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Thread: What happened to Shelepen and Gao?

  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by chuckm View Post
    The problem with all the Russian girls is that they are young and have not been bitten yet by the puberty bug. Many times in the past, young Russian girls have romped in the JGP and JW and then disappeared from the scene entirely.
    Very interesting. Thanks for the background info.
    Motherland Russia is lucky to have 4-5 impressive young girls at once. Let's hope one of them make it to adulthood like the young hippos on Animal Planet. .

  2. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by janetfan View Post
    So what are you saying - all they lack are the most important ingrediants any skater can hope for

    I was sure Kanako would win and turns out it wasn't even that close. Too many here point out flaws in Kanako but overlook her good qualities.

    I don't think she lost a competition this year despite being up against these so called Russsian "wonder girls."

    If these young Russians are really so great then Kanako must be even greater since she beat them every time out.
    All Russian "wonder girls" are younger than Kanako and it was the first season at JGP for all of them. Remember how Kanako did just a year ago, she wasn't as good as Polinas and Anna are now. Give them some time, they have experience now and will continue to work.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FlattFan View Post
    Very interesting. Thanks for the background info.
    Motherland Russia is lucky to have 4-5 impressive young girls at once. Let's hope one of them make it to adulthood like the young hippos on Animal Planet. .
    I really just don't see Polina Shelepen or Anna getting heavy in future years. You can just tell by the way they are built now that they will be thin or willowy even as adults. They could potentially become tall, but Agnes is 5'6" as is Kiira Korpi and Shizuka Arakawa. Carolina Kostner and Alexe Gilles are 5'7" and they can still jump (they aren't the most consistent but I think that is mostly due to other things and not their height). Anna and Polina are 5'3" now and might only grow a couple more inches, plus judges seem to favor the long limbed skaters anyways. Some of the even younger girls may have a tougher time with puberty, but I don't think Polina Shelepen and Anna will.

  4. #19
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    Originally Posted by janetfan
    So what are you saying - all they lack are the most important ingrediants any skater can hope for

    I was sure Kanako would win and turns out it wasn't even that close. Too many here point out flaws in Kanako but overlook her good qualities.

    I don't think she lost a competition this year despite being up against these so called Russsian "wonder girls."

    If these young Russians are really so great then Kanako must be even greater since she beat them every time out.
    Who said the Russians were going to win Junior worlds? I think most of us thought Murakami would. And most people think right now Elizaveta who has never competed against Murakami is the best of the young Russians. But I think you can argue that both Polinas have had a better opening Junior season than Murakami had. Considering that Murakami didn't medal at the JGPF like Polina S, and didn't even make the Junior World team much less medal at Junior Worlds like Polina A. And Murakami was beaten by two girls for the team, who couldn't even manage to crack the top 10 at Junior worlds.

    I think that Polina A, the girl who got bronze has a lot of potential. Puberty is a question, but I really don't think this kid is going to ever be that tall. And her technique isn't bad, so she has a shot at keeping her jumps. The comments about her was that she was not slow at all but was so little that it took her time to get accross the ice. So potentially for her, some growth could be a good thing.

    As for Yu-na, and the comments about Gao being like her, I really have to disagree. Yu-na at 15 was a lot better than Gao, and I don't think people really felt she lacked artistry. She had some maturing to do still but she was already a much better package than Gao. In fact Nancy Kerrigan said at 2006 Junior worlds that she thought Yu-na was a better package than Mao. Mao really matured the next year with more polished programs. My feeling about Gao is that she's actually a bit sloppy, in her spins etc. And it hurts her because she's so tiny and delicate, that it destroys the effect her tiny/delicateness could have.
    Last edited by bekalc; 03-14-2010 at 06:11 PM.

  5. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by bekalc View Post
    Who said the Russians were going to win Junior worlds? I think most of us thought Murakami would. And most people think right now Elizaveta who has never competed against Murakami is the best of the young Russians. But I think you can argue that both Polinas have had a better opening Junior season than Murakami had. Considering that Murakami didn't medal at the JGPF like Polina S, and didn't even make the Junior World team much less medal at Junior Worlds like Polina A. And Murakami was beaten by two girls for the team, who couldn't even manage to crack the top 10 at Junior worlds.

    I think that Polina A, the girl who got bronze has a lot of potential. Puberty is a question, but I really don't think this kid is going to ever be that tall. And her technique isn't bad, so she has a shot at keeping her jumps. The comments about her was that she was not slow at all but was so little that it took her time to get accross the ice. So potentially for her, some growth could be a good thing.

    As for Yu-na, and the comments about Gao being like her, I really have to disagree. Yu-na at 15 was a lot better than Gao, and I don't think people really felt she lacked artistry. She had some maturing to do still but she was already a much better package than Gao. In fact Nancy Kerrigan said at 2006 Junior worlds that she thought Yu-na was a better package than Mao. Mao really matured the next year with more polished programs. My feeling about Gao is that she's actually a bit sloppy, in her spins etc. And it hurts her because she's so tiny and delicate, that it destroys the effect her tiny/delicateness could have.
    Polina A won't likely ever be tall but she could become too sturdy to keep those difficult jumps, especially if she stays very short. A lot of skaters receive downgrades for 3-3s once they fill out. A lot of Russian women are short and stocky, some Russian coach even said that most Russian girls are built to work on the railroad. This is why I think Polina S and Anna have more potential, they have the ideal body type for skating and will likely still have the ideal body type once they finish growing just judging from their frames. This is also why I think Gao has potential to become really good in the future too because I don't think puberty will be an issue for her where she is so thin now at 16. I actually think for Gao puberty will help her become a stronger skater. Gao, Shelepen, and Ovcharova are substantially taller than Agafonova, Murakami, Baga, Tuktumysheva, and some of those other really young Russian girls and usually, girls that are tallish and thin at that age can fill out but still stay very lean while shorter girls can become stocky because their muscle is more compact, and this can effect spirals and spins as well as jumps. Gao, Shelepen, and Ovcharova I doubt will have issues with puberty, but Murakami, Agafonova, Baga, and some of those other Russian girls very well might.

  6. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by silverlake22 View Post
    Polina A won't likely ever be tall but she could become too sturdy to keep those difficult jumps, especially if she stays very short. A lot of skaters receive downgrades for 3-3s once they fill out. A lot of Russian women are short and stocky, some Russian coach even said that most Russian girls are built to work on the railroad. This is why I think Polina S and Anna have more potential, they have the ideal body type for skating and will likely still have the ideal body type once they finish growing just judging from their frames. This is also why I think Gao has potential to become really good in the future too because I don't think puberty will be an issue for her where she is so thin now at 16. I actually think for Gao puberty will help her become a stronger skater. Gao, Shelepen, and Ovcharova are substantially taller than Agafonova, Murakami, Baga, Tuktumysheva, and some of those other really young Russian girls and usually, girls that are tallish and thin at that age can fill out but still stay very lean while shorter girls can become stocky because their muscle is more compact, and this can effect spirals and spins as well as jumps. Gao, Shelepen, and Ovcharova I doubt will have issues with puberty, but Murakami, Agafonova, Baga, and some of those other Russian girls very well might.
    Well here are some clips of young skaters some who became successful seniors some did not
    Shizuka at 13 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7dVd6...eature=related
    Irina in 1993 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e00A9aXMEzQ
    Naomi Nari Nam http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1S7EEHAM6nU
    Sasha Cohen http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OpZE4Hemcrg
    Katy Taylor http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3LiKzP6sy2U
    Elene G (who we all know struggled with puberty) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PuNpz...eature=related
    Kimmie Meissner (struggled with puberty when she got a little older) in 8th grade
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rhSCs72lDPs
    Yukina Ota http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3lcUcvHpPQM
    Jenny Kirk http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p1rXt9n_3V8

  7. #22
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    The problem is not growing up but growing out. In particular, when girls mature into women, they acquire hips, and that completely changes the center of gravity. Jump technique that worked for a beanpole may not work for the same girl when she gets curvier. Adjustments have to be made, and in some cases, the girl never quite gets her jumps under control again.

    A girl doesn't have to get heavy for this to happen, but sometimes weight gain is part of the problem. Think Miki Ando when she began to fill out in 2005-2006. She had a terrible year and all her jumps went south. It was only after she had trimmed down that she got her jumps back---but even then, she could no longer get her 4S and 3Z-3Lo ratified.
    Last edited by chuckm; 03-14-2010 at 07:57 PM.

  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by chuckm View Post
    The problem is not growing up but growing out. In particular, when girls mature into women, they acquire hips, and that completely changes the center of gravity. Jump technique that worked for a beanpole may not work for the same girl when she gets curvier. Adjustments have to be made, and in some cases, the girl never quite gets her jumps under control again.

    A girl doesn't have to get heavy for this to happen, but sometimes weight gain is part of the problem. Think Miki Ando when she began to fill out in 2005-2006. She had a terrible year and all her jumps went south. It was only after she had trimmed down that she got her jumps back---but even then, she could no longer get her 4S and 3Z-3Lo ratified.
    This is what I'm thinking. One thing that I'm noticing about Polina A, which "I'm hoping" is she's not a bean pole, so I'm hoping it helps her but she could also really fill out which would be of course bad. I am worried about her though. I think jumping technique plays a role too. Is it really surprising that Jenny Kirk had trouble with puberty when her jumps were soo lowish from the very beginning?

    And in Miki's case, when she was little there weren't the same ratifing rules but she always was a good technical jumper, and I think that helped her after puberty vs a lot of skaters who were never great jumpers.

    If you look at the clip I have of Ota, she of course had injuries. But I think you notice that she had very much a ballerina body, but also not very good jumping technique even then it seemed. So I really do think jumping technique plays a role. Maybe not the only role, but a role it plays. Even in Meissner's case, when everyone like Button lauded her technique (although I wonder if it was her skating skills) she had a tendency to muscle jumps when she was little.
    Last edited by bekalc; 03-14-2010 at 08:15 PM.

  9. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by bekalc View Post
    This is what I'm thinking. One thing that I'm noticing about Polina A, which "I'm hoping" is she's not a bean pole, so I'm hoping it helps her but she could also really fill out which would be of course bad. I am worried about her though. I think jumping technique plays a role too. Is it really surprising that Jenny Kirk had trouble with puberty when her jumps were soo lowish from the very beginning?

    And in Miki's case, when she was little there weren't the same ratifing rules but she always was a good technical jumper, and I think that helped her after puberty vs a lot of skaters who were never great jumpers.

    If you look at the clip I have of Ota, she of course had injuries. But I think you notice that she had very much a ballerina body, but also not very good jumping technique even then it seemed. So I really do think jumping technique plays a role. Maybe not the only role, but a role it plays. Even in Meissner's case, when everyone like Button lauded her technique (although I wonder if it was her skating skills) she had a tendency to muscle jumps when she was little.
    The only girl that is truly a "beanpole" right now is Shelepen, though, who I actually think resembles a young Kostner http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PT7LH6WYdQw. Anna is skinny but she does have a more defined figure than Shelepen, and though she does have long, thin limbs like a ballerina she is wiry and strong looking, she does not appear weak, she actually looks a lot like Alissa Czisny did at 17 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EshBlTFM0q8, even though she is younger, and Alissa has nerve problems but not puberty problems as far as I know of. As for Gao, she is 16 and a lot of Asian girls are as thin as her and don't get much bigger even as adults. Gao is built like Yuna at 15, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bG_-8J5OIKw , and Yuna did not have any real puberty problems. Agafonova could turn out more like Gedevanishvilli where she is so short (Elene is probably under 5 ft tall now) and that could cause problems. Murakami is also short so that could prove problematic, but most of the japanese skaters are very slight so she will probably be fine. Kiri is muscular and has broad shoulders so she could end up being built more like Joannie but in that case her jumps could get better.

  10. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by bekalc View Post
    Well here are some clips of young skaters some who became successful seniors some did not
    Shizuka at 13 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7dVd6...eature=related
    Irina in 1993 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e00A9aXMEzQ
    Naomi Nari Nam http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1S7EEHAM6nU
    Sasha Cohen http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OpZE4Hemcrg
    Katy Taylor http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3LiKzP6sy2U
    Elene G (who we all know struggled with puberty) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PuNpz...eature=related
    Kimmie Meissner (struggled with puberty when she got a little older) in 8th grade
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rhSCs72lDPs
    Yukina Ota http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3lcUcvHpPQM
    Jenny Kirk http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p1rXt9n_3V8
    Thanks for all of the clips - what fun!
    Most interesting to me is how much more polished and musical Sasha was at 14 than the others and even most of today's senior skaters. She was such a natural performer.

    I never saw Shiz at such an early age - I see the potential there but her jumps barely get off the ice.

    Baby Irina is interesting and sometimes I wonder if she had been taught better style and had better choreo at a young age if it would have helped her become a more artistic skater.
    She is very rough around the edges and looks like a less graceful version of what a 13 year old Evan might have been

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    Quote Originally Posted by silverlake22 View Post
    Thanks and not bad! But when I heard the music I though it must be little Joubert skating

  13. #28
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    Anna is skinny but she does have a more defined figure than Shelepen, and though she does have long, thin limbs like a ballerina she is wiry and strong looking, she does not appear weak, she actually looks a lot like Alissa Czisny did at 17 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EshBlTFM0q8, even though she is younger, and Alissa has nerve problems but not puberty problems as far as I know of. As for Gao, she is 16 and a lot of Asian girls are as thin as her and don't get much bigger even as adults. Gao is built like Yuna at 15,
    Alissa had bad jumping technique, and so I think it played a huge role in her "nerves" . In that sense I actually do think Anna is going to be like the Russian Alissa, lovely skater (although different) but inconsistent. This being said Anna is young enough to work on and improve her jumping technique, so hopefully she will.
    Last edited by bekalc; 03-14-2010 at 09:26 PM.

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    Wow, interesting thread.

    Yelena Ivanova, Yelena Pingatcheva, Nadezhda Kanaeva, Yulia Soldatova, Viktoria Volchkova, Kristina Oblasova,
    I remember those names very well, and sure they all disappeared besides Viktoria,
    she did not medal at any big competitons but had a decent senior career.
    And one more girl,
    Yukari landed 3A at her first senior GPS, which was Skate America,
    and at the same competition, a Russian girl landed 3A too, hers was better than Yukari's.
    I think her name was Nelidina, and she disappeared completely after that,
    though I do not know how she did in a junior ranks.

    As for Kanako, she won because of two things, consistency and high PCS,
    and also she has the speed & polished expressiveness(as a junior), which are something most of Junior ladies do not own.
    She is actually not much older than Russian girls as this is only the second year of Junior eligibilty for her.

    We have to wait and see about the future of Russian girls.
    However, it is not difficult to predict about their dominance in the next season's JGPS,
    and probably at least 5 out of 8 JGPS finalists going to be Russians.
    I think at least two or three of them will survive as top senior skaters as there are so many of them now.
    We will see.

    And Yukina Ota, without injury, she could have competed at the Olympic,
    too sad!

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    Quote Originally Posted by bekalc View Post
    Alissa had bad jumping technique, and so I think it played a huge role in her "nerves" . In that sense I actually do think Anna is going to be like the Russian Alissa, lovely skater (although different) but inconsistent. This being said Anna is young enough to work on and improve her jumping technique, so hopefully she will.
    In some ways you may be right, although Alissa always seems a little tentative to me, and she's tentative going into her jumps which is why she falls and under-rotates a lot. Anna actually seems a little reckless to me, she always goes for her triples even if they don't work out and if anything seems to skate with maybe a little too much energy. Alissa was a lot smaller/shorter than Anna when she was 14 so potentially Anna could become an amazon in coming years but hopefully she won't and will continue to work on her jumps, polish, and consistency.

    Polina Agafonova where she's so small if she starts to have trouble with some of her jumps in coming years should just switch to pairs, she'd probably be very good at it and she would only need a few triples to be successful internationally on the senior level.

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