Pairs Discussion Thread 2019-20: “Two skating as one”

aftershocks

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It will be interesting to see how the young Russian teams who competed at GPF will regroup for Russian Nationals. They all seemed tired and/or nervous in their performances at GPF. I also felt that all three teams, Boi/Koz and especially Mishina/Galliamov and Pav/Kho skated extremely slow at GPF. Maybe it was partly due to being nervous and over-cautious.

None of these teams did anything to solidify the success they had at their GPs. In any case, with the pairs discipline in transition this season, the latter two young Russian teams were a bit over-rewarded in the marks for their generally above average tech talent and consistency that's coupled with a lack of connection and personality. OTOH, Boi/Koz I feel are the more promising team, especially with Moskvina guiding them. In addition, B/K came up to seniors last season, and had a chance to acclimate as the third Russian team on the international stage. This season, their scores I feel were deserving on the GP and in line with their performances. It's not clear what happened to B/K at GPF, except that perhaps the nerves and excitement got to them in their FP. They also appeared a bit tight and tired in their SP. Still, B/K have a lot of potential and presence on the ice that I find more engaging than what we've seen so far from M/G and P/K.

The battle with T/M and these three young teams at Russian Nationals will be intriguing to watch.
 
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Colonel Green

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The battle with T/M and these three young teams at Russian Nationals will be intriguing to watch.
Unless T/M have another US Classic/Skate Canada meltdown, I think it's them vs. Boikova/Kozlovskii for gold (also assuming the latter don't have a GPF repeat in the free) and then Pavliuchenko/Khodykin vs. Mishina/Galliamov for the bronze.
 

aftershocks

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^^ Yes, I don't disagree. It will be interesting to see how all these teams regroup. It's too bad that Novoselov is injured, and thus Stol/Novo won't be competing. They do seem to have some promise as a team, despite the disappointment at Rostelecom Cup.

I didn't realize that Enbert was having health problems. I thought there was an injury and that they'd decided to take a break. Some commenters on Zabiako's Instagram appear to mistake her boyfriend for Enbert, because they have a slight facial similarity, except that Z's boyfriend has blond hair and dimples.

The GPF pairs event was such a huge letdown. I'd like to think that had either or both Cain-Gribble/LeDuc and Denney/Frazier made the cut, they might have brung more preparedness and excitement to the mix. At the least, D/F have a boffo FP that they would surely have performed well. And with the flatness of the other performances that occurred, D/F may even have reached the podium. But that's a 'what if' scenario.
 

Amy L

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New article about Enbert. Basically, everything is the same. He still doesn't have permission from doctors to skate. He and Natalia are just working out to keep in shape, he has to keep his heart-rate below 140 beats/minute. He's not ready to say anything definite about skating this year (in what? shows? they'll never get a medical bye to Worlds with 6 other pairs fighting for the spots).

 

Mad for Skating

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First it was announced that Stolbova/Novoselov will miss RusNats due to his injury, now there's bad news about Z/E. Apparently Enbert's health issues continue...
I guess when Zabiiako inherited Stolbova’s haircut, Zabiiako/Enbert inherited Stolbova/Klimov’s eternal bad luck :(
 

olympic

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I came here to find news about Z/B. Sadly, it is not what I expected. It sounds like they will miss the season but I'm glad that they can come back at their own pace: I don't imagine anyone will push them since Russia has a few pairs right now that will get the job done at Worlds in their place.
 

Lana's Box

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I would like to see a clean performance and a win by T/M. B/K have a tremendous potential, and a wonderful dynamic between the two of them. But they need time to grow and develop, and they don't have T/Ms speed and power just yet.
 

Mad for Skating

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Zabiiako/Enbert have the same number of world medals as Stolbova/Klimov, too.
True. I always thought it was so strange that Stolbova/Klimov only had one world medal - a team of their caliber was deserving of more, but they had very bad luck. But that’s water under the bridge :)
 

robinhood

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Yeah...it's all the Federation's fault. At the end Peng and Jin are a great couple but I bet they could have reached that level with Xiaoyu too and Zhang only had few a couple of seasons left in the tank. Is anyone available for Xiaoyu? She is such a beautiful skater:(
 

Vash01

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Agreed. But then at the time it happened, the swap benefited only one of the 4 athletes, so no surprise there.

I hope she can find a new partner.
She is such a beautiful skater. I hope she can find a new partner.
 

rupertsurvive

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Perhaps he has retired, finally?
If he is smart he has. What is he seriously ever going to achieve that he hasn't already achieved. I can't see him ever getting on a worlds podium again. I am not one of those who thinks athletes should be pushed into retirement, but he is literally getting to the Suguri point where I just don't see what the point or motivation is. And his case is worse than hers in the sense the Chinese fed breaking up promising pairs to accommodate him and his far fetching dreams impacts other skaters, while Suguri's continuing really didn't hurt anyone, she was just doing her own thing.
 

Vash01

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If he is smart he has. What is he seriously ever going to achieve that he hasn't already achieved. I can't see him ever getting on a worlds podium again. I am not one of those who thinks athletes should be pushed into retirement, but he is literally getting to the Suguri point where I just don't see what the point or motivation is. And his case is worse than hers in the sense the Chinese fed breaking up promising pairs to accommodate him and his far fetching dreams impacts other skaters, while Suguri's continuing really didn't hurt anyone, she was just doing her own thing.
I saw him at the 2002 Olympics and 2006 worlds, with his then partner Zhang. I was surprised to see him skate with Peng at the 2016 worlds. He looked too old for her. However, she appeared to be the weaker of that pair at that time. Surprisingly Peng and Jin have done quite well. Poor Yu, OTOH has struggled. I just hope she has a career ahead of her.

When the split took place, sometime after the 2016 worlds, it came as a shock. Another shock was that Hongbo Zhao had approved of it. Was he just doing a favor to his old teammate or did he really believe that the split would create a one two punch for China?

Whatever the reason, this was a terrible decision. Will the Chinese fed help Yu now? They better. After S&H and P&J they don’t have a well developed pair. If at all a split had to be done (because - I am guessing that Zhao was not happy skating with Peng), all they had to do was - split that pair and find them other partners. Let Yu Jin continue to develop into stars. They totally botched this.
 

Mad for Skating

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I'm surprised by this news, but I'm not upset. Xiaoyu is a stunning skater and still on the young side; if she can find a partner of her caliber, I think she could have a bright career ahead of her. It's better to split up now than to waste more time in a partnership that's not going anywhere. I hope she can find a great partner. Is there anyone available in China at the moment for her?
 

rupertsurvive

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I saw him at the 2002 Olympics and 2006 worlds, with his then partner Zhang. I was surprised to see him skate with Peng at the 2016 worlds. He looked too old for her. However, she appeared to be the weaker of that pair at that time. Surprisingly Peng and Jin have done quite well. Poor Yu, OTOH has struggled. I just hope she has a career ahead of her.

When the split took place, sometime after the 2016 worlds, it came as a shock. Another shock was that Hongbo Zhao had approved of it. Was he just doing a favor to his old teammate or did he really believe that the split would create a one two punch for China?

Whatever the reason, this was a terrible decision. Will the Chinese fed help Yu now? They better. After S&H and P&J they don’t have a well developed pair. If at all a split had to be done (because - I am guessing that Zhao was not happy skating with Peng), all they had to do was - split that pair and find them other partners. Let Yu Jin continue to develop into stars. They totally botched this.
It is hard to say what Hongbo Zhao thought. I was surprised and disappointed in him. While I would hope he genuinely thought they were creating 2 stronger pairs, I suspect it was more likely he was trying to do a favor for an old longtime friend and longtime competitor. The decision seemed completely rooted in bias by all parties involved, the Chinese fed, Hongbo, Bin Yao, and Zhang himself.

I thought Peng was a bit of a no hoper at the time and did not expect her to flourish in any partnership. Like you
I am surprised how strong Peng & Jin have become. I still think Yu would have been doing just as well with him by now, if not better, and I prefer her skating style. It is a sad story all around. I do really hope they can help Yu now.

As for Zhang it is clearly his time to retire and I both think/hope he now has. He has had a long and impressive career he can be proud of but his time has been up awhile now. I wouldn't care much, except that if the Chinese fed keeps breaking up teams just to accommodate it, it is affecting other skaters too and that is not right.
 

Ka3sha

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From #ttw thread:
Well the judges at the senior and junior GPF this year didn't think doubling a jump was a "big mistake" so I'm shocked the national judges did. I Iove-love-love B/K too but as you said they aren't at T/M's level yet.
But I guess they really did take the results of the GP series seriously and T/M were kind of punished for it.

It's weird because a month ago everyone was taking about the fed. being stubborn about who they supported as their #1 and how they were always behind when it came to pairs yet they seem to be doing the opposite of that now.
I think the Fed made a very wise decision to support (a bit) Boikova/Kozlovski at Nationals and give them that title. On one hand, they have Tarasova/Morozov, who can be brilliant, but are inconsistent and can't deliver under pressure. And the whole world knows that if skating clean, they are capable of winning all the gold medals out there.
On the other they have B/K, who are young, pretty consistent, have it-factor and both judges and fans seem to love them.
To me it seems like a win-win situation :)
 

rupertsurvive

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From #ttw thread:

I think the Fed made a very wise decision to support (a bit) Boikova/Kozlovski at Nationals and give them that title. On one hand, they have Tarasova/Morozov, who can be brilliant, but are inconsistent and can't deliver under pressure. And the whole world knows that if skating clean, they are capable of winning all the gold medals out there.
On the other they have B/K, who are young, pretty consistent, have it-factor and both judges and fans seem to love them.
To me it seems like a win-win situation :)
I doubt they are winning worlds without major help from Sui & Han after losing their own Nationals now. I mean a clean Sui & Han probably were already beating a clean Tarasova & Mozorov anyway to begin with, but now this is even more certain and emphatic. Sui & Han will have to have a major fall and possibly some other problems for even a perfect T&M to win worlds this year now, especialy with them being clearly not Russian #1 anymore even.
 

Ka3sha

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I doubt they are winning worlds without major help from Sui & Han after losing their own Nationals now. I mean a clean Sui & Han probably were already beating a clean Tarasova & Mozorov anyway to begin with, but now this is even more certain and emphatic. Sui & Han will have to have a major fall and possibly some other problems for even a perfect T&M to win worlds this year now, especialy with them being clearly not Russian #1 anymore even.
Agree. But S/H are also quite inconsistent, especially when it comes to sbs jumps
 

Michalle

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I think T & M are finally in the position of gaining momentum rather than losing it, which is something I've been hoping to see for them for a long time!
 

hanca

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I doubt they are winning worlds without major help from Sui & Han after losing their own Nationals now. I mean a clean Sui & Han probably were already beating a clean Tarasova & Mozorov anyway to begin with, but now this is even more certain and emphatic. Sui & Han will have to have a major fall and possibly some other problems for even a perfect T&M to win worlds this year now, especialy with them being clearly not Russian #1 anymore even.
Maybe, but with the frequency of S&H’s injuries, how do you know they will be at worlds in three months time? (No, I don’t have any secret source info that Sui is again injured, but with this pair one never knows.)
 

AxelAnnie

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Agree. But S/H are also quite inconsistent, especially when it comes to sbs jumps
Quite inconsistent? Really? She misses the SBS jump often. That is it. And, their skill and GOE allow them to win with the mistake.
 

Amy L

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I think T & M are finally in the position of gaining momentum rather than losing it, which is something I've been hoping to see for them for a long time!

Same! Starting from near rock bottom (SLC) and scraping their way up seems to be working for them. They aren't getting worse (which they did for part of the season last year) , and they aren't stagnating, which is what they're usually accused of. I think they're starting to understand that they need to play the long game and working towards that.

But for the love of all things holy, they need to rotate the jumps and stop bailing!!
 

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