Why is no one doing combos with 3Lo second?
I won't be surprised if Miki Ando wins the World Championships again. She is a very consistent jumper and has been held back by her 3Loop combos and Quad Salchows receiving no credit. Mao Asada may need another year to perfect her new technique and Yu-Na Kim is going to be under an incredible amount of stress (new coach, one who will almost surely be sub-par in comparison to Orser, and her first big competition in an entire year) if she ends up competing at all.
1. Miki Ando
2. Mao Asada
3. Mirai Nagasu
Is what I shall currently predict for the 2011 World Podium. Given what's been happening in Yu-Na's life, I honestly don't think she will make the podium if she shows up. Competing for the first time in a year and in Japan, her nation's "rival country", without Brian Orser at her side and with the added pressure of needing to change her jump layout in the LP to fit the new season's rules...everything is against her right now.
1. Mao Asada. Now that Kim is gone, the ISU knows Asada is the only one worthy of the title. Her PCS will be off the chart.
2. Miki Ando. Her PCS will hold her back. She's like the Zhangs in pairs. Technically very strong, always contending for medals, but doesn't have the total package to win.
3. Laura Lepisto/Carolina Kostner/Rachael Flatt. .
I agree Mao is going to have way higher PCS, but I predict she makes enough mistakes to let a clean Miki Ando with huge tech content barely edge her out - just like 2007 Worlds.
Thereafter, laziness as a result of being World Champion and/or frequent injury as a result of needing to constantly train the Quad Salchow will cause Miki Ando to be off the podium for the rest of her career.
She was relatively lazy after winning her 2007 World Title and I predict the same thing if she wins the next World Title. It's only natural to revel in your victories, in comparison to everyone else training as hard as they can to beat you next time.
You guys assume Miki is going for the Quad Sal in both short and long program? She's not. I don't think she will even attempt it.
Miki w/out the quad will not edge out Asada. Asada, with multiple mistakes, can get above 130. Miki, clean, is about 126. It's unfortunate, but it is what it is.
Mao finished ahead of Miki at Natls, Olympics and Worlds. I see no reason for that trend to change.
Anything is possible - but I see no reason for Mao to have a bad season. If anything having some good coaching should help with consistency and to clean up some bad habits.
And we won't have to watch Mao skating to that monotonous music this season either. Even the bad dresses seem to be gone
My pre-season picks for Worlds:
Gold - Mao
Silver - Yuna/Mirai
Bronze - many possibilties
I suspect her jump layouts will be 3Lz+3Lo, 3F, 2A in the SP and 3T+3Lo, 4S, 3F | 3Lz+2Lo, 3Lz, 3Lo, 2A+2Lo+2Lo in the LP.
Mao will do 3A, 3Lo+3Lo, 3F in the SP and who knows what in the LP. I predict her LP jump layout will give her trouble, though, and she won't be able to get it consistent this season. She will likely still try two Triple Axels in the LP.
Miki will get her 4Sal and her 3-3 combo downgraded in the LP. Mao will get her 3A and 3-3 downgraded in the SP and both her 3A's downgraded in the LP. Since downgraded jumps no longer get hammered, I don't think tech callers will give skaters the benefit of the doubt. If it is borderline, it's getting downgraded. Too bad, so sad, you still get partial credit.
And Rachel Flatt will never be on the World podium, ever.