I think Sotnikova has an outside shot to get on the podium, perhaps a better shot than Tuktamisheva but she's going tohave to skate lights out in both the SP and LP and she'll need help from at least one of the Big 3 (meaning major mistakes). Tuk seems to always have problems in the SP which often kills her chances at winning gold or even a medal of any color.
Its true that Li beat kostner and mao in TES and then in PCS there was a 12 and 10 point lead but even if she wasn't in their league and deserving of their PCS being where she was in the SP - in the teens!- was not at all helpful. And Mao and Kostner did have their best technical showings in years and years! Kostner was doing 3/3 and Mao was improved. It was not what was expected from last season where Kostner early on had no flip or lutz and Mao was doing singles and falling. So they both did do better in tech. And they have the huge PCS buffer- but I think that was more because the 4th place finisher in the LP was so far down in the SP- even if she had been top 6 her PCS maybe wouldh't have been that much higher.
Originally Posted by kwanatic
- Rep Power
On a broader note, I think a hierarchy of ladies has really been established and become clearly visible this past season with the return of Yu Na, the premiere of the Russian babies, Gracie Gold, Canada's next great hope, etc. all coming together to perform at Worlds.
I think you can break it down by groups:
#1 - Yu Na, Mao, Carolina - clear advantage over the others, with Yu Na having an edge over Mao and Carolina
#2 - Ashley - some may disagree w/ me, but she skates with maturity and should solidify this spot behind the aforementioned 3 in the pecking order. The others below her may show more talent in certain areas of their skating, but Ashley is a better competitor at the moment and skates better under pressure than those I've ranked at #3.
#3 - Here is the gaggle: Gold, Sotnikova, Tuktamysheva, Murakami, Osmond and Li. All are talented in wildly different ways. On a good day with proper development, they could supplant Ashley but probably the gals in group #1 are out of reach. Hence, to the point of this thread, Sotnikova is not Kim's 'biggest threat'.
Akiko is a mystery for me. Her season has surprisingly been up and down, she is going to be 29 next year, her skating has gone from marvelous (4CC; WTT - a little inflated TBH, perhaps a 'gift' of sorts) to disastrous (Nationals, GPF, WC) and still I think where she is placed may have more to do with politics than anything else. Will she be Japan's no. 2 or no. 3 lady next season, and will that hold back her marks for any reason? Her best performances have been in Japan. IDK.
Kiira is probably moving a little further down the list despite small improvements, due to the rise of the youngsters listed in #3 and the fact that she is aging and has not had a full season in a while.
Last edited by olympic; 05-11-2013 at 04:11 PM.
I don't see her as a threat to Kim, at least not the Kim we saw at 2013 worlds, but I do see her as a serious medal threat. In my opinion, it all depends on the programs she's given. What's really lacking in her skating at this point is a beautifully constructed, cohesive program. If she gets two of those, look out!