she's fantastic. I've loved watching her career grow from novice till now!
Christina's choreography might be juniorish, but her jumps are solid and way less often (and egregiously) underrotated than the top 7. She has height and good mid-air posititioning. Flatt's jumps even when fully rotated have a wonky landing technique where her whole body seems to swing around and tilt as if off balance. If we were betting, I would go all in on Christina having the highest freeskate TES.
All of us have our favorites and that's fine. All of us have our reasons for having our favorites, and that's also fine. My sincere hope is that the judging is fair. If our favorites fail ( and for most of us, they will ) let it be because they skated poorly, and not because of some hidden agenda.
Being strong and muscular definitely helps, because the ladies who are not as strong and muscular have trouble with URs (Alissa), jump height (Caroline, Sasha), doubling jumps (Lepisto), and stamina through the entire program (Lepisto and the rest of the European ladies). People always talk about how Rachael can do hard jumps so late in the program with little speed because she is very physically strong.
Yuna, Mao and Miki fall into the first category even though they are very thin because they are also super strong and very muscular, but are naturally thinner.
There has been some whining from a few about favoritism - and I am not shy about whining myself when I think the judging is bad or politics/favoritism looked to be part of a result.
Usually I wait until after a competition to complain though.
I think the Pairs and Men's event was judged pretty well and I expect the Ladies and Dance will also be scored fairly.
Caroline has always been a favorite of mine but I think she still has to get adjusted to her growth and maybe fix up a few tech problems.
If she doesn't make it this year I hope she will come back stronger next season.
She is younger than the other favorites and is a world class spinner with some beautiful qualities to her skating.
I hope she goes to Jr. Worlds because I think she could medal. Polina and Kanako will probably be the other two medalists but I thin Christina could potentially beat both of them, especially if Polina leaves out her 3-3 again and Kanako's jumps keep getting downgraded.
I am also interested to see how Angela Maxwell will do at nats, she's a great talent and in my mind was underscored last season. I don't know how Katrina Hacker managed to come in 5th without a flip or lutz in the SP or FS, she is beautiful though.
I've been a fan of Ashley's since the first time I saw her as a junior - her speed and dynamism blew me away. I'm just waiting for her to put it all together. I thought her SP last season was a big step forward in terms of polish but unfortunately (for me, apparently no one else) I don't like her FP this season.
Still, she's almost there. I don't think she'll do it in time for the Olympics but if she does, cool!
I know how Mirai can win. Seeing that Evan has the same coach and just changed his LP format, I know what Mirai can do to avoid pesky edge calls and under-rotated doubles.
Her current LP jump layout:
2a-2t or 2a-3t
What she should change her layout to:
3t-2t-2lo or 3f-2t-2t if she can rotate that last jump better as a 2t
3sal or 2a (if she can't so 3al anymore)
Why this works. 1.) one lutz instead of two, meaning only one "e"/"!" call 2.) 6 triples without having to do a 2a-3t and get it ratified
3.) doing jumps in sequence will get her more points (2a > 2t), and they are less likely to get DGed because her 2a is very strong and usually gets high GOEs
We have seen many ladies use sequences recently and I think it is a very good idea. Akiko does 7 triples in her FS and changed the layout to include two sequences now, changing a 2a-3t to a 3t-2a sequence and changing the 3lz-2t-2lo to a 3f-2t-2lo to only include one 3lz in the FS instead of two which is smart because she gets edge calls. I thought that was a very smart move by Akiko and I think the American ladies should find a way to be more competitive. I really think sequences are a great way to milk the CoP.
Last edited by silverlake22; 01-18-2010 at 10:41 PM.
I doubt she will change her layout now, but I think it would be smart for her to do next year if she wants to do better internationally.
Last edited by silverlake22; 01-18-2010 at 10:50 PM.
Sasha - I would be shocked to see her show up - if she shows up, who knows what she will do - but it would be cool to see
My $ is on Flatt and Wagner - this is a game of nerves not fine lines - the best thing for us is to see everyone skate their guts out and let the chips fall where they may - if we see anything near Abbott and Denney and Barrett - we are in for a treat - from a Canadian fan
I wonder if Rachael feels more pressure than before now that she's Tom Z's last big hope for Vancouver. Especially given how he really talked this past summer about how his students could take anyone on.
Everyone is feeling pressure. Of course! It's the Oly Trials.
I trust Rachel to handle her nerves reasonably but only Cohen and Hughes have done this before so you never know. I think she will rise to the occasion, though.