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Suguri vs Butyrskaya- who was the better skater

Discussion in 'The Trash Can' started by wristflick, Apr 16, 2013.

Butyrskaya vs Suguri- who was the better skater

  1. Butyrskaya

  2. Suguri

  1. wristflick

    wristflick New Member

    These are my 2 favorite skaters ever even though unfortunately the judges thought of both as second rate and only bit contenders. Medals and achievements aside which was the better skater of the two.
  2. Lnt175

    Lnt175 Member

    Bute easily gets my vote. She was a much better skater than given credited for even though I was never a huge fan myself.
  3. bardtoob

    bardtoob Former Choreographer for Anna Maria Tragikova

    Such different skaters.

    3Lp-No 3Lp
    Hard landings-soft knees
    Terrible layback-lovely layback

    Similar results at the Olympics.
  4. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

    They have totally different strengths and weaknesses. There are places Maria is much better and places Suguri was much better. Suguri was more consistent, and had fewer meltdownws, but Butyrskaya could go really clean and perfect those rare times she was really on while Suguri was consistent in always making 1 or 2 mistakes but never skating her best or perfectly clean, which is why she has a World title and 3 European titles, and Suguri no big titles.
  5. Macassar88

    Macassar88 Well-Known Member

    I found Maria to be the better performer artistically, so I voted for her. Also, I love her beautiful true outside edge lutz.
  6. bardtoob

    bardtoob Former Choreographer for Anna Maria Tragikova

    Euro titles should not count against Fumie.
  7. DimaToe

    DimaToe El Chen-te Fernández

    ...Wasn't there a poll exactly like this one not so long ago?
  8. Marco

    Marco Well-Known Member

    Or in any event Suguri also had 3 4CCs title and a GPF title.
  9. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

    Probably true, but on the other hand there is no chance Fumie would have won 3 European titles. Butyrskaya won those 3 European titles in the Slutskaya (in Europe anyway) era, and Suguri has only beaten Slutskaya once in her career, and that was the 2004 Worlds where Slutskaya was heavily ill and came 8th to Suguri's 7th.

    As for comparing 4CCs titles to Europeans, the 4CC fields in those days were far below the European fields. The only skater who would finish top 7 at the upcoming Worlds who Suguri beat for any of her 4CC titles was Nikidinov in 2001.

    Suguri did win the Grand Prix final, but Maria has many more grand prix wins, and finished top 4 at every Grand Prix final from 1997-2002. Suguri most years didnt even qualify for it, actually wasnt 2004 her only appearance in the event. Maria in addition to actually winning a Worlds in completely dominant fashion, while Suguri never came close to winning one, was also more of a threat to win Worlds in general; she was a contender to win Worlds for sure in 1999, 2000, and arguably 2001, while Suguri never was. She was also a legitimate threat to medal at the 98 Olympics, and was .1 from doing it skating about 55% of her best, and arguably a threat in 2002 as well, while Suguri at even 100% probably wasnt medalling in any Olympics, even the 2006 splatfest.
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2013
  10. falling_dance

    falling_dance Coaching Patrick

    Suguri competed in the Grand Prix Final as late as December 2006 (plcing fourth), but the 2003-4 gold was her only GPF medal. ETA: She placed fifth at the 1998-9 GPF and sixth in the 2002-3 final.
  11. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

    Thanks, were those the only 2 years she qualified for it? I just checked her bio and I guess she was at the 2003 edition too, so she qualified for 3 in her career. Butyrskaya qualified for all 7 that were held during her career, and managed a 2nd, two 3rds, three 4ths, but never managed to win it. That is pretty much the only edge Suguri's career has over Butyskaya although the OP specified skating ability as opposed to careers.
  12. lala

    lala Well-Known Member

    I loved both of them, but Suguri was better skater.
  13. robinhood

    robinhood Active Member

    Artistically and musically I think Maria was better. She had lots of musicality and created her own style and image on the ice. The presence of Maria (the woman) was evident against the "little girls" in Nagano and so on
    Skating skills-wise there is no colour, IMHO. Suguri is the typical japanese skater with great speed, soft edges, very good ice coverage and a fluid stroking. She had great jumping technique (apart from flutzing) and great rotation speed in the spins
    Maria was more statuesque and Fumie was more fluid. I enjoyed Maria much more when on, because I felt she was an artist
  14. Andofanatic

    Andofanatic Banned Member

    Maria no contest. Much better artist, better jumper who did more technical difficulty. Many reasons Maria is better:

    -Maria has won a World title. Suguri did not.
    -Suguri has never beaten Michelle Kwan which for a top skater to not beat the best skater of their era atleast once is really weak.
    -Maria has much more success in the regular season.
    -Maria was a top skater for longer.
    -Maria was a top skater until the end of her career, while Suguri floundered after she was 25.
    -Maria had chances to win even more titles and medals than she won. Suguri maxed out her potential which was never that great.
  15. skateboy

    skateboy Well-Known Member

    I agree.
  16. David21

    David21 Well-Known Member

    Butyrskaya was the better skater since she won the Figure Skating World Championships in Helsinki. 'nuff said.

    Both skaters had a good to average layback. The difference in that element really wasn't big.
  17. DBZ

    DBZ Well-Known Member

    I disagree. Maria's layback was horrible. No bend or stretch in the back (it was practically a neck-back spin), plus a bad leg position.

    Fumie's leg position wasn't good either, but she always had better bend in her back and good speed. She even attained a lovely turned-out foot position during the 2001-2002 season. I don't know why she never kept it after that, because it really improved her body-line in the spin.

    Ultimately, I think Fumie was the better skater.

    Maria was the better performer, no doubt, but in terms of skating skills--edges, flow, speed, control, etc.--I think Fumie clearly comes out on top.

    Maria's skating rarely ever looked smooth or easy. Everything always looked so labored, be it her jump take-offs and/or landings, her poorly stretched spirals and spins, or her stiff arms on her crossovers...nothing about her skating looked like skating. IMO skating itself connotes ease of movement, fluidity, that effortless glide over the ice. The only effortless maneuver I can recall from Maria was her triple loop--and even then her landings were always so hit and miss on it.

    Granted, Fumie had poor stretch as well, but her movement over the ice always looked very fluid. She was a comfortable skater to watch. An intriguing performer/artist to watch? Maybe not.

    That I'm willing to concede to Maria. She definitely had presence and charisma in spades compared to Fumie. But skating in and of itself, I don't think so.

    Just my .2 cents.
  18. bardtoob

    bardtoob Former Choreographer for Anna Maria Tragikova

  19. David21

    David21 Well-Known Member


    The most important thing in the layback is the bend of the back...and Maria's and Fumie's were very similar in that regard (good but not great that is). Both laybacks often lacked extension. Speed-wise Fumie was maybe a bit better, Maria maybe had slighly better arm positions. Both skaters did not have the classical turn-out of the free leg which is not a requirement for a good layback anyway.

    Maria's layback wasn't by any means "horrible".
  20. DBZ

    DBZ Well-Known Member

    Maria's Layback 1

    Maria's Layback 2


    Fumie's Layback 1

    Fumie's Layback 2

    Honestly, I don't know how one can compare their laybacks objectively and see them as similar.

    Of course, Fumie's layback was not great by any stretch of the imagination (some might argue it wasn't even good), but it looks pretty obvious to me that, on average, Fumie was able to attain better speed, line and back-bend in her laybacks in comparison.

    Maria barely attains any back-bend in her layback (it almost looks like she's spinning upright), there's no stretch or body-line in her position, and her speed is pretty average. Aren't these all qualities that make up a good, aesthetically pleasing layback spin when done well? If so, I think Maria's fails on all criteria, which is why I consider it a horrible spin.

    But to each his own, I suppose. I'm no spin expert, but the discrepancy in quality between the two looks clear-cut at least to my eye.
    bardtoob and (deleted member) like this.
  21. N_Halifax

    N_Halifax Well-Known Member

    Maria Butyrskaya gets my vote. Mature, elegant and when she was on, she was very much on. Don't get me wrong, Fumie was/is very talented, but she just didn't have the same charisma or finesse.
  22. KimGOAT

    KimGOAT Active Member

    Many of you are justifying your votes for Maria with oh she won the 1999 Worlds, so she is better. Sorry but that is piss poor logic. Why? The only reason she won that World title is Michelle Kwan fell and had so many mistakes. I am not saying Maria didnt deserve it, she skated the best that event so deserved to take the gold medal, but her winning that World title shouldnt be basis for her being the better skater when she only won it since someone else had a bad competition. Had Michelle Kwan had a bad competition one of the years Fumie was in it she would be a World Champion too maybe. That doesnt show she is less of a skater.
    bardtoob and (deleted member) like this.
  23. PeterG

    PeterG Well-Known Member

    As the wise sage Celine Dion says, "a new month...has come".
  24. Maofan7

    Maofan7 Member

  25. Gabybackhand

    Gabybackhand Member

    Maria did not win the 1999 Worlds since Kwan made mistakes. She made it since she kicked ass. Kwan's LP was pretty good actually, her only mistakes were a single axel and a step out of her first triple lutz. She still didnt get a single 1st place vote, so even had she skated cleanly she might not have won.

    Anyway who cares, Fumie won all her World medals since others made mistakes. 2002 World bronze only since Sasha fell three times. 2003 World bronze only since Sasha fell three times. 2006 World silver since only since Sasha and Joannie messed up. Atleast Maria didnt need mistakes to win any of her World medals, even had the whole field skated perfectly she would have medalled at all of the 98, 99, and 2000 Worlds. Had she herself not bombed her Q round she would have medalled in 2001 too, and would have medalled in 96 and 97 if she had one less mistake. Maria would have defended her title in 2000 had she landed 1 of her 2 triple salchows as that would have been certain to beat Slutskaya in the LP which is all she needed to win overall. Fumie needed others to mess up to even ever win a medal, let alone win. So if you want to go there Fumie is even worse by comparision.

    Fumie in her shining moments at Worlds couldnt even beat Sokolova and Meissner for a silver or gold medal. Wow impressive. Beating even a bad Michelle Kwan has her beat easily.
  26. Grannyfan

    Grannyfan Active Member

    I never saw Maria skate live, but I did see Fumie the year she won the GPF in Colorado Springs. The thing that stands out is how she was still flying at the end of her program, hardly appearing out of breath at all, while so many other skaters looked like they could barely make it off the ice after their programs. Has nothing to do with this poll, just something that struck me. She made it look so light and effortless, even at that altitude.
  27. bardtoob

    bardtoob Former Choreographer for Anna Maria Tragikova

    ". . . since Sasha fell . . . since Sasha fell . . . since Sasha . . ."

    You are building a pretty good argument that Fumie was a better competitor than Sasha :D
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2013
  28. Gabybackhand

    Gabybackhand Member

    You are right. Fumie was a decent competitor, and definitely a better competitor than the girl nicknamed SashaSplat. However Sasha was the much better skater, hence why she still beat Sasha more often than not, and still had the better career with more achievements, medals, and titles, despite being the much weaker competitor.

    I think you are missing my point though. My point is not that Fumie didnt deserve to beat Sasha those times or win those medals. My point was I was replying to someone who said Maria only won the 99 Worlds since Michelle Kwan had a bad event so it doesnt count or something. That is really stupid especialy in a comparision to Fumie, as Fumie was the queen of winning medals only through others falls and mistakes. I doubt there is a single Worlds she could have medalled with everyone skating cleanly, and she didnt even skate cleanly herself in any of them, just adequately well. So by the dumb logic Maria was lucky somehow to win her World title, Fumie would have been lucky to win all her World medals.

    Atleast Maria didnt need mistakes to medal at the events she medalled at, she was going to medal at the 99 and 2000 Worlds and many other events even if everyone skated lights out, unless she fell three times or more. Maria also skated well enough to have won the 99 Worlds unless Michelle Kwan skated amazingly well, and would have won her World title back in 2000 if she just done 1 of the 2 triple salchows she missed (she only needed 2nd in the long and that would have been enough). She would have won the 98 Olympic bronze had she just done 1 of the 4 triples she either missed or doubled, while there is no Olympics Fumie could have won a medal in.

    Everyone knew Maria could compete with, and possibly even beat, Michelle or Irina or anyone if she skated her best, she just rarely did. However with Fumie you never said that, you knew she couldnt beat any of the top skaters unless they really messed up. Maria was super inconsistent but she has also done numerous 7 triple programs, and Fumie has never done one, in fact I cant even remember a 6 triple program although she might have done 1 or 2 in her career at some point. Maria also had a gorgeous triple lutz and triple loop, just textbook, while Fumie had a bad flutz and couldnt even do a triple loop. In artistic quality there is no comparision between them. Maria at her best was a 5.9 artistic skater with beautiful lines, maturity, great choreography, polish, while Fumie was at best a 5.7 artistic skater as she sorely lacked in extention, beauty, pumped her back ala Slutskaya in crossovers, and couldnt even straighten her leg properly. Fumie did have some great programs, her 2006 short program was my favorite of the season, and her Moonlight Sonata in 02 and 2005 and 2007 long programs were great. She also had great spring in some of her jumps and her death drop spin, some fast (albeit sloppy) spins, and some basic skating, speed, and edges. However Maria overall is easily the better overall technician who tried harder technical programs, much better artist, and on her good days although more sparatic a more deadly competitor, which makes her the better skater for me.

    Lastly interesting to look how they did head to head. At the 2002 Olympics they were virtually equal with Fumie barely finishing in front, although Maria placed 2 spots higher in the short and was in the final flight instead of Fumie. This was a 30 year old Maria way past her prime vs Fumie in arguably one of her peak years though. Yet they were about the same. Fall of 2000 and 2001 Maria had much better results, and even then Fumie was the one coming into her prime and Maria aging out of hers. Prime to prime Maria would come out on top most times and have the better results and higher rank of the two. Maria competed in a way tougher era. She faced prime Kwan, prime Slutskaya, prime Lipinski, Lu Chen, Sarah Hughes, Surya Bonaly, and others. Suguri competed in an era with an old past her prime Kwan, an old and mostly ill Slutskaya, a crazy inconsistent Arakawa, and headcase Sasha. Had Maria been in her prime in that era instead she probably would have won more than 1 Worlds but Fumie still couldnt win even one.
  29. Fozzie Bear

    Fozzie Bear Well-Known Member

    I love them both and think they were both underrated/underscored at times. I wish they could have ended their competitive careers on higher notes.
  30. Gabybackhand

    Gabybackhand Member

    Both stayed in too long, and that is why they didnt end their careers on a higher note. Maria should have seen the writing on the wall after the judges dropped her below Hughes at the 2001 Worlds but unwisely continued. I think she should have even considering going pro after she lost her World title in 2000.

    Suguri should have retired after the 2006-2007 season which she continued for to try for World at home, and atleast her 2nd last season would have been a really strong one.