Japanese figure skating 2018-19 season news & updates

Marco

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Marin's short was beautiful and her free skate warm up was better than what she put out there. That first fall affected her. And it looked like her knee was bleeding when she sat down at the KnC. I hope she is OK.
 
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rosewood

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This Japanese article says she injured in her right ankle but she doesn't think it's a serious injury. She'll go back to CA and take detailed examinations and treatment. She hopes she'll recover soon since her next GP event is coming soon.

Another Japanese article says;
After SP at SKAM Marin said "I was aiming at a podium after finishing my short program which I got a sense of accomplishment from." But when she got up in the morning of FS, she felt something wrong with her right foot. "Even before starting the [morning] practice, I felt something wrong. I was OK last night, tho..." she said.
.....
In FS she landed the luz in the first half of the opening 3Lz-3T combo but fell on the 3T in the second half. At the moment, "My right foot got too weak and it made me impossible to hang on in landings of the following jumps in the rest of the program."
.....
"It was the first time for me to melt down this badly in FS," she dropped her head.
 

essence_of_soy

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According to her fan site, someone who runs the site received a message from Rika Hongo that Rika's moving to Vancouver to work with Joanne Macleod, Tsutomu Seki (former Yuka Nagai's coach) and Neil Wilson.
https://ameblo.jp/hongourikafc/entry-12411769634.html

I can't help but thinking that it's a bit too late in her career, but best of the luck for her journey!
Joanne Macleod is such a random choice.
 

rosewood

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Joanne Macleod is such a random choice.
That was my thought, too. Maybe it was too late in the season for looking for a coach who has a better reputation? Dunno. But, anyways it was better to move to someone else than staying if the team didn't work well in her long time home club which doesn't have her former coach any more.
 

rosewood

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Congrats to Mako Yamashita for winning a silver (and almost a gold!) by skating brilliantly at her Sr debut competition Skate Canada! :cheer: I love her stunning big jumps and fluid skating and her natural sweet character. Two of my favorite powerful/dynamic Japanese skaters of this season are Mako and Kaori (, and honorable mention to Wakaba). Give your punches to skinny ballerinas! :revenge: :saint: :cheer: (I love varieties in Japanese figure skating).

SP https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WsUjHpq3Ewk&t=3s
FS https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OLEiy9FR4AY
 

Spun Silver

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Joanne Macleod is such a random choice.
That was my thought, too. Maybe it was too late in the season for looking for a coach who has a better reputation? Dunno. But, anyways it was better to move to someone else than staying if the team didn't work well in her long time home club which doesn't have her former coach any more.
In this column by Jack Gallagher, which starts with Shoma but continues on to other skaters, he just says she is training with Megumu Seki in Vancouver. Maybe MacLeod is not part of it?
https://www.japantimes.co.jp/sports...ita-stake-claims-gp-final-spots/#.W9k6MRopChD
 

essence_of_soy

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Sylvia

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Here's the Rika Hongo excerpt from Gallagher's column:
Hongo recently relocated to Vancouver, British Columbia, where she has begun training under Megumu Seki, formerly the coach of Yuka Nagai.
Seki told Ice Time in a phone conversation on Monday that he is hoping the change of environment will help revive Hongo’s career. The 22-year-old was sixth at the 2015 worlds, but tumbled to 16th two years later, and did not qualify for them last season.
“Rika has only been here for a couple of weeks, so right now we are just trying to get her acclimated to a new environment,” Seki said. “She has to get used to a new language, new training conditions, new food, etc.”
Seki, who also coaches junior Rinka Watanabe, noted that Hongo’s focus isn’t on the Helsinki GP, but rather looking further ahead.
“She has been improving technically since she began working with us, but it has only been a short time,” Seki stated. “We are hoping to have her in good form for the Japan championships in December.”
Speaking of Yuka Nagai, @Jeschke was thrilled to learn she has qualified for Nationals in December by placing 3rd at the Eastern Section championshops last weekend - link to results/protocols in English is posted in the Kiss & Cry section here: https://www.fsuniverse.net/forum/th...ng-domestic-competitions.104469/#post-5445983

Eastern Section Senior Ladies medalists (top 3 advance to Nationals):
1. Akari MATSUBARA Musashino Gakuin 1 2 156.68
2. Ibuki SATOH Komaba Gakuen Hich School 2 3 147.45
3. Yuka NAGAI Waseda Univ 5 1 146.81

Eastern Section Senior Men (top 8 advance to Nationals) - top 2:
1. Tsunehito KARAKAWA Nihon Univ 2 3 179.17
2. Hiroaki SATO Nanbu Bijin 4 1 178.89

Eastern Section Junior Ladies (top 9 advance to Junior Nationals) - top 5:
1. Tomoe KAWABATA n highschool tokyo sfc 1 1 173.55
2. Rion SUMIYOSHI Meijijingugaien FSC 2 2 163.62
3. Mone CHIBA SENDAI FSC 4 4 152.65
4. Yuna AOKI YOKOHAMASEIFU 3 6 152.50
5. Rinka WATANABE AomoriYamada hs FSC 6 3 150.54 - coached by Seki in Vancouver

Eastern Section Junior Men (top 9 advance to Junior Nationals) - top 3:
1. Yuma KAGIYAMA Kanagawa FSC 4 1 195.65
2. Shun SATO SAITAMASAKAE 1 2 194.05
3. Koshiro SHIMADA KINOSHITA GROUP 2 3 185.66

Coming up this week - Western Section (Senior and Junior). Nov. 1-4, 2018 in Nagoya, Aichi, where Daisuke Takahashi will compete.
 

nimi

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In this column by Jack Gallagher, which starts with Shoma but continues on to other skaters, he just says she is training with Megumu Seki in Vancouver. Maybe MacLeod is not part of it?
https://www.japantimes.co.jp/sports...ita-stake-claims-gp-final-spots/#.W9k6MRopChD
Interview with Rika Hongo, conducted during Finlandia: https://youtu.be/6oI_Dn-6RzI

They don't really talk about her coaching situation (I guess this might have been right before her move to Vancouver?), but she cites the GOE changes as the reason she's concentrating on getting better jump quality and height, and higher quality spins as well.


Twitter translation of Yuzu telling his reason for going for the 3A+4T sequence in FS in Helsinki (I posted about his jump layout here):
I was greedy - I wanted quads, I wanted a 3-3 and 2 axels, and while thinking all of this, turned out an axel after the 4T was the only place it could go (laughs)
Also, his planned 3-3 is 3F3T, which is a combo he has last attempted in juniors... According to google translate of the same article:
There were options to make the flip Lutz, but we considered the right leg that hurt last season.
 

Sylvia

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Re-posting from the Kiss & Cry section:

Western Section Senior Men top 4 in SP:
1 Daisuke Takahashi 83.56 41.61 41.95 8.20 8.20 8.30 8.60 8.65 0.00 #1 (3A, 3F+3T(-1.7), 3Lz)
2 Kazuki Tomono 83.27 46.62 36.65 7.30 7.05 7.40 7.45 7.45 0.00 #3 (4S, 3F+3T(-), 3A)
3 Shu Nakamura 78.86 43.91 34.95 7.00 6.60 7.15 7.05 7.15 0.00 #9 (3A, 3Lo+3T, 3Lz)
4 Taichi Hionda 67.64 34.84 32.80 6.50 6.25 6.65 6.65 6.75 0.00 #17 (3Lz!+3T, 3F, 2A)

Senior Ladies SP winner:
1 Rika Kihira 73.41 42.89 30.52 7.50 7.45 7.80 7.65 7.75 0.00 #14 (3A step? 3F+3T, 3Lz)
 

Sylvia

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So, Rika Kihira was not the only female skater to land 3A+2T and 3A cleanly in the Western Section Senior Ladies FS this past weekend... Ayaka Hosoda (10th in SP) opened her 2nd place FS with two 3A: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vh9vYelR1NI
Western Section Senior Ladies FS protocols: https://www.jsfresults.com/National/2018-2019/fs_e/west/data0205.pdf

I've posted the names of the Nationals Senior/Junior qualifiers from the Western Section in the Kiss & Cry here: https://www.fsuniverse.net/forum/th...estic-competitions.104469/page-2#post-5450807

Excerpting Senior here:
Western Section (Senior and Junior), Nov. 1 - 4, 2018 in Nagoya - results/protocols in English are published:
https://www.jsfresults.com/non_responsive_toppage.htm?figure_top.htm,National/2018-2019/fs_e/west/index.htm

Senior Men - top 11 advance to Nationals:
1. Daisuke TAKAHASHI Kansai univ.Kaisers Fsc 1 1 244.67
2. Kazuki TOMONO DOSHISHA F.SKATING CLUB 2 2 233.00
3. SHU NAKAMURA KANSAI UNIV SKATING CLUB 3 4 203.40
4. Taichiro YAMAKUMA Hyogo Nishinomiya F.S.C. 5 3 196.71
5. Taichi HONDA KANSAI UNIV SKATING CLUB 4 5 191.98
6. KEIICHIROH SASAHARA DOSHISHA F.SKATING CLUB 9 6 177.66
7. Kazuki KUSHIDA 6 9 172.00
8. Ryuju HINO 7 8 171.46
9. Junya WATANABE 11 7 168.48
10. KOSHIN YAMADA SMBC 8 10 166.96
11. KOUSUKE NAKANO 12 11 160.52

Top 2 in FS:
1 Daisuke TAKAHASHI 161.11 74.61 86.50 8.60 8.40 8.70 8.75 8.80 0.00 #17 (Jumps: 3F, 3A+3T+, 3S, 3A+ / 3Lz+2T(-), 3Lo, 3F+2T<)
2 Kazuki TOMONO 149.73 77.83 72.90 7.35 7.00 7.45 7.20 7.45 1.00 #16
FS protocols: https://www.jsfresults.com/National/2018-2019/fs_e/west/data0105.pdf

Senior Ladies - top 11 (in addition to Kihira who is seeded for Nationals but elected to compete here) advance to Nationals:
1. RIKA KIHIRA Kansai univ.Kaisers Fsc 1 1 198.71 (seeded) - landed 3A & 3A+2T but had issues on both 3Lz
2. Hina TAKENO 2 3 170.76
3. Sui TAKEUCHI Daido HS SC 3 4 169.92
4. Miyabi OBA TOKAI TOKYO FH 4 5 168.38
5. Saki MIYAKE 6 7 164.98
6. Ayaka HOSODA KANSAI UNIV SKATING CLUB 10 2 164.52
7. Rin NITAYA 7 6 164.37
8. Hinano ISOBE 5 9 155.31
9. Ayumi KAGOTANI 15 8 151.11
10. Miyu NAKASHIO 8 12 147.72
11. Hiyori TOKURA KANSAI UNIV SKATING CLUB 11 10 146.13
12. Riona KATO 12 11 144.62
ETA: http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201811050035.html
Takahashi said his goal at the national championships is to score enough points in the short program to be among the final group of competitors in the free skate.
“If I look beyond that goal and see a medal, then I would like to set that as my goal,” he said.
According to the 32-year-old, his biggest challenge now is having enough physical energy for the latter half of his program.
 
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Sylvia

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Thanks @rosewood for posting this article on Wakaba Higuchi's injury in the GP Assignments thread:
Japanese article about Wakaba's withdrawal from Rostelecom is published. The reason is mentioned that she's been injured in the instep of her right foot.
https://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/hl?a=20181108-00000013-sph-spo
Jack Gallagher's latest column - Mai Mihara aims for comeback season: https://www.japantimes.co.jp/sports/2018/11/07/figure-skating/mihara-aims-comeback-season/
One of the most poignant scenes of the 2017-18 skating season came at the Japan nationals in Tokyo. Mihara, who placed fifth, was leaving the ice after her free skate as her training partner Sakamoto was coming on.
Mihara had to know at this point that her dream of making the Japan team for the Pyeongchang Games was gone. While most people would be devastated at seeing something they had worked so hard for disappear, Mihara somehow found the composure to encourage her teammate.
Kao-chan, gambatte,” TV cameras picked her up saying. It was an incredible gesture and tells you what kind of person Mihara is.
Ice Time questioned Mihara about this moment.
“Kaori and I have been skating together for 10 years,” Mihara told me. “She is my good friend.”
How did Mihara feel watching Sakamoto (who finished sixth) skate in Pyeongchang?
“I was cheering for her at the Olympics. I’m so glad Kaori was smiling there,” Mihara recalled. “I did feel a bit of sadness not being there, but I felt more like cheering for Kaori. I also got motivation for the future.”
 

levineismine

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Here's our new interview with Misato and Tim: Link
We talked about their beginnings, the coaching change, the new programs, ice dance in Japan, and some fun stuff.
There's a part two coming with their answers to fans questions
 

gotoschool

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I can't find a Rika Kihira or NHK thread, so I am posting this here.

Rika's freeskate at the NHK:

Amazing combination of marvelous artistry, technical excellence and emotional resonance from Rika! Brought tears to my eyes with the final triple salchow and rapid spin on the ice with her arms extended upward in a pose of graceful triumph at the end. It was the culmination of fabulous jumps including triple axels with a triple toe combo, beautiful tanos, highly artistic and varied arm movements, intricate transitions, wonderful smooth and sharp edges with nice running edges in her jumps , fabulous spins, and the step sequence here was so full of quick rapid change of directions and expansive rink coverage.
 
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Sylvia

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I can't find a Rika Kihira or NHK thread
All the NHK competition-related threads are in the Kiss & Cry section (I expected a cheer/fan thread for Rika to have been started in the Trash Can forum by now ;)).
Rika's freeskate at the NHK:

Amazing combination of marvelous artistry, technical excellence and emotional resonance from Rika! Brought tears to my eyes with the final triple salchow and rapid spin on the ice with her arms extended in a pose of graceful triumph in the air at the end. It was the culmination of fabulous jumps including triple axels with a triple toe combo, beautiful tanos, highly artistic and varied arm movements, intricate transitions, wonderful smooth and sharp edges with nice running edges in her jumps , fabulous spins, and the step sequence here was so full of quick rapid change of directions and expansive rink coverage.
Here's Kihira's amazing FS from her GP debut (British Eurosport): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZYC0RzEB3Y0
154.72 in FS, 87.17 technical element score! :eek:
 
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Tinami Amori

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Mie Hamada must be blushing now.. :D

https://olympics.nbcsports.com/2018...-satoko-miyahara-hopes-to-challenge-russians/

Unlike most coaches, though, Hamada is clear about which student she wants to win, be it at NHK or this season’s Japanese and world championships.

I hope the champion is 18, because we want to see a senior lady, not a senior girl, don’t you think?” Hamada said in Everett. “A skater who has a story, not only jumps.”
What now? she'll give Rika an administrative "knee wack" before GPF? no winning over Satoko command? i know that's what Med wanted Eteri to do with Zag.. But it is not working... young ones want to win... :rofl:
 

rosewood

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I'm sort of feeling I need to review names of current Japanese skaters. ;)
Rika Kihira (Sr ladies)
Ryuichi Kihara (pairs)
Mariko Kihara (Sr ladies)
Rika Hongo (Sr ladies)
Riko Takino (Jr ladies)

Shoma Uno (Sr men)

Satoko Miyahara (Sr ladies)
Mai Mihara (Sr ladies)
 

DreamSkates

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I'm sort of feeling I need to review names of current Japanese skaters. ;)
Rika Kihira (Sr ladies)
Ryuichi Kihara (pairs)
Mariko Kihara (Sr ladies)
Rika Hongo (Sr ladies)
Riko Takino (Jr ladies)

Shoma Uno (Sr men)

Satoko Miyahara (Sr ladies)
Mai Mihara (Sr ladies)
I will need to review, repeat, review, repeat...
 

oleada

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What is the criteria for selection for the World team? Is it Nationals or will other events come into play? With so many amazing ladies, I am sure I will be :fragile: for someone.

I've watched Rika's programs like 5 times already but I am trying to temper my expectations. She did so well early in the past two seasons, but then floundered at bigger events. I hope she can turn that trend.
 

Sylvia

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What is the criteria for selection for the World team?
Refer to @rosewood's translation/summary earlier in this thread: https://www.fsuniverse.net/forum/th...eason-news-updates.103938/page-3#post-5380740
Relevant excerpt:
(my quick summary)
https://skatingjapan.or.jp/image_data/fck/file/2018/180622_FS_Senkokijun.pdf

Selection criteria for 2018-2019 international competitions
1 Worlds (Men/Ladies 3 spots, Pairs/Ice Dance 1 spot)
(1) Men/Ladies
[1] Winner at Nats
[2] 2nd spot goes to a skater selected in a comprehensive way from skaters who meet any of the criteria below
a) Skaters who placed 2nd-3rd at Nats
b) Skaters who placed 1st-2nd of Japanese skaters at the GP final
c) Skaters who placed 1st-3rd of Japanese skaters on ISU world standings at the end of Nats
[3] Including the two skaters selected above, up to three skaters will be selected in a comprehensive way from skaters who meet any of the criteria below
a) Skaters who meet [2]a)-c) but not selected
b) Skaters who place 1st-3rd of Japanese skaters on ISU season's world standings at the end of Nats
c) Skaters who place 1st-3rd of Japanese skaters on ISU season's world best scores at the end of Nats
*Skaters are required to participate in Nats which is the final selection meeting for Worlds. (This requirement does not apply to substitutes.) That said, if the skater placed the 3rd or higher at Worlds in the past, and if the reason is unavoidable such as injuries, there will be a case that the skater can be selected in a comprehensive way by taking it into considerations that the skater's results prior to the injury, for example, are good enough to meet the criteria above. The perspectives of how the skater's condition at Worlds will be are to be taken into the considerations.

(2) Pairs/Ice Dance
Skaters are to be selected in a comprehensive way from the skaters who meet any of the criteria below, and their international competitiveness is to be taken into considerations in the selection process.
a) Winner at Nats
b) Skaters who places 1st-3rd of Japanese skaters on ISU world standings at the end of Nats
c) Skaters who place 1st-3rd of Japanese skaters on ISU season's world standings at the end of Nats
d) Skaters who place 1st-3rd of Japanese skaters on ISU season's world best scores at the end of Nats
*Skaters are required to participate in Nats which is the final selection meeting for Worlds.
 

all_empty

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It'll definitely be interesting to see who gets the push at Japanese Nationals between Kihira and Miyahara. Kihira has the TES bump and Miyahara the PCS, but that latter gap is quickly closing.

It wouldn't be unfathomable to see two Japanese ladies again on the world podium.

I think Sakamoto is definitely in consideration for that third spot, and I'll stand by my Mihara prediction (she has a great chance to medal at CoR).

It'll also be interesting to see where Yamashita ends up. Let's not forget she has a SILVER from Skate Canada. There's a mini competition between her and Eunsoo Lim at Bompard, since Yamashita beat her at Jr. Worlds.

It looks like rebuilding seasons for Higuchi and Honda, but they do have about six weeks until Japanese Nationals. The depth in Japan continues to impress.
 

Marco

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The thing about Rika is that she isn't just a jumping bean, her skating is actually very fine as it is. So musical. My bet for Japan for 2022.

Satoko's jumps look much sharper than previously and I am starting to not worry about the UR calls. Those programs are perfection for her.

Kaori keeps messing up the short and this isn't good. I am also not a fan of her posture or her musicality, even though her power is very impressive and she usually catches up in the free to medal overall.

Wakaba and Marin haven't been impressive so far this season and I wonder how much this can hurt them at Nationals given how consistent and strong placing the other Japanese ladies have been throughout the season (esp. compared to Kaori).

Mai is consistent but isn't special compared to the other ladies.
 

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