The "Future" of Figure Skating: 2014 Olympic Podium Threats (Ladies)
So there is a thread like this for the men so I thought we should make one for the up-and-coming ladies of figure skating!
So obviously we have Mirai, who has kicked off her good international results with a 4th place finish at the Olympics. If she stays with Frank, I think she will only continue to get better in these coming years, especially with all the angst and growthspurt behind her now. Keep it up .
Next, there is the battle of the mini-Yunas : Min-Jung Kwak vs Christina Gao. They are a month apart in age (Kwak just turned 16 and Gao turns 16 in a few days) and I think they both have tremendous potential and if Kwak ends up training with Orser full time (she is in Toronto now with Yuna training with Orser until Worlds ) I think she could be great. Right now Gao is a better jumper, her 3t-3t is amazing and I think next season she will go for 3f-3t because her flip is PERFECT, but Kwak has better spins and spirals. They have very similar body types (a lot like Yuna when she was younger) and if they stay with Orser, they will likely be making a big splash in senior international events as soon as next year!
Then there are the Russians. Ksenia Makarova is looking good for now and there are so many young Russian girls with big jumps. The three going to junior worlds this year are Polina Agafonova, Anna Ovcharova, and Polina Shelepen.
Agafonova didn't make the JGPF but won the junior Russian title this year, she is 13 and little, but has 3-3 combinations (sometimes UR though) and great spins. She reminds me of a Russian Mirai at that age http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=54Htdg-doGc (love the layback!).
Ovcharova was 5th at the JGPF and has been doing even better recently, coming in 5th at senior Russian nationals and 2nd at junior Russian nationals. She is a breath of fresh air and has great choreography, footwork, and spins. She gets really into her programs and is very animated and musical, really fun to watch . Jump technique is not the smoothest, but she can do flip and lutz without edge call and rotates all her jumps. She turns 14 next week but is already pretty tall, grew a lot last year so is probably through the worst of the big growth spurt and should be able to keep her jumps. She is working on 3-3s and will likely do them next year on the JGP or SGP circuit.
Shelepen won both her JGP events and was 2nd at the JGPF. She has a 3lz-3t, 3sal-3t, and a 2a-3t. Recently she has been struggling a bit (3rd at Russian junior nats) and has had some troubles with her jumps. Her basic skating needs work and her jump technique is not the best, but she has a lot of potential. She is 14 and a complete beanpole now, though a decent height, so the thing with her will be if she can keep her difficult jumps when and if she grows/fills out. She should be a podium threat in Sochi if she can continue to do those jumps.
Kanako Murakami - the next big Japanese star. She won the JGPF and both her JGP events, won junior nationals in Japan and was 5th in the senior division. Most polished of the junior ladies as of now, got significantly higher PCS than everyone else at the JGPF. She has a 3t-3t that is sometimes UR but she has great speed for such a tiny girl and is flexible and expressive. Technique is pretty sound except for a flutz. She turned 15 last fall and will likely make her debut on the senior GP circuit next year where Yukari and Fumie are retiring.
So I'm sure there are more up and comers that I forgot so please share there names and your outlook on how all these young skaters are likely to faire in the future!
Last edited by silverlake22; 03-06-2010 at 12:40 PM.
I like Kanako Murakami and think she might be Japan's next big star.
Oh yeah! I forgot about her, she's won everything on the junior level this year! I'll add her to the list
Originally Posted by janetfan
So which Ladies are favored to make the podium at Jr Worlds?
I really like Mishin's Elizaveta Tuktatmysheva. I think she's the best of the young Russians.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s6PI-ju4DWA
What I like about her is that she has very good technique and basics, as alll Mishin students have. But also I think this clip above shows really nice attention to the music, and good arms. He mentioned that he's teaching her the 3axel, whether that comes to fruition or not who knows. But I think she's a special talent. But it all depends on puberty.
I like Kanako too, but I really hope she gets her flutz fixed soon, because we all see how much that troubled Mao, and fixing it too late may have resulted in unstabilizing her other jumps. It's better to solve these problems early in a skater's career.
Rooting for the divas with Kwanford
Yukiko Fujisawa is great too.
I wonder why she's not at Jr Worlds - why does Japan have only one lady and USA and Russia three? Even Sweden, Germany, and Georgia (!) have two. Finland also only has one.
And don't forget Ashley Wagner.
I am also keeping an eye on Kristine Musademba, who got hurt and didn't make it to Nationals.
I really only have seen Kanako once - this season at Japanese Natls. I may get crucified for saying this (if Medusa pops out of the woodwork) but I loved the "Akiko/Kanako moment" and also that Kanako is just so darned cute.
Originally Posted by miki88
But I say that with the knowledge that "cuteness" is not enough to win - and that it is good skating that counts.
I thought from what I saw that Kanako has exceptional presence on the ice - and that does count.
Maybe she needs to fix up a few tecnical problems but she is still young and hopefully her coach will work on tech problems.
I certainly am looking forward to seeing more of her and think she has big "it" factor which is something that can't be taught.
Ashley Wagner withdrew and is being replaced by Kiri Baga. I'd say podium favorites at junior worlds are Kanako Murakami, Polina Shelepen, and Christina Gao, who were 1-2-3 at the JGPF.
Originally Posted by janetfan
I'd throw Anna Ovcharova and Polina Agafonova in the mix too because they both beat Shelepen at Russian junior nationals so are capable of beating her again.
Then there's Agnes Zawadski of the US, the 2010 junior champion, she has no international experience but got a really big score at nationals.
Kiri Baga may have a shot at the podium but she's been having a lot of trouble in the FS recently and doesn't have the technical difficulty of the other girls in her programs.
I think that's pretty much it for contenders. Kate Charbonneau of Canada is a nice skater too but she doesn't get very high scores and didn't make the JGPF this season.
How tall is Elizaveta? If she is fairly tall then she might be ok and past the big growth spurt, but if she is teeny-tiny then a growth spurt could cause problems like it did for Mirai (who thankfully rebounded!), Caroline and Kimmie. I agree that she has the most potential of the Russian girls, but Agafonova, Ovcharova, and Shelepen all beat her at Russian junior nationals by a big margin.
Originally Posted by bekalc
So far Russian girls have won exactly "0" (zero) OGM's.
Originally Posted by silverlake22
I once mentioned at a cafe that Oksana was Russian and a Ukranian dude told me to take it back or he would kick my butt.
Fortunately for me he was like Plushy - not very big - but I made a note to NEVER forget that Oksana and her biggest fans are not Russian but Ukranian.
All of these little Russian girls are nothing new - and historically they never grow up to be champions. Not sure why but just check out the record and we will see Irina is the only Russian trained girl that ever got close to an OGM.
I have my doubts about this new crop of Russian 12 year olds because they still have to grow - and history is NOT on their side. At the moment an American trained girl of Russian heritage is the champion of Russia. I think that says it all.
Last edited by dorispulaski; 03-06-2010 at 03:15 PM.
Interesting outlook, and you may have a point. I wonder if it has anything to do with that many of these Russian girls do not have the money to pay for top training facilities and moving abroad to train like a lot of the top skaters do. I know Elizaveta only trains with Mishin every two weeks because her family still lives in a little village and can not afford to move to Saint Petersburg so she could train with him every day. And yes, the Russian champion does train in America but what about Alena Leonova? She still lives and trains in Russia and has been doing very well internationally! I have hope that more of these talented little Russian girls will make it on the senior level internationally. If they can just get out there, they can get sponsers to help pay for training a renown coach might detect their talent and want to teach them.
Originally Posted by janetfan
Wicked Yankee Girl
Ksenia i doesn't just train here. She lives here, and has lived here since the age of 8.
Her high school is very proud of her!
Her ISU bio says Newburgh, NY, is her home town, although she was born in St. Petersburg.
- * -
Amanda Dobbs (if she decides to do singles)
Maybe Mao if she gets her 3-3 back and lutz. Kanako is definitley promising. So are the russian ladies-but they are all so young~!