Japanese figure skating 2023-24 season news & updates

kwanfan1818

RIP D-10
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The minimum age rules for ISU competitions were well over the minimum age rules set by the IOC for the Olympics even before the recent ISU rule changes. I see no reason for the ISU to have separate age rules for the Olympics and everything else unless the IOC dictates it. The reasons for raising the minimum age apply to all, not selected, ISU competitions.
 

Kateri

void beast
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6,544
I have no problem with 17 years old at the Olympics which Shimada will be in Feb 2026 yet she will have to wait 4 more years i just think the age limit should be 16 not 17. What does she really have to prove now she has to go back to Juniors for TWO more years instead of going up against the top ladies and pushing herself to get better she has to keep treading water in Juniors when she clearly is ready to move on against better competition.
She wouldn't be properly following in the footsteps of Mao#1 if she didn't just barely miss an Olympic age cut-off, despite being the favourite to win!
 

zigzig

Well-Known Member
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849
She wouldn't be properly following in the footsteps of Mao#1 if she didn't just barely miss an Olympic age cut-off, despite being the favourite to win!
Ugh yeah and we had snoozefest Shizuka win instead with 5 triples and a generic as puck recycled program. Y A W N N N N

(depressingly i still think she deserved to win given how $hite the rest of the event was. talk about an Olympics to FORGET 🤮)
 

tony

Throwing the (rule)book at them
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17,698
The fact that 17 is considered unreasonable says quite a lot about how normalized it has become to have fifteen-year-old girls dominating figure skating. Most women are 17 when they make their senior debut any way. Mao will be 21 in 2030. Twenty-one isn't old at all. Akiko Suzuki made her international debut at 24.
No she didn't. In fact, she was 16 when she competed at the 2002 Four Continents.

Most women were not 17 when they made senior international debuts over the last few decades-- if their countries allowed them space at the top straight out of juniors at age 15 or 16.

We've circled this conversation before but the general opinion these days is a far cry from when Mao Asada was winning Grand Prix events and the Final and had to sit at home for Torino. Most people, including the people on FSU, were wishing she was able to compete. If that was because she was the most apparent viable competitor to Slutskaya, who knows. And of course, what's a thread without mentioning Michelle Kwan would've have been eligible for Nagano, let alone Lipinski. Imagine her making her senior debut in 1999 and missing out on all of those great programs of the previous Olympic cycle.
 
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tony

Throwing the (rule)book at them
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17,698
I thought Arakawa was wonderful there.
It was a program she brought back for a third season, and she had skated it a whole hell of a lot better in the past. She really had some amazing skates on the Grand Prix in 01/02 and lost the Olympic spot to Onda and her triple Axel attempts/GPF qualification.

In 2004, she had the excitement and the so-called 3-3's even without the rotations on them. By 2006, the two programs she had early in the season were not well-received and I think the switch back to Turandot was a last-ditch effort to get the big scores with music that makes even the clunkiest of skaters seem somewhat tolerable (see Hughes, 2000). But to me it was incredibly flat at the Olympics and really phoned in.
 

On My Own

Well-Known Member
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5,107
Arakawa had fantastic bladework and that Y-Spiral where her leg stayed up as she removed the assist after changing edge was amazing, really one of the greatest athletic feats in CoP women's skating.

While I did not compare with her prior outings, I would say she showed better choreography and interpretation in the 2006 outing than the 2004 worlds one, as an example (so no, I wouldn't just call this recycled - it's a refreshed take on the same music). The steps were better, had more content, and were performed with better bladework. The layback ina bauer was used as a linking move to her three jump combo late in the program. She also just seemed a plainly more confident performer to me. (both her +3Ts actually look under-rotated to me in 2004)

Asada skated like a junior in 2005-06. She wouldn't have scored well on PCS against the three who had medalled (Slutskaya literally did beat her at the GPF on this score), and I bet if Kim Yuna had gone over to the Olympics as well, Asada would have been 5th at best on PCS. She also had a bad toe loop along with that flutz, which more than swallowed her advantage with the 3A if the judges/TP had been willing to give her the necessary deductions. (ETA: details)
 
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Marco

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15,267
It was a program she brought back for a third season, and she had skated it a whole hell of a lot better in the past. She really had some amazing skates on the Grand Prix in 01/02 and lost the Olympic spot to Onda and her triple Axel attempts/GPF qualification.

In 2004, she had the excitement and the so-called 3-3's even without the rotations on them. By 2006, the two programs she had early in the season were not well-received and I think the switch back to Turandot was a last-ditch effort to get the big scores with music that makes even the clunkiest of skaters seem somewhat tolerable (see Hughes, 2000). But to me it was incredibly flat at the Olympics and really phoned in.
I will never forgive the Japanese Fed for setting conditions that let Onda qualify for the 2002 Olympics ahead of Nationals. Onda lucked out that both of her events were weak - and many top skaters withdrew from NHK so she managed silver in both and directly qualified for GPF and SLC. Head to head Arakawa's performances at SA and Lalique would have blown hers out of the building. Onda's 3axels were not even close.

Arakawa's expression was more reserved so she needed big music. Turandot was perfect for her but yes, it was still flat (all 3 seasons). At Turin she was clearly pecked at third best and it did take some falls from the top two (and a horrible long program from Slutskaya through and through) for her to over take them. I believed her team was planning for her to skate conservatively to secure the bronze over Suguri, and the gold was definitely a surprise.

Funnily, a much more clunky skater skated to Turandot rather successfully was Sokolova, also in 2006.
 

Marco

Well-Known Member
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15,267
Arakawa had fantastic bladework and that Y-Spiral where her leg stayed up as she removed the assist after changing edge was amazing, really one of the greatest athletic feats in CoP women's skating.

While I did not compare with her prior outings, I would say she showed better choreography and interpretation in the 2006 outing than the 2004 worlds one, as an example (so no, I wouldn't just call this recycled - it's a refreshed take on the same music). The steps were better, had more content, and were performed with better bladework. The layback ina bauer was used as a linking move to her three jump combo late in the program. She also just seemed a plainly more confident performer to me. (both her +3Ts actually look under-rotated to me in 2004)

Asada skated like a junior in 2005-06. She wouldn't have scored well on PCS against the three who had medalled (Slutskaya literally did beat her at the GPF on this score), and I bet if Kim Yuna had gone over to the Olympics as well, Asada would have been 5th at best on PCS. She also had a bad toe loop along with that flutz, which more than swallowed her advantage with the 3A if the judges/TP had been willing to give her the necessary deductions. (ETA: details)
Her elements were amazing and her skating was stunning, but musically she wasn't mesmerising.

Asada's PCS would probably be lower than the podium if she skated at Turin but it wouldn't matter. All season she was landing 6 or so triples. She did beat Slutskaya at GPF on the first mark and thus overall, and most likely would have at Turin too. Yuna was skating junior that season so there isn't a fair comparison, but she was more on form in 2006 than 2005 and did beat Asada at Jr Worlds so perhaps she could be a factor too if she was at Turin. She would probably have had skated at the senior GPs that season if she was eligible for Turin - who knows how it would have shaken up that season. She did win 2007 GPF on her first try.
 

On My Own

Well-Known Member
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5,107
Asada's PCS would probably be lower than the podium if she skated at Turin but it wouldn't matter. All season she was landing 6 or so triples.
She failed to deliver her content at junior worlds that season, which was her biggest competition that season. How do you know she'd have been fine with the Olympic pressure?
 

Marco

Well-Known Member
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15,267
She failed to deliver her content at junior worlds that season, which was her biggest competition that season. How do you know she'd have been fine with the Olympic pressure?
We would never know if anyone would have been fine with Olympic pressure if Mao and Yuna were there and changed the entire dynamic. Irina and Sasha crumbled on their own without Mao and Yuna even there.

And yes Mao skated poorly at Jr Worlds, but she was skating senior all season and it's hard to re-train a junior version of her program just for Jr Worlds. She had been very consistent that season - plus she was quite strong at Jr Worlds qualifying, and scored similar PCS to Yuna in the short.

Mao would probably regard senior GPF as her biggest competition that season, not Jr Worlds. I know, championships blah blah blah, but at GPF she got to compete against Slutskaya who was the reigning World Champion. At Jr Worlds which she already won the year before, she was only competing against Yuna.
 

On My Own

Well-Known Member
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5,107
We would never know if anyone would have been fine with Olympic pressure if Mao and Yuna were there and changed the entire dynamic. Irina and Sasha crumbled on their own without Mao and Yuna even there.
OK - so the point of counterfactuals here is what precisely?

Do people want to watch a skater with junior qualities and bad tech on some of her jumps go to the Olympics?

Because that's completely different from what people have been saying about the Russian girls.

And yes Mao skated poorly at Jr Worlds, but she was skating senior all season and it's hard to re-train a junior version of her program just for Jr Worlds.

:confused: Why do you believe so?

Mao would probably regard senior GPF as her biggest competition that season, not Jr Worlds. I know, championships blah blah blah, but at GPF she got to compete against Slutskaya who was the reigning World Champion. At Jr Worlds which she already won the year before, she was only competing against Yuna.

I don't see why you think this? She might as well consider Japan Nationals her biggest competition, then, she beat former world champion Arakawa there (who went on to win the Olympics), and former world junior champion Ando was there, and there was a possible berth for her at the Olympics. (ETA: And she only finished second there)
 
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Marco

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15,267
OK - so the point of counterfactuals here is what precisely?
To question why you seem to apply double standards when considering whether Mao and Yuna should compete in Turin?!

Do people want to watch a skater with junior qualities and bad tech on some of her jumps go to the Olympics?

It's not what people want to watch that matters, but what the rules allow. There are plenty of skaters at each Olympics that are old enough but that also meet your descriptions. I don't wanna watch them but they are there competing nonetheless.

She might as well consider Japan Nationals her biggest competition

I don't know. She has the least to gain by winning that competition. She wasn't going to go to the Olympics or Worlds anyways even if she won it.

And as I said, she already won Jr Worlds.

But by winning GPF, she got to beat the reigning World Champ and Olympic silver medalist whihc would set her up nicely for the next season, reputation wise.
 

On My Own

Well-Known Member
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5,107
To question why you seem to apply double standards when considering whether Mao and Yuna should compete in Turin?!
Literally what are you talking about here and could you point out where exactly I've ever said anything of the sort?

My point here is clear - I don't see how Mao would have podiumed at Turin, or how she was the favourite to win. She lost to Slutskaya at CoC, and she lost to Suguri at Nationals. You also need to consider how significantly different (and better) Sasha Cohen's LP was by the time Turin rolled around. She was trying to peak towards the end of the season, as clearly was Arakawa. Asada wasn't going to start suddenly skating like a senior, nor was she suddenly going to be doing a toe loop properly, nor was she going to stop Flutzing by the end of the season. They would have looked at her flaws with a fine-toothed comb.

It's not what people want to watch that matters, but what the rules allow.
... Then the rules DIDN'T allow Asada to compete there, and they're NOT allowing Shimada to compete at Milan...

There are plenty of skaters at each Olympics that are old enough but that also meet your descriptions.
... Because the rules DO allow them to compete...

Can you tell me again what your point is?

She has the least to gain by winning that competition.
So if JSF had somehow politicked her into the Olympics, it'd have been the "least to gain" for her?

The "reputation" she gained by winning GPF neither helped all that much at junior worlds that season, nor did it help her all that much in her full senior season the next year.

Also. Again. She lost to yet another senior woman there. It's nowhere close to being so simple as some have made it.
 
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Marco

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15,267
My point here is clear - I don't see how Mao would have podiumed at Turin, or how she was the favourite to win. She lost to Slutskaya at CoC, and she lost to Suguri at Nationals. You also need to consider how significantly different (and better) Sasha Cohen's LP was by the time Turin rolled around. She was trying to peak towards the end of the season, as clearly was Arakawa. Asada wasn't going to start suddenly skating like a senior, nor was she suddenly going to be doing a toe loop properly, nor was she going to stop Flutzing by the end of the season. They would have looked at her flaws with a fine-toothed comb.
I don't think she would have been a favorite for the title either, at most a medal. If everyone skated to anywhere close to their best she would be off the podium for sure. But both Cohen and Slutskaya underperformed at the Olympics - so if Asada had kept up with how she had been skating so far that season (2 3axels at Nationals), I don't see why she couldn't have been a threat for the podium (or even the title, although a bit remote) even if her PCS would have been lower.
 

Kateri

void beast
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6,544
You can absolutely argue that she shouldn't have been favourite, but I remember, and I'm saying that among skating fans, she absolutely WAS the favourite at the time. People were constantly saying that this Olympics was defective because she wouldn't be there.
 

On My Own

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5,107
You can absolutely argue that she shouldn't have been favourite, but I remember, and I'm saying that among skating fans, she absolutely WAS the favourite at the time. People were constantly saying that this Olympics was defective because she wouldn't be there.
Skating fans are like any other people and they have their own biases, but it will depend on which group specifically we are talking about because they're not a monolith. Just as an example, as was brought up, there will be a group that argues "Well, imagine limiting Michelle Kwan like that. We don't want that happening to Mao Asada". But there will be yet another that argues "God, remember Tara Lipinski's hips? We don't want more young skaters to go through that".

ETA: https://www.fsuniverse.net/forum/threads/mao-asada-to-go-to-turin.30318/
 
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Kateri

void beast
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6,544
Skating fans are like any other people and they have their own biases, but it will depend on which group specifically we are talking about because they're not a monolith. Just as an example, as was brought up, there will be a group that argues "Well, imagine limiting Michelle Kwan like that. We don't want that happening to Mao Asada". But there will be yet another that argues "God, remember Tara Lipinski's hips? We don't want more young skaters to go through that".

ETA: https://www.fsuniverse.net/forum/threads/mao-asada-to-go-to-turin.30318/
Of course they aren't a monolith. And I'm not saying most people thought the rules should be changed for her, either. But that thread backs up what I meant - loads of people thought she was the favourite, and I don't see anyone making the kinds of arguments you are about her not having a chance, and that thread is from before she won the gpf.
 

On My Own

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loads of people thought she was the favourite, and I don't see anyone making the kinds of arguments you are about her not having a chance, and that thread is from before she won the gpf.
You can absolutely argue that she shouldn't have been favourite, but I remember, and I'm saying that among skating fans, she absolutely WAS the favourite at the time.
I didn't interpret your prior post that way, I apologize for the misinterpretation. I don't think it's so obvious to me that she was the favorite among skating fans.

I agree many must have thought so, as you say they're on that thread, but I would guess many must also not have thought so.
 

tony

Throwing the (rule)book at them
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17,698
Asada very much would have been the favorite had she been eligible, and the talks around other skating outlets at the time were the same-- not just from FSU. The whole concept and discussion is what if and hypothetical, anyways, but that's what it was and it was a pretty overwhelming feeling.

Here's some other factual information from the time: Arakawa was really not in the talks at all until the moment she did a 3+3+3 in practice before the short program and it went 'viral'-- before going viral came into existence. Suddenly she shot up on people's radars as a contender. Her season to that point was very meh, losing twice to Asada in the Grand Prix and to Slutskaya and Cohen, as well. She didn't make the Final and ditched both of her programs as I referenced in an earlier post.

ETA- I think a big part of the Asada bandwagon came from people tiring of Slutskaya's apparent dominance and mastery of the early IJS. Even when she was faltering around the ice, she was still coming out on top from her GOEs and PCS (see 2005 Euros, 2005 Worlds short which was well-skated from almost all of the top 10 IIRC). She was also often running away with competitions by 20+ points in the season prior.
 
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Kateri

void beast
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6,544
I didn't interpret your prior post that way, I apologize for the misinterpretation. I don't think it's so obvious to me that she was the favorite among skating fans.

I agree many must have thought so, as you say they're on that thread, but I would guess many must also not have thought so.
I guess it's just interesting to me that I don't remember anyone criticising Mao in the way you are all that much, at least on this board, I dunno about jpn/kor internet. She was seen as amazing, and maybe it's that we were only just out of 6.0 and the 3A was magic, and under rotations were even less noticed.
 

On My Own

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5,107
I guess it's just interesting to me that I don't remember anyone criticising Mao in the way you are all that much, at least on this board,
I love Mao, I just don't think she was a favorite to win Turin lol.

I know hindsight is 20-20 (and that's what I have), but here is her layout for GPF 2005.


No +Toe Loop, because the season prior she was having problems with it (here's the 3F+3T she did at junior worlds the season prior, which by protocol was marked 3F+2T). No 3S, because that was another jump she had timing issues with. Her BV advantage was washed out. She COULD have been doing 8 triples, right? But she's only doing 6. (coupled with 3A and +Lo combos just not getting the credit they deserve)

I am also pointing out that my perception of skating at this point (and mind you that I was nowhere close to being a regular viewer of skating, so it's all hindsight for me, I was only in middle school...) was that skaters used to significantly change their choreography because it actually mattered in the score - which is one way they used to work on their "artistry". It certainly did happen with Sasha's program, and Mao's LP itself changed significantly in the 2006-07 season. I don't necessarily expect a junior skater to invest in that.

I will say she's better than most seniors now. She's only a junior for her time.

I still don't necessarily think we can only see one group of people's opinion about a skater to come to the conclusion she was or wasn't a favorite at the time, but I disagree anyway. People back then could have been doing so due to any number of reasons - as you say, she was a young exciting skater with a 3A. It's also true that CoP was fresh, and people on the internet hadn't necessarily figured out jump layout BVs and deductions. The Michelle Kwan thing was brought up before, that can be another thing they were thinking about. They also could have just plain genuinely liked her more than the rest.
 

YukiNieve

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Koshiro Shimada did IG Live last night and mentioned that he will skate new SP at Waseda On Ice 2024, the ice show held by his university (the University of Wasada) on March 9, 2024.

There will be a free live stream! (Koshiro will be 2nd to last to skate)
 
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Holy Headband

chair of the Lee Sihyeong international fanclub
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I have no problem with 17 years old at the Olympics which Shimada will be in Feb 2026 yet she will have to wait 4 more years i just think the age limit should be 16 not 17. What does she really have to prove now she has to go back to Juniors for TWO more years instead of going up against the top ladies and pushing herself to get better she has to keep treading water in Juniors when she clearly is ready to move on against better competition.
The Olympics only happen once every four years, so it’s inevitable that skaters will be four years older at their first Olympics than they would have been at the previous Olympics. I don’t understand why this is such a big deal for some people.

And Shimada has nothing left to prove in juniors, but junior competitions are developmental events and promoting skater development includes taking care of young athletes’ physical and mental health. Shimada’s coach ruined Kihira’s career because she pushed her too hard when Kihira was still very young… and you want her to do the same thing to Shimada? Why?
 

Sylvia

TBD
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80,465
Thanks for the heads up! Stream is live now:
Koshiro Shimada did IG Live last night and mentioned that he will skate new SP […]
There will be a free live stream! (Koshiro will be 2nd to last to skate)
ETA: Koshiro Shimada skates starting at 2 hours 10 mins. in the video.
 
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YukiNieve

Well-Known Member
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1,636
Koshiro Shimada did IG Live last night and mentioned that he will skate new SP at Waseda On Ice 2024, the ice show held by his university (the University of Wasada) on March 9, 2024.

There will be a free live stream! (Koshiro will be 2nd to last to skate)
Koshiro skated to Can't Take My Eyes Off You (Shawn Mendes).
You can still watch it. A beautiful skating.
 

Wyliefan

Ubering juniors against my will
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