2009/2010 Competitive Ladies
Here's how I list them based on many previous comps and showing clean or close to clean programs. The Ladies I look to be this seasons' would-be champions.
Skaters I see who are not as competitive
For that second grouping I will look to the GPs to see if there is any competitiveness in them this year.
What do you think?
Off the ice
I think Caro, even after bombing at Worlds, is a lot more competitive than some of the other ladies listed in the first group. Leonova (inexperienced, and not yet there with the presentation) Sarah Meier (returning from injury) and Yukari Nakano (up and down season) are bigger question marks IMO than Kostner and Lepisto; possibly bigger question marks than Caroline Zhang as well.
Also, unless Yu-Na and Mao totally bomb - and the likelihood of both doing so at the same event are small - I can't see anyone else contending for the top of the podium at major events.
And you forgot Miki Ando.
Caroline Zhang is an extremely competitive young lady and should never be ruled out.
Originally Posted by Buttercup
Yes, leaving out Miki was odd, or maybe Joe forgot her. I agree that a clean Miki or that rarest of things, a clean Caro K. have strong medal possibilties.
The following skaters, who I like - don't have any realisitic chance to medal in Vancouver:
Yukuri Nakano - (no medal for "wrap around leg" in this era)
Alena Leonova - (not even close to being polished enough)
Sarah Meier - (always nice to watch but doesn't have the jumps)
I think we can divide the ladies in 3 groups:
Yu Na Kim
(no need for explainations)
most probably the contenders for the Bronze medal (or some other color in case of meltdowns/surprises, which basically *always* happens at the Olympics). I can easily see Rochette or Kostner on the podium with Yu Na and Mao, Kostner because she did already many times (gpf 2007/08, worlds 2008, gpf 2008/09) and she is not easy to beat if her 3/3 comes back, Rochette because she seemed to find her perfect program layout this year and she can be a real favourite in her home country (she seems quite mature to turn the pressure into something positive rather than a meltdown).
Leonova, Suguri (if she's going)
they can be the "surprises" even though it's very diffcult to me to see them on the podium, most probably they will beat someone of the 2nd group that we wouldn't expect.
I hope Gedevanishvili will be good as well.
Originally Posted by chuckm
Is it possible that the latest change in scoring could help Caroline Z this season?
Excuse my ignorance on the terminolgy (if Button thinks it is too complicated then I don't feel so bad). Was it something about UR's not being penalized as much in the past?
I wonder about Caro Z and Caro K. Both are compelling skaters. Neither has a textbook 2-axle but it feels like only Caro Z gets penalized for it.
Some say Caro Z skates too slow forcing herself to rotate too fast in the air to complete her triples.
I see Caro K skating too fast and many times being tilted in the air on her triples -and frequently landing awkwardly.
One girl seems to get penalized for her jumps and the other seems to get a free pass (even when Caro K. touches her hand down on the ice her marks don't usually reflect it).
I think with strong, cleans skates either Caro could do well at Vancouver. I think the marking of both of these girls never seems quite right to me and that may determine more about their chances in Vancouver (should they be there) than almost anything else. And that doesn't feel right to me.
Last edited by janetfan; 05-28-2009 at 02:14 PM.
I don't think Caro Z gets penalized all that much for her jumps other than the end of her 3-3 and edge calls on her lutz.
Originally Posted by janetfan
Caro K actually gets penalized for what she does, she got negative GOEs for every jumping pass other than her opening combo and her 3 loop in her LP at worlds in 2008.
It's just that Caro K basics are far better than Caro Zs, even though at times it seems that Caro K can't quite control her speed. It's all a matter for Caro K to control speed and Caro Z to gain some speed and work on basics.
I don't particularly care for Caro K's style but she is a very strong, very talented skater who just has some mental issues it seems. Caro Z also has tons of potential but she needs to work on her weaknesses and I'm sure she will and her results will tell.
Originally Posted by Alicja
Thanks for that explanation. Perhaps I am blinded by the beauty of Caro Z's skating and left somewhat cold by Caro K's programs. Yuna skates fast but I never get that "runaway truck" feeling from her the way I do from Caro K.
I am not a big fan of Gala skating - but I do remember seeing Caro K. in a Gala where her skating was so full of expression and yes, she actually looked very graceful. Even her hair and makeup were different and I thought what a shame we don't see anything like this from Caro K in her competitive programs. Again, I recognize this may just be a matter of my own preferences. But I don't tthink Caro's marks were right at '08 Worlds and even at 09 Worlds they seemed to high to reflect what happened on the ice. Maybe it is good that I am not a judge
The new rule on underrotations is that the judges do not see the underrotation call of the technical specialist on their screens, and so they are free to give plus or minus GOEs as they see fit.
For a downgraded solo jump, this will not have very much effect, because once the jump is downgraded by the technical specialist, the GOEs are scored at the rate of the lower jump.
In Caroline Zhang's situation, however, nowadays she mostly gets an underroation call only on her 3F/3T combination. In this case, even when the second jump is downgraded to a double, the GOE is taken off the whole element at the rate of the higher jump.
For instance, at Four Continents Caroline's 3F+3T< got base score 6.8 (5.5+1.3), and the GIOE was -1.20 (four -1's and one -2 after random judges' draw and trimming).
In the LP it was 6.8 + -1.6 GOE (three -2's and two -1's).
If half of the judges had disagreed with the underrotation call, Caroline might have gotten a full point higher on each of these attempts. (I think the reason for the change is not to discourage skaters from attempting triple-triple combos for fear of the underrotation double penalty.)
Last edited by Mathman; 05-28-2009 at 02:40 PM.
Yuna and Mao - what wonderful skaters
This year at Worlds the showdown between them never materialized on the ice.
This is also a distinct possibilty at Vancouver. As co- favorites with fanatic followings at home they will be feeling the pressure.
Yuna has had injury problems two of the last three seasons and was fragile back in her junior days. I hope she is healthy this season but any handicapper would consider this factor.
Pressure - Mao has the distinct advantage of having competed through pressure packed Japanese Natls. The closest Yuna ever came to this was the GP Final last season in Korea - and it looked like it effected her.
Comfort edge - Yuna has been with the same team for a while now and has shown steady progress. Training in Canada under Orser doesn't hurt either.
Mao did not look comfortable at Worlds - but bounced back at WTT. Did the pressure of defending her title in LA cause Mao to skate so far under her potential? How much did the coaching change(s) effect Mao? Will Tat come up with the right music and choreo for Mao this season? If not - Yuna may walk away witht the OGM as easily as she won the WC. "Domination"was the term Michelle used and no one has argued about that.
Joannie had a good season but has never come close to matching the scores Yuna and Mao can run up. She has been inconsistent throughout her career but was solid last season. Skating at home she will be under more pressure than any of the Ladies. Can she handle it or will she fold and open up the race for bronze?
Caro K - is there a great skate left in her? A clean Carolina, skating for a majority of Euro judges will score very very high. If she actually skates two strong programs she could challenge for silver of Gold. But that is a mighty big "if."
Miki - which Miki will show up? Always a threat at any competition, an in-form Miki (please, a little better choreo) - has a strong chance to medal.
Last edited by janetfan; 05-28-2009 at 03:40 PM.
I would actually move Nakano down to the third group, but otherwise I totally agree with your assessment
and Sasha Cohen as well.
Originally Posted by Buttercup
Both should be very competitive..
I am not predicting here. I am saying that my first group of ladies are of competitive spirit, whom I believe will not freeze up in competition.
The second longer group I listed are all iiffy skaters. I dare say, some will have good SPs and poor LPs, some will be lucky and have good SPs and LPs, but most will not.
Rather than mull over their results, it's more like who is most likely to be consistent
Hey MM, so the Tech Specialists have lost some power, But what happens at the conclusion of the competition. The 9 pt lutz that was underrotated and not seen by the judges now gets 12 points? What happens to the UR call after that? Is there an automatic deduction as with the WET?
Originally Posted by Mathman
IMHO, point scoring can be whimsical. A wrong edge take off gets an automatic -1 in addition to what the judges think, and A wrong edge landing does not get an automatic deduction, but gets the varied GoEs of the judges.
Now does that make sense?
If the list is just for champions of worlds, olympics . I somewhat agree with the exception of rachel and alena, however if you include nationals i agree.
as far as 2nd tier laura lepisto she already won FC
As far as I look at it, skaters can improve and correct their mistakes during the off season so I don't count anyone out ever.
As far as the new rule, it seems it will favor certain skaters over others.
I am not going to name names of who it will favor over not.
Your list should include all the skaters who are competing , because it is a competition and anything can happen, but by counting one skater/skaters out so early and that said skater(s) win, then most people are surprised when they shouldn't be. Because as I stated earlier anything can happen.
if they judge fairly (which I doubt) anyone can win, medal.
Rooting for the divas with Kwanford
As of this moment, I see the following (but totally expect things to change by December):
Also podium probabilities:
Dark horses for podium:
Very unlikely to medal:
This isn't based on my hopes but what I expect based on recent skating. The asterisked skaters haven't quite performed at Olympic podium level, but they're at the right age to burst out and break away from the pack.