under his belt and for what he can accomplish in the future. He can become a great pairs skaters in time, just like any others pairs skater if given the same amount of time and training. Robin, Max, Alexander, Dylan, Tong and Eric didn't wake up great pairs skaters....it took time and training. That same time and training needs to be put into him and/or other men if other men in Japan were patient enough to try pairs.

  10. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sylvia View Post
    I think the main obstacle is that any JPN pair team that is formed is "forced" to train abroad due to the lack of elite level pair coaches, and unless promising prospective pairs are funded by the federation (or are financially independent), this can get very expensive!
    With the team event now in the Olympics, the JSF are certainly directing more funding to the development of pairs and ice dance. Hopefully, that will help encourage other Japanese skaters to try them out.
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  11. #71

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    Kihara is listed as 5'9", same height as Mervin Tran. So yes he's on the short side for a male pairs skater, but it's manageable because Narumi is so tiny, just 4'9".

    I think they look quite good considering they've only been together 9 months and especially considering he had no prior pairs experience. Obviously the lifts are still basic, and they don't have the triple twist yet, and speed is slow. But they look good together. Their lines match well, they move together well. I see some long-term potential, more than I expected. With several years' training and more strength on his part, they might do well.

  12. #72
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    Good luck to them! I hope they can achieve same things Narumi achieve with Marvin Tran if possible.

  13. #73

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    Quote Originally Posted by allezfred View Post
    With the team event now in the Olympics, the JSF are certainly directing more funding to the development of pairs and ice dance. Hopefully, that will help encourage other Japanese skaters to try them out.
    One result of the Team competition (which I didn't realize before) is that Federations who are strong in some disciplines and weak in others (or in Japan's case, absent) may start developing in those weaker disciplines. Plus, now more skaters would be willing to train in those underpopulated disciplines for a chance to not only compete at the Olympics to actually win a medal if the other disciplines are strong enough to carry them.
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  14. #74

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    I honestly wouldn't be surprised to see Japan win Olympic Team Gold in 2018; they're hard workers and learn fast!

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    Quote Originally Posted by itoaxel View Post
    Good luck to them! I hope they can achieve same things Narumi achieve with Marvin Tran if possible.
    From what I've seen of both Mervin's and Narumi's new pairings sans each other, they will both have a long uphill battle with their new partners, albeit Narumi and Ryuichi are in a better position obviously to compete at Worlds and Olympics fairly quickly with the lack of pairs depth in Japan.

    No way for either Mervin or Narumi to achieve "same things" with new partners. What they had together was very special and can not be repeated. Let their new partnerships break new ground, if possible. Good luck to Mervin and Narumi in their different journeys, and thanks for the memories.

  16. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by aftershocks View Post
    From what I've seen of both Mervin's and Narumi's new pairings sans each other, they will both have a long uphill battle with their new partners, albeit Narumi and Ryuichi are in a better position obviously to compete at Worlds and Olympics fairly quickly with the lack of pairs depth in Japan.

    No way for either Mervin or Narumi to achieve "same things" with new partners. What they had together was very special and can not be repeated. Let their new partnerships break new ground, if possible. Good luck to Mervin and Narumi in their different journeys, and thanks for the memories.
    I wouldn’t go that far! With everything Narumi achieved with Tran as a pair and Ryuichi as a single skater, they should have no trouble coming together as a pair and achieving greatness with hard work. They already achieved minimums and 7th place this past weekend. So by the next Olympics they can be great, If Tran can lean pairs quickly so can Ryuichi. They are still very young.

  17. #77

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    I just got caught up on the clips of Takahasi & Kihara's programs for this season and I have to say I'm very impressed with how well Kihara has picked up pairs skating in a very short period of time.

    Hopefully their technical content will be enough to get them one of the four open Olympic spots at Neblehorn this week.

    If he can continue to develop his upper body and get more comfortable doing lifts and twists, I think they have a very bright future ahead of them.

  18. #78

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    I agree - they are coming along nicely and he is picking up on pairs quickly. I think it's a smart strategy to keep the pairs elements simple for now and focus on performing them cleanly. I also hope they get one of the pairs spots at Nebelhorn, but they should be in Sochi for the team event no matter what. Narumi is such a lovely skater and it's great that she did not lose her jumps with all of her time off (if anything, they look improved).

    Watching them did make me miss Takahashi and Tran, and after watching their Worlds 2012 skates again, I agree that it will be tough for either new team to recapture that magic. But it's still early yet and the skaters are all young, so hopefully in a few years both new partnerships will be very strong.

  19. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by Erin View Post
    I also hope they get one of the pairs spots at Nebelhorn, but they should be in Sochi for the team event no matter what. Narumi is such a lovely skater and it's great that she did not lose her jumps with all of her time off (if anything, they look improved).
    I think they still need to qualify for one of the spots at Nebelhorn in order to participate in the team event, unless you mean they should be there as cheerleaders.

  20. #80

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    Teams are allowed to have up to one entrant who did not qualify on their own, so I was assuming that T/K would be the entrant for Japan even if they don't qualify to compete individually. I had forgotten that the Reeds are not yet qualified for Sochi, so there is a possibility that if the Reeds didn't qualify individually, they would be the additional team sent. But I think the Reeds are pretty likely to get one of the available dance spots at Nebelhorn, so Japan would be free to include T/K in pairs.

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