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    Yamaguchi and Harding at 1991 worlds

    I had run across an old thread on this, and was wondering do others feel Harding should have beat Kristi in the SP in 1991 worlds? To me she skated much better and of course when she was on always had better jumps than Yamaguchi. I know she skated in the early rounds in that competition, and Kristi did go clean, but I would have had Harding first.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lnt175 View Post
    I had run across an old thread on this, and was wondering do others feel Harding should have beat Kristi in the SP in 1991 worlds? To me she skated much better and of course when she was on always had better jumps than Yamaguchi. I know she skated in the early rounds in that competition, and Kristi did go clean, but I would have had Harding first.
    Funny you should start this thread because I was watching both performances on youtube. I initially felt that Tonya skated the best SP of the night technically, although I think she had a non-jump element in there that was a little on the pedestrian side (maybe it was the spiral). I liked the way she powered thru the jumps and non-jump elements alike and she always had unique choices in music. Since the SP was mostly about the technical performance and Tonya had a true lutz, maybe Tonya should've led.

    Kristi in general had a more appealing program and did all the hard jumps (except she flutzed but that wasn't an egregious issue back then), though, so I didn't have a problem with Kristi being 1st after the SP. In fact, I preferred Kristi's '91 SP to her '92 Olympic SP.

    IDK. toss-up

    ETA - I thought it interesting that international judges were willing to give Tonya 5.9s for the 2nd mark skating early, but she didn't get those marks for the same performance at Nationals also skating early. I think that showed what the USFSA thought of her even pre-whack
    Last edited by olympic; 06-23-2013 at 12:07 AM.

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    And I do agree with Kristis win, since she delivered in a big way in the long. Harding made errors on the simplier jumps there, still a great competition for both.

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    Quote Originally Posted by olympic View Post
    Funny you should start this thread because I was watching both performances on youtube. I initially felt that Tonya skated the best SP of the night technically, although I think she had a non-jump element in there that was a little on the pedestrian side (maybe it was the spiral). I liked the way she powered thru the jumps and non-jump elements alike and she always had unique choices in music. Since the SP was mostly about the technical performance and Tonya had a true lutz, maybe Tonya should've led.

    Kristi in general had a more appealing program and did all the hard jumps (except she flutzed but that wasn't an egregious issue back then), though, so I didn't have a problem with Kristi being 1st after the SP. In fact, I preferred Kristi's '91 SP to her '92 Olympic SP.

    IDK. toss-up

    ETA - I thought it interesting that international judges were willing to give Tonya 5.9s for the 2nd mark skating early, but she didn't get those marks for the same performance at Nationals also skating early. I think that showed what the USFSA thought of her even pre-whack
    Tonya had great jumps and spins, but the rest of her skating was pedestrian. Since those days the judges were not looking for a 'true lutz', I can see why Kristi received higher marks. She was a more complete skater, and she was very consistent landing her jumps. They were not as high or powerful as Tonya's but there were no 'GOE marks' back then. IMO 5.9 for Tonya were a bit high.

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    I thought Tonya should have won the short program at those Worlds for sure. Jumps and spins are 6 of the 8 elements in the short program, and the required elements mark is the tiebreaker so I think she deserved to win the short. I have also seen much more exciting short programs from Kristi than that one was.

    I even thought Tonya could have won the gold despite her errors in the long due to the triple axel. Had she just landed 1 more triple I think she would have, but I guess the judges felt she didnt hit enough other triples to overcome Kristi's doing more triples, having a cleaner skate, and having a better choreographed program.

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    Quote Originally Posted by judgejudy27 View Post
    I thought Tonya should have won the short program at those Worlds for sure. Jumps and spins are 6 of the 8 elements in the short program, and the required elements mark is the tiebreaker so I think she deserved to win the short. I have also seen much more exciting short programs from Kristi than that one was.

    I even thought Tonya could have won the gold despite her errors in the long due to the triple axel. Had she just landed 1 more triple I think she would have, but I guess the judges felt she didnt hit enough other triples to overcome Kristi's doing more triples, having a cleaner skate, and having a better choreographed program.
    IIRC Tonya landed only 3 triples at the 1991 worlds (3A, 3t-3t; did I miss something?). I can see why the judges would not give her the win when Kristi had so many more triples, and better artistry.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vash01 View Post
    IIRC Tonya landed only 3 triples at the 1991 worlds (3A, 3t-3t; did I miss something?). I can see why the judges would not give her the win when Kristi had so many more triples, and better artistry.
    Not sure what you were watching. Tonya landed 4 triples in Munich: 3z, 3a, 3f, 3l; along with a 1t, 2s-2t and 2a.

    A respectable skate, but I think the popped toe sealed the deal. I don't think she even needed the 3-3, but a 3t-2t would've been far less jarring.

    A shame that this was her only real shot. Jump-wise, she may have been at her peak, but she was much better all-around from 1986-1990. She should've been at both 1989 and 1990 Worlds; missing the first because of politics and the second because of the flu. She could've won silver and gold at those events, IMO, with any World experience being sure to have helped her nerves in 1991.

    Lastly, she was the clear bronze medal winner in Albertville. She should've placed 5th in the short and 3rd or 4th in the long, with Kerrigan 5th behind both Harding and Chen. After that event, her placements were almost entirely the result of her own lack of training, as she blew chances to win or medal at the 1992 and 1993 Worlds. By Lillehammer, she was no longer a realistic contender for more than top 5/6, though a medal in Japan at the post-Olympic Worlds may have been possible given the weak field- anyone know if she was planning to compete pre-ban?

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    Quote Originally Posted by JJS5056 View Post
    Not sure what you were watching. Tonya landed 4 triples in Munich: 3z, 3a, 3f, 3l; along with a 1t, 2s-2t and 2a.

    A respectable skate, but I think the popped toe sealed the deal. I don't think she even needed the 3-3, but a 3t-2t would've been far less jarring.

    A shame that this was her only real shot. Jump-wise, she may have been at her peak, but she was much better all-around from 1986-1990. She should've been at both 1989 and 1990 Worlds; missing the first because of politics and the second because of the flu. She could've won silver and gold at those events, IMO, with any World experience being sure to have helped her nerves in 1991.

    Lastly, she was the clear bronze medal winner in Albertville. She should've placed 5th in the short and 3rd or 4th in the long, with Kerrigan 5th behind both Harding and Chen. After that event, her placements were almost entirely the result of her own lack of training, as she blew chances to win or medal at the 1992 and 1993 Worlds. By Lillehammer, she was no longer a realistic contender for more than top 5/6, though a medal in Japan at the post-Olympic Worlds may have been possible given the weak field- anyone know if she was planning to compete pre-ban?
    Just watched it on yt. You are correct. I must have been thinking of something else. Tonya landed 4 triples and missed the planned 3t-3t completely. The 1t-2t looked clumsy. Also doubling the jumps later in the program did not help her. If at all anything, IMO the judges were generous in giving her 5.8s for artistic marks. Kristi's only mistake was on the 3s (she botched it completely but did not fall). The quality of skating was much better in Kristi's case. IMO it wasn't even close between the two performances. However, if Tonya had landed everything that she had planned, who knows what could have happened? The 3A those days counted a lot more those days than it does now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vash01 View Post
    Just watched it on yt. You are correct. I must have been thinking of something else. Tonya landed 4 triples and missed the planned 3t-3t completely. The 1t-2t looked clumsy. Also doubling the jumps later in the program did not help her. If at all anything, IMO the judges were generous in giving her 5.8s for artistic marks. Kristi's only mistake was on the 3s (she botched it completely but did not fall). The quality of skating was much better in Kristi's case. IMO it wasn't even close between the two performances. However, if Tonya had landed everything that she had planned, who knows what could have happened? The 3A those days counted a lot more those days than it does now.
    I think you're underestimating the judges' appreciation of Harding. You mentioned how high her marks (especially artistic) were with the mistakes - there wasn't much higher they could go if she had gone clean. I really think the 3t-2t would've been enough, as the salchow didn't disrupt the program in the same way.

    I never thought it was that close until I rewatched the scores. I think the judges wanted to give it to Harding if she gave them enough of a reason.

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    The 92 Olympics could have been one of the best womens events and battles for gold ever had Ito, Yamaguchi, and Harding all skated their best. It is such a shame Harding didnt train as her 91 Skate America and 91 U.S National performances would have easily won the gold given how Ito and Yamaguchi both skated in Albertville.

    The 92 Worlds was basically the beginning of the end of her career. Her skating and consistency went downhill, and Nancy became the huge favorite of the USFSA which probably would have been too much to overcome even had she been skating better. She was an amazing skater from 86-90 too. Had it not been for figures, the heavy emphasis on protocal and paying your dues, the great U.S depth, and some bad luck, she could have achieved alot in this period too.

    I agree had she done a triple toe-double toe combo even she probably would have won the 91 Worlds after landing that early triple axel. Her marks were quite close to Kristi's even as it was.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JJS5056 View Post
    Not sure what you were watching. Tonya landed 4 triples in Munich: 3z, 3a, 3f, 3l; along with a 1t, 2s-2t and 2a.

    A respectable skate, but I think the popped toe sealed the deal. I don't think she even needed the 3-3, but a 3t-2t would've been far less jarring.

    A shame that this was her only real shot. Jump-wise, she may have been at her peak, but she was much better all-around from 1986-1990. She should've been at both 1989 and 1990 Worlds; missing the first because of politics and the second because of the flu. She could've won silver and gold at those events, IMO, with any World experience being sure to have helped her nerves in 1991.

    Lastly, she was the clear bronze medal winner in Albertville. She should've placed 5th in the short and 3rd or 4th in the long, with Kerrigan 5th behind both Harding and Chen. After that event, her placements were almost entirely the result of her own lack of training, as she blew chances to win or medal at the 1992 and 1993 Worlds. By Lillehammer, she was no longer a realistic contender for more than top 5/6, though a medal in Japan at the post-Olympic Worlds may have been possible given the weak field- anyone know if she was planning to compete pre-ban?
    You make some interesting points about Albertville (more on that later). 91 worlds I do think if Harding had landed one more triple (even the salchow) she would have won. I know the general concensus is that the judges put her down and that is true to a certain extent but they were also willing to give her the titles (example beating Trenary at 89 Skate America)iif she just skated anywhere near her potential.

    At the 92 Olympics she could have won bronze considering how poorly Kerrigan skated, but did herself no favors in the judges eyes by dropping to third at the 92 nats, then falling in the SP at the Olympics.

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    Harding's scores internationally weren't the issue. It was the way she was treated by U.S. judges that ultimately held her back from having a much longer and more successful career. It wasn't until the advent of YouTube that I even realized that was she was so talented and competitive as early as 1986.

    Her scores and placements at events like NHK and Skate America (and 1991 Worlds) over 4-5 seasons showed that the international judges appreciated her jumping and spinning ability and her skating skills. She was at her best artistically 1987-1990 with wonderful speed, expression, transitions, etc. It wasn't because of figures or lack of training that she didn't make her World debut until 1991.

    This was a girl who was challenging Witt and Ito in 1987, and who had strong enough figures to be in the hunt for the podium at Worlds during that era. The fact that she missed 1989 Worlds based on her free skating says it all. On the opposite end of her career, she should've also been in Prague in 1993. She did herself no favors, but she was a guaranteed top 10 in that field and maybe she would've kicked her training up a notch had she made the team? Instead, Kwiatkowski got to do little than a few practice sessions before getting cut.

    1990 should've been hers and not Trenary's; I question how many colds and flus one skater can have (on top of broken laces and blades) in one career, but I would like to think that really was what caused the meltdown at Nationals. As with so many of her skates, she was only 1 or 2 jumps away. Instead, Trenary got a World gold and Cook a bronze.

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    Harding should have clubbed the stupid USFSA and U.S judges who undermarked her for years rather than Nancy. One time I feel she wasnt robbed was the 93 Nationals though. She skated really weakly there. It wasnt just not having triple axel which she would have been easily fine without, and could have even won without had she skated great since anointed favorite Nancy skated so bad that night. She missed triple lutz, fell on a triple toe, stumbled on a triple flip and/or triple loop. I think she made only 1 or 2 triples, and still was held up and put on the team before a flukish ordinal flip.

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    I do think Harding could have made a splash at the 89 and 90 worlds had things turned out differently. Especially considering the strength of 89 SA, 89 nats, and 90 NHK performances as benchmarks. So many what ifs in her career.

    ETA: wanted to add her 87 NHK performances too as she did triple lutZ/double loop and a triple flip at the end of her LP.
    Last edited by Lnt175; 06-25-2013 at 02:30 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chanunderrated View Post
    One time I feel she wasnt robbed was the 93 Nationals though. She skated really weakly there. It wasnt just not having triple axel which she would have been easily fine without, and could have even won without had she skated great since anointed favorite Nancy skated so bad that night. She missed triple lutz, fell on a triple toe, stumbled on a triple flip and/or triple loop. I think she made only 1 or 2 triples, and still was held up and put on the team before a flukish ordinal flip.
    The thing is, everyone skated really weakly at those Nationals. Kerrigan won with three triples, Ervin actually skated well in the free for her ability but had less difficulty than others in the top 5, and then Kwiatkowski, Harding, and Bobek all landed two clean triples in the long. When you consider the relative quality of basic skating, spins, and presentation skills, it strikes me as rather odd that Kwiatkowski ended up being the top finisher of those three when they all landed the same number of triples. And while its more a fault of the factored placement system than the judging itself, Harding and Bobek had better SPs than Kwiatkowski, so when I think about the two programs combined, Harding should have easily made the World team, even with the poor performance. I do feel like some judges were probably trying to send her a message.

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    The judges were definitely trying to send both Harding and Bobek a message. Bobek had embarassed the U.S at the World Juniors not only with a poor competitive showing albeit while injured (where Ervin won silver) but raiding a minibar and getting taken to the police station. The USFSA were probably terrified what stunt she might pull at Worlds and were going to leave her off if it was at all reasonable.

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