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Thread: What happened to Shelepen and Gao?

  1. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by chuckm View Post
    The reason why this is Agnes's first international competition is that she just missed (5th) making it out of Junior Sectionals (she was in the midst of a growth spurt). Since she didn't make it to 2009 Nationals, she didn't get any JGP assignments this past season. She was on the JGP substitute list, based on Summer competitions where she was scoring upper 50s in the SP and over 100 in the FS. But she never got the chance to compete internationally until she won the 2010 US Junior Championship.
    This is a good point. Agnes wasn't even good enough to make it to junior nationals last year so really at this age skaters can make a lot of progress. She could be the future but some of these other girls have potential to be even better, maybe, just judging by their level of skating now at ages younger than Agnes. I think Adelina Sotnikova is the Russian with the most talent, everyone keeps hyping Elizaveta but I find her skating kind of boring, Sotnikova is amazing .

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    It wasn't that Agnes wasn't "good enough" to make it to Junior Nationals last year. She was good enough, but she had one bad competition, and it happened at the worst possible time. I saw her skate live in the summer of 2008, and she was simply amazing--but then she grew a lot in a very short time, and it caught up with her at 2009 Nationals. By the summer of 2009, she had adjusted to the growth spurt and was better than ever.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chuckm View Post
    It wasn't that Agnes wasn't "good enough" to make it to Junior Nationals last year. She was good enough, but she had one bad competition, and it happened at the worst possible time. I saw her skate live in the summer of 2008, and she was simply amazing--but then she grew a lot in a very short time, and it caught up with her at 2009 Nationals. By the summer of 2009, she had adjusted to the growth spurt and was better than ever.
    True, but I tend to think that's why juniors are so inconsistent. All the what if's and most of them are good and just get nervous at the wrong time or grow a lot during the middle of the competition season and it throws off their game. Christina was last in novice nationals 2 years ago and 13th at regionals the year before that, Anna finished 16th at Russian Junior Nationals last year, and that cute young girl from Korea Min-Jung Kwak was 22nd at Junior Worlds last year and 11th at both her Junior Grand Prix events this season and then a couple months later was 6th at 4CC and just finished 13th at the Olympics. I guess in CoP without triples your score will always be super low but the improvements these junior girls make in such a short period of time is pretty miraculous. Like comparing Christina last year at Junior Nationals to Christina now or Anna at the JGP in August to Anna now, there has been big improvement in both of their skating. And I read some article somewhere saying that Agnes recently improved her PCS a lot and that might have contributed to why she just missed nationals last season even though she is a great jumper.

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    Quote Originally Posted by silverlake22 View Post
    True, but I tend to think that's why juniors are so inconsistent. All the what if's and most of them are good and just get nervous at the wrong time or grow a lot during the middle of the competition season and it throws off their game. Christina was last in novice nationals 2 years ago and 13th at regionals the year before that, Anna finished 16th at Russian Junior Nationals last year, and that cute young girl from Korea Min-Jung Kwak was 22nd at Junior Worlds last year and 11th at both her Junior Grand Prix events this season and then a couple months later was 6th at 4CC and just finished 13th at the Olympics. I guess in CoP without triples your score will always be super low but the improvements these junior girls make in such a short period of time is pretty miraculous. Like comparing Christina last year at Junior Nationals to Christina now or Anna at the JGP in August to Anna now, there has been big improvement in both of their skating. And I read some article somewhere saying that Agnes recently improved her PCS a lot and that might have contributed to why she just missed nationals last season even though she is a great jumper.
    Realistically - how good can these other skaters be? I really like Kanako - but she is full of flaws and hardly unbeatable by a competent junior skater.

    The key word is competent - that is much more than an edge call here or a ur there. It is about having the whole package. I think Gao and and a few of the Russian baby wonder girls were disappointing. Kanako did not change or get that much better in a couple of months, these other girls just are not that good yet.

    Kanako just has the best package and these other girls are not only lacking - but they are in no way threats to the top senior skaters for atleast a couple of years. :sheesh:
    Last edited by janetfan; 03-15-2010 at 03:08 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by janetfan View Post
    Realistically - how good can these other skaters be? I really like Kanako - but she is full of flaws and hardly unbeatable by a competent junior skater.

    The key word is competent - that is much more than an edge call here or a ur there. It is about having the whole package. I think Gao and and a few of the Russian baby wonder girls were disappointing. Kanako did not change or get that much better in a couple of months, these other girls just are not that good yet.

    Kanako just has the best package and these other girls are not only lacking - but they are in no way threats to the top senior skaters for atleast a couple of years. :sheesh:
    I don't really see how Kanako is "full of flaws", I mean beyond the flutz she doesn't really have any weaknesses in her skating, she's not one of my favorites but is definitely good. And those other girls aren't great YET, but if you aren't impressed by them now, you should have seen them last year, they are all so much better now. So if they can improve that much in a few months it means they can probably improve a lot more in a few years, and then they will be threats to the current senior skaters, many of who will probably be retired by the time these girls reach their prime. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ddDrtT3qGDA Yuna at 14, she wasn't exactly spectacular at that age either, 51 in the SP and 87 in the FS at the JGPF there, but she kept getting better and she became spectacular which could potentially happen to a lot of these other girls.

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    Quote Originally Posted by janetfan View Post
    Realistically - how good can these other skaters be? I really like Kanako - but she is full of flaws and hardly unbeatable by a competent junior skater.

    The key word is competent - that is much more than an edge call here or a ur there. It is about having the whole package. I think Gao and and a few of the Russian baby wonder girls were disappointing. Kanako did not change or get that much better in a couple of months, these other girls just are not that good yet.

    Kanako just has the best package and these other girls are not only lacking - but they are in no way threats to the top senior skaters for atleast a couple of years. :sheesh:
    Some of these girls are really young. The ones that endure puberty may prove as a threat in 4 years, because they will be in their prime (17-19) while top girls will be much older. Mirai is fine since she'll only be 20 but Yuna and Mao will be around 23 by next Olympics. As much as I love Michelle, I have to admit age was catching up on her by that age.

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    By the time Michelle was 21, she was already beginning to feel pain from her failing hip. She gradually cut back on her jump repertoire from that time on. It wasn't age that did her in, it was a hip injury that resulted from all those years of competitions.

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    Quote Originally Posted by silverlake22 View Post
    I don't really see how Kanako is "full of flaws", I mean beyond the flutz she doesn't really have any weaknesses in her skating, she's not one of my favorites but is definitely good. And those other girls aren't great YET, but if you aren't impressed by them now, you should have seen them last year, they are all so much better now. So if they can improve that much in a few months it means they can probably improve a lot more in a few years, and then they will be threats to the current senior skaters, many of who will probably be retired by the time these girls reach their prime. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ddDrtT3qGDA Yuna at 14, she wasn't exactly spectacular at that age either, 51 in the SP and 87 in the FS at the JGPF there, but she kept getting better and she became spectacular which could potentially happen to a lot of these other girls.
    OK, I agree and all my point was that all of this chatter is premature.
    I thought Kanako would win if she skated well - and she did. I am not the big critic of her skating here - but reading other posts it makes Kanako sound like a basket case. :sheesh: :sheesh:

    I have seen her skate at Japanese Natls and have watched a few clips of the Russian wonder babies. From what i see Kananko may be a force on the senior circuit by next season. All of the Russian babies are just too young to predict yet.

    None of them are as good as Caroline was a couple of years ago - but maybe they have better jump technique. But we have to wait and see if they take their jumps with them AFTER they grow.

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    Quote Originally Posted by janetfan View Post
    None of them are as good as Caroline was a couple of years ago - but maybe they have better jump technique. But we have to wait and see if they take their jumps with them AFTER they grow.
    And thanks God, none of them have Caroline's problems! Their jumps are MUCH better and none of them are as slow as Caroline was/is

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    Quote Originally Posted by chuckm View Post
    The reason why this is Agnes's first international competition is that she just missed (5th) making it out of Junior Sectionals (she was in the midst of a growth spurt). Since she didn't make it to 2009 Nationals, she didn't get any JGP assignments this past season. She was on the JGP substitute list, based on Summer competitions where she was scoring upper 50s in the SP and over 100 in the FS. But she never got the chance to compete internationally until she won the 2010 US Junior Championship.
    But the point was not making out of sectionals-was absolutely her fault. Just like it was Murakami's fault she didn't skate well at Japanese Junior Nationals a year ago. Of course I think the USFSA was silly not to send her to a JGP this year. When they KNEW she was their best junior prospect by far. What's ridiculous was their decision to give Ellie Kawamura a second spot. Now don't get me wrong Ellie earned her first JGP assignment. But she didn't earn a second one, giving her placement, or score, or the jump content she currently has. The USFSA could have justifiably sent Agnes to that JGP instead of Ellie. You know that's what the Russians would have done, if they had a promising skater who just had one unfortunate competition.

    And once again I was just disagreeing with the concept that Murakami isn't special. And to be quite frank skaters progress at different age levels anyways. So how old someone is doesn't completely matter. Just because you were better than someone when you were 14 doesn't mean you'll eventually be better than them.
    Last edited by bekalc; 03-15-2010 at 05:11 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bekalc View Post
    But the point was not making out of sectionals-was absolutely her fault. Just like it was Murakami's fault she didn't skate well at Japanese Junior Nationals a year ago. Of course I think the USFSA was silly not to send her to a JGP this year. When they KNEW she was their best junior prospect by far. What's ridiculous was their decision to give Ellie Kawamura a second spot. Now don't get me wrong Ellie earned her first JGP assignment. But she didn't earn a second one, giving her placement, or score, or the jump content she currently has. The USFSA could have justifiably sent Agnes to that JGP instead of Ellie. You know that's what the Russians would have done, if they had a promising skater who just had one unfortunate competition.

    And once again I was just disagreeing with the concept that Murakami isn't special. And to be quite frank skaters progress at different age levels anyways. So how old someone is doesn't completely matter. Just because you were better than someone when you were 14 doesn't mean you'll eventually be better than them.
    You are forgetting that Ellie was the Junior ladies silver medalist at NATIONALS last year while Agnes didn't make it out of sectionals. Ellie also had most of her triples last year, including a solid triple lutz, and it wasn't until recently when she had a growth spurt that she lost most of her triples and was left with only a shaky 3t and 3sal. She came in 4th at her first JGP so the USFSA probably assumed she was just nervous and had a bad competition and assumed she would do better at the next event, which she did because she earned the bronze medal and that qualified her for the JGPF. Her jumps seem to have gotten less secure over the course of year probably because of growth or injury if I had to guess but the USFSA didn't know that she was going to lose most of her triples this season when they assigned her to JGP and they also didn't know that Agnes was going to improve a lot this year by the time they had to make the assignments.

    And the Russians actually did send the top 3 finishers at the junior nationals to junior worlds, so I'm not sure if that assertion is valid. Though Elizaveta and Adelina weren't old enough to compete at JW this year, most people considered them to be better skaters than Polina Agafonova and Anna, but at Junior Nationals, they skated poorly and Anna and Polina A skated well, placed in the top 2 and got sent to JW. Polina almost didn't make the JW team because her SP at Jr nationals was really bad but then she came back in the FS and moved up to 3rd overall and was sent. Polina S and Anna are also probably kicking themselves now because if Polina S had done a clean SP up to her ability and Anna had done a clean LP up to her ability, they probably both could have medaled and the podium potentially could have been all Russian. But they each didn't deliver in one part of the competition and resultantly ended up in 4th and 5th and that is their fault, especially because they might not have another chance to go to JW if their teammates skate better than them at Russian Junior Nationals next year and if that happens it's harder for them to get senior GP events.

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    You are forgetting that Ellie was the Junior ladies silver medalist at NATIONALS last year while Agnes didn't make it out of sectionals. Ellie also had most of her triples last year, including a solid triple lutz, and it wasn't until recently when she had a growth spurt that she lost most of her triples and was left with only a shaky 3t and 3sal. She came in 4th at her first JGP so the USFSA probably assumed she was just nervous and had a bad competition and assumed she would do better at the next event, which she did because she earned the bronze medal and that qualified her for the JGPF. Her jumps seem to have gotten less secure over the course of year probably because of growth or injury if I had to guess but the USFSA didn't know that she was going to lose most of her triples this season when they assigned her to JGP and they also didn't know that Agnes was going to improve a lot this year by the time they had to make the assignments.
    You misread my post. I said Ellie earned her first spot she didn't earn her second. When Maxwell placed 3rd at her first JGP a couple of years ago, they didn't give her a second spot. So why should Ellie get a second spot for placing 4th? And as for it being "just a bad skate' Its not like in her first event Ellie fell attempting 3lutzs. She didn't attempt anything harder than a 3salchow..... So there was a little more going on at that competition than just "nerves. I'd have been more inclined to cut her a break if she was attemping jump content that was actually competitive.

    And what the biggest issue to was that they gave her that assignment early before they could see how the other girls did, even though neither her score nor her placement was that impressive. Gong also placed fourth at her assignment, with a higher scores than Ellie, and attempting the harder jumps. So how was it even fair? If they weren't going to send Agnes, they could have at least waited to assign Ellie, based on her not so great performance.

    And as for Agnes, she didn't magically "improve" She had a poor skate at what happened to be a really tough sectionals. It was a fluke. Agnes that summer leading into the JGP was putting up huge scores in the summer camps, higher than anything the other US girls were doing.
    Last edited by bekalc; 03-15-2010 at 07:08 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bekalc View Post
    You misread my post. I said Ellie earned her first spot she didn't earn her second. When Maxwell placed 3rd at her first JGP a couple of years ago, they didn't give her a second spot. So why should Ellie get a second spot for placing 4th? And as for it being "just a bad skate' Its not like in her first event Ellie fell attempting 3lutzs. She didn't attempt anything harder than a 3salchow..... So there was a little more going on at that competition than just "nerves. I'd have been more inclined to cut her a break if she was attemping jump content that was actually competitive.

    And what the biggest issue to was that they gave her that assignment early before they could see how the other girls did, even though neither her score nor her placement was that impressive. Gong also placed fourth at her assignment, with a higher scores than Ellie, and attempting the harder jumps. So how was it even fair? If they weren't going to send Agnes, they could have at least waited to assign Ellie, based on her not so great performance.

    And as for Agnes, she didn't magically "improve" She had a poor skate at what happened to be a really tough sectionals. It was a fluke. Agnes that summer leading into the JGP was putting up huge scores in the summer camps, higher than anything the other US girls were doing.
    Yeah I understand what you are saying, but I think where Agnes didn't make it to nationals, even if it was a fluke, it kind of took her off the radar screen. Has the USFSA ever given JGP assignments to skaters that don't compete at nationals? The 5th place finisher at junior nationals didn't get JGP assignments so why would the 5th place finisher at sectionals get a JGP assignment? I think if they gave Agnes JGP assignments this year it would be unfair to all the girls who competed at nationals on the junior level who didn't get assignments, and I'm sure there is some kind of protocol for sending people to the JGP and to be on a Team USA envelope I'm pretty sure you have to make it to nationals.

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    Quote Originally Posted by silverlake22 View Post
    Yeah I understand what you are saying, but I think where Agnes didn't make it to nationals, even if it was a fluke, it kind of took her off the radar screen. Has the USFSA ever given JGP assignments to skaters that don't compete at nationals? The 5th place finisher at junior nationals didn't get JGP assignments so why would the 5th place finisher at sectionals get a JGP assignment? I think if they gave Agnes JGP assignments this year it would be unfair to all the girls who competed at nationals on the junior level who didn't get assignments, and I'm sure there is some kind of protocol for sending people to the JGP and to be on a Team USA envelope I'm pretty sure you have to make it to nationals.
    The problem is that the system for making it to Nationals isn't fair to begin with. Its based on where you live (or what club you started from etc) Somebody can get through easily with horrible jump content/performance because they come from a part of the country that is weak skating wise.

    However someone who is really talented can have a hard time qualifying for nationals because they have a difficult qualifier. This happened to Agnes where at least two of the girls who were at her sectionals medaled at Junior Nationals this year. Now yes I know we have the GP events etc but the difference is that the ISU isn't looking to find the best skaters they can find to represent this country. The USFSA is. (Imagine a talented skater gets an injury at sectionals-there are no byes)

    This is one area where Marta Karoyli in gymnastics is quite smart. In order to make it to the US Nationals for the ladies you have to reach a certain qualifying score at a competition that year (if you don't have a bye already due to last year's nationals). You can also get a waiver or a bye too if Marta deems you worthy. I.e Rebecca Bross got injured at Classics and got a waiver. While she's not everybody's favorite gymnast, considering she ended up medaling at the All Around at worlds-it was smart).

    The point is if there was some kind of qualifying score, Agnes would have been for Nationals that year because that was just a weak/fluke like skate from her. And the thing is a lot of people think she was the best Junior in the US last year.

    So seriously the whole system in the US is seriously screwed up, and because of it the most talented US Junior skater, didn't get international experience going into Junior worlds. And they actually knew she was still good because they made her an alternate based on her scores at some summer club competitions.

    And Agnes isn't the only case of this one.
    Last edited by bekalc; 03-15-2010 at 11:01 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bekalc View Post
    The problem is that the system for making it to Nationals isn't fair to begin with. Its based on where you live (or what club you started from etc) Somebody can get through easily with horrible jump content/performance because they come from a part of the country that is weak skating wise.

    However someone who is really talented can have a hard time qualifying for nationals because they have a difficult qualifier. This happened to Agnes where at least two of the girls who were at her sectionals medaled at Junior Nationals this year. Now yes I know we have the GP events etc but the difference is that the ISU isn't looking to find the best skaters they can find to represent this country. The USFSA is. (Imagine a talented skater gets an injury at sectionals-there are no byes)

    This is one area where Marta Karoyli in gymnastics is quite smart. In order to make it to the US Nationals for the ladies you have to reach a certain qualifying score at a competition that year (if you don't have a bye already due to last year's nationals). You can also get a waiver or a bye too if Marta deems you worthy. I.e Rebecca Bross got injured at Classics and got a waiver. While she's not everybody's favorite gymnast, considering she ended up medaling at the All Around at worlds-it was smart).

    The point is if there was some kind of qualifying score, Agnes would have been for Nationals that year because that was just a weak/fluke like skate from her. And the thing is a lot of people think she was the best Junior in the US last year.

    So seriously the whole system in the US is seriously screwed up, and because of it the most talented US Junior skater, didn't get international experience going into Junior worlds. And they actually knew she was still good because they made her an alternate based on her scores at some summer club competitions.

    And Agnes isn't the only case of this one.
    I understand your point, but I mean the same can be said about people living in different countries. If Jenna McCorkell lived in the US, she likely wouldn't make it to nationals, but because she is from Great Britain, she's been national champion several times and always gets to skate on the grand prix and other big international competitions. Why do you think Ksenia Makarova skates for Russia and not the US? And I actually think the level of difficulty at all the US sectionals is pretty comparable, as a lot of skaters hail from the northeast, midwest, california, and colorado. The system maybe isn't super fair but it's just the way things work. In the US, it's tough to make nationals and really difficult to make World and Olympic teams but that is just the reality of being such a strong skating nation. In countries where skating isn't very popular (Austria, Germany, China, eastern Europe apart from Russia all come to mind), the standards are not quite so high, but you can't chose what nationality you are or if you live in Colorado or Boston so really I think the system will just stay the way it is, because it is so hard to get to nationals it means the skaters that do make it there are of very high quality.

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