All of the Russian girls are so inconsistent. They can't even beat Murakami, flaws and all. The puberty monster is after them. I honestly don't see them as serious contenders. Irina at 13 or 14 was already dominating the junior circuit. At 15, she was on the world podium, won Euro, medaled at the GPF. The difference: consistency. I don't see any of these girls on the world podium by next year. I don't even see them beating Murakami by next year.
It was Michelle Kwan, not Irina who was dominating at age 13. Irina didn't even medal at her first Junior worlds, when she was 13/14...And she didn't medal at worlds until she was `17.
Eliza and a lot of these kids are really young... One or two are going to figure it out.
Elizaveta has long legs, so I think she still has a lot to grow.
Give these girls a few years, I'm sure some of them will survive puberty with most of the jumps intact. You have to bear in mind that Murakami is significantly older than Shelepen, Ovcharova, and Agafonova. I mean, she is a year and a half older than Anna who beat her in the SP and almost a year older than Polina who beat her in the SP at the JGPF and only lost to her at that event because of PCS. Birukova and Ovcharova may be mostly done growing too, they don't really look like little kids, and if they are it likely means they will continue to progress in coming years without a lot of setbacks and maybe pull ahead of the other girls. Elizaveta was 12 until a few months ago so honestly, she has plenty of time.
This is what Yuna was skating like when she was 14:
Not exactly spectacular, so I'd say those young Russian girls are doing pretty darn good considering they are so young and a lot of them only had doubles just last year.
Exactly. She's just a little girl who has been tauted as the next big thing, and so has tons of pressure on her, and she's just trying to figure out how to deal with that. Even Tara who became an amazing competitor, struggled for a bit with consistency when she was Elizaveta's age.Elizaveta was 12 until a few months ago so honestly, she has plenty of time.
And as for Murakami, while she has some issues, Murakami is a wonderful skater with beautiful edges and flow accross the ice. Some of the technique on her jumps isn't the best, but this year they were rotated. The young Russians were much more consistent than Kanako was when Kanako was their age.
There are a lot of things that Kanako does very well that a lot of young skaters could learn from.
Last edited by bekalc; 04-13-2010 at 01:27 AM.
Also, apparently both of Liza's parents are short so she is not expected to grow much more, she does have very long legs though.
Polina Shelepen - She's not a choker, and even when she makes mistakes, you can always count on her to earn a decent score and respectable placement. At Junior Nationals and Junior Worlds she had very dissapointing SPs, but then rallied in the FS and pulled herself up siginificantly, earning a medal at the Junior Nationals event. At the JGPF, she had a VERY rough warm up before the LP and still managed to put out a good performance and hang on to 2nd place. She's reliable, and that's a good quality to have considering she's only 14 and appears to be going through some growing pains.
Anna Ovhcarova - This girl has proven she can't be counted out. She started off shaky at JGP Budapest finishing 5th but then went on to win the silver at JGP Torun, beating Christina Gao and putting out a solid SP and LP. At the JGPF she admitted to being nervous as it was such a big event but she held her own and placed a respectable 5th. At senior Russian Nationals she made a splash and showed consistency, placing 5th in both portions of the competition and finishing 5th overall. At junior nationals she was not favored to medal given the deep field with Liza, Adelina, Polina Shelepen, etc, but she proved people wrong. Her SP was not great but she went on to win the FS, scoring almost 110 points, and surprise everyone by winning the silver medal. At Junior Worlds I think people expected her to maybe make the top 10, but she was not a medal favorite by any means, then she went out there and won the SP with a big score. Her FS there was not great but through winning the SP she learned a valuable lesson, that there is pressure after being the leader in the SP and that she let that pressure get to her, now she and her coach know that and can work on takling that issue in the future.
Polina Agafonova - Like Ovcharova, she proved she can't be counted out. She did poorly at her first JGP event then redeemed herself by winning bronze at the JGP Germany. She didn't make the final and has a dissapointing showing at Russian senior nationals, but then went on to win the Junior National title, where she wasn't even a medal favorite considering the depth of the field. She showed poise and consistency at that event, placing 2nd in both the SP and FS to come out 1st overall. At JW she was not a medal favorite either, and then had a great showing in the SP and was able to hold onto her nerve and hang onto a medal after her FS, in which she shattered her previous PB score by 20 some points.
I know I was impressed with these girls, at the beginning of the season I really did not think Agafonova and Ovcharova were anythig special and now I'm a big fan of both of them, they are clearly very hard workers and want to do well and it's paying off.
Its hard to know with Liza, but she has good technique on her jumps. What I like about Liza too is that she also has good skating skills, edges as well.
Polina Agafonova I think might have the best technique of those young girls. Her technique on the 2a is quite frankly awful but her technique on the other jumps is really solid as far as I can tell. I know she sometimes has UR issues but she is also very young and has time to work on that, plus I think once she grows and gains some strength that will help with the URs.
The thing is though, most likely these girls will have to rework their technique anyway. Mirai as a little 13 year old had pretty good technique and she still had to relearn it this year after her body changed. Caroline hasn't been doing well because she never really reworked her technique after her body changed. Rachael had no speed and a flutz and mule kick when she was younger but she worked to fix those things. Mao had to rework her 3a even though she had good technique after she grew, but she managed to do it. So the thing is, while good technique is promising, it doesn't actually say that much about the future. Kimmie had good technique and wasn't really ever able to bounce back after her body changed. I think we'll just have to wait and see.
Last edited by silverlake22; 04-13-2010 at 01:39 PM.
I just looked at the protocols, Anna got +GOE on all of her jumping passes in the SP at Junior Worlds, not big +GOE but not one judge gave her any minuses for any jump in that program so if they think her jumps are ok then they probably are .
Also, Polina Agafonova's 3lz-3t was not downgraded in either program at JW, I thought it was because of her scores, but that's good news.
So proud of those two girls, they are too cute.
This girl has some good technique http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D4uJu...eature=related
Last edited by silverlake22; 04-13-2010 at 03:04 PM.