looking for fresh blood
A Japanese pairs team?
If there is one thing this Olympics (and skating season) is proving, is the depth of both the Japanese mens and womens teams. Three very young and capable men were sent to the Olympics, who still have more seasons in them, and Japan had more Olympic-worthy female skaters than they even could send. And the amount of young skaters there training to be the next Mao or Takahiko are overwhelming. I guess the question comes to this: where is a Pairs team? We saw one Japanese woman. Kavaguti, defect to Russia to skate pairs for the "Olympic Dream," but there are so many capable skaters in Japan, that unless they do start having internationally competitive pairs teams, a lot of talented skaters are never even going to be seen. But somehow the Japanese attitude seems to be "great singles skater or nothing at all," or perhaps more would be turning to pairs. Does anyone think we will see any great Japanese pairs teams come about by the next Olympics, or will it just continue to be even deeper talented fields with many worthy skaters not getting their chance to shine?
It would be an interesting thing to see... it seems like any Japanese pairs team that would be able to compete with the best would have to be put together relatively late... turning two solid singles skaters into a pairs team; especially since Japanese boys tend to be smaller than girls until much later than for other ethnicities, and the population isn't as overwhelming as China. The other problem would be coaching, but with so much raw talent to choose from, it doesn't seem unfeasible that international coaches could set their eyes on it.
As Yuka Sato said "Japanses men are not tall enough" for pairs skating, since she wanted to be a pairs skater. If you look at history most Japanses women, who skate pairs, skate with foriegners. I have often thought that the Japanese would really be powerfull pairs competitors, but it has not happened.
there are a pair couple in Japan now; Narumi Takahashi, Mervin Tran.
but as you can imagine, tran is not a Japanese, but a canadian.
i think one of the reasons that Japan dosent make pairs is that Japan dont have the culture of 'couple sports.
in Japan, some parents dont want their daughters to be 'touched' by boys, especially when their doughters are young.
in addition, there are not any ice link for pairs.
Vancouver 2010, 247.23, Bronze
Yes, Narumi Takahashi / Mervin Tran, and they are progressing at a nice pace, it seems (but they are nowhere near the top level (yet?)
It's sad that the duo has no Olympic future, because it would be practically impossible for Tran to attain Japanese citizenship (see the situation with Yuko Kavaguti).
My guess is this pair is created with one purpose only: World Team Trophy. I think citizenship issues make the whole matter rather complicated.
Wicked Yankee Girl
Takahashi and Tran are indeed nearing top level. They finished second at the Junior Grand Prix Final:
Citizenship will be a problem though...
looking for fresh blood
Yuzura Hanyu has the potential to be big enough for a pairs competitor... at nearly 5'7" at 15 (meaning he should hit another growth spurt), he his gigantic compared to the rest of the Japanese men (except for Kozuka) who are mostly topping the charts at 5'4". But if he keeps competing at his current level and developing, he should have a bright singles future ahead of him.... but if that growth spurt gets him, I hope he winds up in pairs hehe