Actually it wasn't so guaranteed that she would make Worlds at all since the beginning. She and Arakawa were close competitors even back in junior days and they were back and forth at National for years. Suguri won out on world team selection in 1997 and 1999, but Arakawa took the all important 1998 spot, and Onda the 2000 spot out of nowhere. Things got easier since 2001 when Suguri qualified a second spot for JPN but then again more skaters came on to the scene to fight for those spots. In 2002, she actually had to battle out for her own spot for SLC at Nationals against Arakawa who was also skating very strongly that season, because Onda had luckily made the Olympic team by default by qualifying for the GPF due to easy competition at her events, leaving her and Arakawa to fight for the remaining spot. (dumb and unfair qualifying rule for JPN, IMO) Arakawa had landed 7 triples and 1 3/3 and medalled at both her GPs that season. I agree that Onda was a not a good skater compared to a bunch of other Japanese skaters around that time but she had killer consistency and was attempting 3axels. If not for her deadly flat foot making her unable to do harder combos, she would be the Japanese Slutskaya. She was a definite threat to Suguri until 2004. I specifically remember in 2004, all the big competitions were won by different Japanese ladies (GPF by Suguri, 4CCs by Ota, Jr Worlds by Ando and Worlds by Arakawa). Now that's some depth. DOn't forget Arakawa and Ando were landing 3/3s left and right, and she couldn't even do a 3loop anymore. And given her accomplishments by 2005, she still had to fight out with Onda for the last spot for Worlds at 4CCs. (and both had nail biting clean performances there) And then of course there was also 2006 as you mentioned where Nakano also joined the competition with great momentum (she had won NHK and qualified for GPF that season). I guess my original point was that I understood why Suguri couldn't always peak at Worlds or Olympics because she often had to peak elsewhere to even allow her season to continue. Great summary. I do think too much credit was given to Cohen's Olympic medal when Suguri also had a solid competition and was perhaps a bit unlucky in that, all of USA's support went to Cohen (in Kwan's absence) and all of JPN's support went to Arakawa (and all of RUS's support went to Slute). It wans't even like Cohen went against all odds and skated clean. She fell twice as usual. Suguri and Arakawa actually had very similar jump contents. It's still a big deal and a deal breaker when comparing their careers IMO, but I wish people had acknowledged that that medal didn't mean Cohen was the better competitor. If, on the flip side, the judges rightfully marked Slute down and Suguri ended up with the bronze, Cohen's silver would probably mean a lot less when comparing their careers. I honestly feel the marks should have been closer for 2nd to 4th. I do think it's interesting and also a bit unlucky that Suguri and Cohen both skated similarly at their 2 Olympics and Cohen came out on top both times, under different judging systems. I honestly would have Suguri ahead of Cohen at least in 2002.