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Thread: Ladies SP-Courtney Hicks up first

  1. #196
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    I fnd Najarro's skating quite pleasant, but her and Grenier's failure here is really symptomatic of a larger problem in Canadian ladies. Regardless of what the solo jump is , very few of the juniors have a 3Lo, 3F or 3Lz. The junior champion didn't land anything beyond a 3T. I don't know enough about Canadian skating at the lower levels to know why this is (I've heard lack of final rounds being mentioned more than once), but my opinion while watching Canadian nationals was that the ladies seemed comfortable just doing a 3T and 3S, because there was no reason to go for anything else. Additionally, very few had impressive non jump elements or presentation - competent, but no wow factor.

  2. #197
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    najarro

    Thanks for explaining that to me. I was wondering why she chose the loop. Seems like a crazy rule to me, especially for juniors. There are some jumps even the best senior skaters never master. Yu Na Kim -- she rarely attempts the loop right? Mao Asada last year didn't do lutz or salchow didn't she? Carolina Kostner is the European champion and she hasn't been doing flips or lutzes all season. And I think Alissa Czisny doesn't do a salchow in her program. Alexandra would have been better doing the double. Nicole Schott did a double and was 15th. And considering the protocols of a few of the others above Alexandra it seems like she got a raw deal. Maybe bc she was so early to skate.

  3. #198
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    Quote Originally Posted by oleada View Post
    I fnd Najarro's skating quite pleasant, but her and Grenier's failure here is really symptomatic of a larger problem in Canadian ladies. Regardless of what the solo jump is , very few of the juniors have a 3Lo, 3F or 3Lz. The junior champion didn't land anything beyond a 3T. I don't know enough about Canadian skating at the lower levels to know why this is (I've heard lack of final rounds being mentioned more than once), but my opinion while watching Canadian nationals was that the ladies seemed comfortable just doing a 3T and 3S, because there was no reason to go for anything else. Additionally, very few had impressive non jump elements or presentation - competent, but no wow factor.
    Thanks Oleada, just saw your post. I agree, Canadian ladies seem to have a lower standard than other countries like the US, Japan, Russia -- maybe because of a lower population to begin with, but then there are lots of successful Canadian men with good technical. I don't understand what you mean by lack of final rounds. But you're right, watching the Canadians you're struck by few difficult jumps and lots of falls when they do try them. Joannie was an exception, not the rule. I do think Alexandra has much nicer presentation than many of the ladies. I thought she has a grace, flow and elegance, and hit some nice positions, but still needs to reach full maturity.

  4. #199
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    Quote Originally Posted by hughgraham2 View Post
    Thanks for explaining that to me. I was wondering why she chose the loop. Seems like a crazy rule to me, especially for juniors. There are some jumps even the best senior skaters never master. Yu Na Kim -- she rarely attempts the loop right? Mao Asada last year didn't do lutz or salchow didn't she? Carolina Kostner is the European champion and she hasn't been doing flips or lutzes all season. And I think Alissa Czisny doesn't do a salchow in her program.
    On the contrary, I'd think it's even more important for the Juniors to have that rule since that's the time for them to be learning. Those Seniors had to skate under the same rules, too, when they were Juniors. Kim can do a 3Lo, Asada can do a 3S, Kostner has shown she can do flips and lutzes. If the rules for Juniors hadn't been in place, who knows if they would have been more limited.

  5. #200
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    Originally Posted by hughgraham2
    Thanks for explaining that to me. I was wondering why she chose the loop. Seems like a crazy rule to me, especially for juniors. There are some jumps even the best senior skaters never master. Yu Na Kim -- she rarely attempts the loop right? Mao Asada last year didn't do lutz or salchow didn't she? Carolina Kostner is the European champion and she hasn't been doing flips or lutzes all season. And I think Alissa Czisny doesn't do a salchow in her program.
    Thats all the more reason to encourage all the jumps. However, I must say its rather unfair to compare Kostner 3lutz and 3flip to Asada and Kim's 3sal and 3loop woes. Kostner is injured and is probably past her prime. But for a lot of years Kostner did do 3lutzs and 3flips, and she's even landing numerous gorgeous 3flip/3toes in her prime. And most people don't find Kostners current success with Katerina Witt like content programs to be a great thing. The 3toe, 3sal European Champion days are coming to end very soon if the Russian Wonder babies have their say.

    As for Yu-na, she managed to win a Junior World Silver medal and a Junior Grand Prix Silver medal, in the year the loop was the required jump. Although she messed it up in the short at Junior worlds and didn't attempt it in the long, Kim landed quite a few 3loops as a Junior. If your missing a jump you need other things to make up for it.

  6. #201
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    Quote Originally Posted by bekalc View Post
    TThe 3toe, 3sal European Champion days are coming to end very soon if the Russian Wonder babies have their say.
    Truer words were never spoken.

  7. #202
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    Quote Originally Posted by bekalc View Post
    Thats all the more reason to encourage all the jumps. However, I must say its rather unfair to compare Kostner 3lutz and 3flip to Asada and Kim's 3sal and 3loop woes. Kostner is injured and is probably past her prime. But for a lot of years Kostner did do 3lutzs and 3flips, and she's even landing numerous gorgeous 3flip/3toes in her prime. And most people don't find Kostners current success with Katerina Witt like content programs to be a great thing. The 3toe, 3sal European Champion days are coming to end very soon if the Russian Wonder babies have their say.

    As for Yu-na, she managed to win a Junior World Silver medal and a Junior Grand Prix Silver medal, in the year the loop was the required jump. Although she messed it up in the short at Junior worlds and didn't attempt it in the long, Kim landed quite a few 3loops as a Junior. If your missing a jump you need other things to make up for it.
    Thanks -- good points. Important to be well rounded. I just think there are some great skaters in history who didn't have certain jumps (Scott Hamilton, the loop, for eg, Kurt Browning, the lutz), and it would be nice to give them the flexibility to choose, without being penalised. But I guess they have that flexibility in seniors, so that's good

  8. #203
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    Quote Originally Posted by oleada View Post
    Same jump. It's a difficult variation made famous by Brian Boitano - hence its name. What Liza did would be a 2 Axel 'Tano.
    Thanks! I'd only heard of the Lutz 'Tano before ... I thought this might have been named after someone else
    Last edited by composer; 03-06-2011 at 12:13 AM.

  9. #204
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    Quote Originally Posted by blue_idealist View Post
    Even Nagasu didn't rise to a lot of people's expectations. Remember the Russian babies from 1996, not really seen or heard from shortly after.
    Mirai's not too shabby -- her 2010 Nationals performances, 2010 Olympic performances, 2010 Worlds SP and 2011 4CC LP come to mind as skates I love to rewatch. She has two National titles, a fourth place at one of the best skated Olympics, a PB of 190 (SP 70, LP 129), silver at a Grand Prix and bronze at an ISU championship.

    I didn't partake in the Zhang fad several years back because her jumps technique was seriously sloppy, couldn't see how she could keep her jumps for more than a couple of years. I never believed Kimmie Meissner would repeat her 2006 Worlds fluke. She was a nice skater, but not in the leagues of Miki Ando, Mao Asada and Yu-na Kim at their best. The cleanest technicians seem to enjoy the greatest longevity in this sport: Michelle Kwan, Irina Slutskaya, Shizuka Arakawa, Fumie Suguri, Miki Ando. Adelina and Liza are much better technicians than Caroline Zhang or Kimmie Meissner. Adelina flutzes, but she's sometimes borderline (like in the recent short), which gives me hope that she's (1) working on it or (2) like Mirai, can fix it with sufficient effort. Like I've said before, I see these two girls sticking around for quite some time barring injury or catastrophic growth spurt (which I still see them weathering given their clean technique). I don't think it's too early to predict greatness for them. When Mao and Yu-na first burst onto the scene in 2005, I knew both of them would reign supreme in the following quad. I suspect the same for Adelina and Liza.

  10. #205
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    I feel the same way about Adelina and Liza. Puberty might slow them down for a year or two, but I doubt it will knock them out completely. I mean, Polina Shelepen and Christina Gao don't have as good jump technique as Liza and Adelina and though they both struggled a bit this season, they still managed to stay competitive in a very deep field and continued to do difficult 3-3s while going through big growthspurts. Worst case scenario they might end up like Mirai and really struggle for one season before coming back strong, but I don't think even that will happen because both girls have stronger technique than Mirai and aren't chronic under-rotaters like Mirai. So unless either girl undergoes a serious injury, I tend to think they will be forces in the years to come, and will be forces immediately just like Kanako was this year. And to be perfectly honest, Kanako last season was nowhere near as good as Adelina or Liza, and her scores at the junior events last season prove that. Of the other Russian girls, Rosa and Anna are promising but Rosa seems very inconsistent and Anna doesn't have the best technique and we will also have to see how she bounces back from her injury. Shelepen seems very determined and if she's willing to make changes and really work on cleaning up her skating she could be a force once she settles into her body. I love Birukova but she's a headcase coached by a former headcase so I don't know if it will all come together for her in time for Sochi.

    Japanese ladies are also strong. If Mao and Miki are planning to stick around until Sochi, they'll likely face stiff competition from Kanako, Risa, and Miyabi who all are very promising.

  11. #206
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    I'm not sure how those girls can be compared to Caroline Zhang. Both are better skaters just in general. The thing about Zhang is she was much tinier than both girls and her jumps when she was little were barely rotated and eeked out. Jenny Kirk was another one tiny itty bitty jumps.
    If you have someone who is just eeking out their jumps pre puberty, its hard to imagine that they are going to have great jumps when they grow hips. In contrast take Yu-na Kim as a young jumper and Yu-na had these big huge jumps. Is it so surprising that Yu-na had an easier time handling puberty when Kim was use to jumping big from the very beginning? Same goes with Ando, and while Asada's jumps aren't perfect they are big too.

    That's one thing about Adelina (who i don't think is that little) her jumps are seriously huge. Its hard to know for sure how puberty will affect her but that's a good sign.

    And as for Mirai, Mirai's had issues cheating her jumps for a long time. But I think the other issue with Nagasu is the rumors about her work ethic that keep on coming up. That's frankly the it factor not only does the skater have to withstand injury, make it through puberty but they also have to have the drive to really work had and improve daily.

    Yes Nagasu was injured this summer. But lots of skaters deal with these kinds of things. Its telling that Carroll felt she wasn't training properly until a few weeks before Nationals. Its not a good sign that an athlete would stagnant after just missing an Olympic and World podium. Athletes with hearts of champions are always driven to improve.

  12. #207
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    Quote Originally Posted by hughgraham2 View Post
    Thanks Oleada, just saw your post. I agree, Canadian ladies seem to have a lower standard than other countries like the US, Japan, Russia -- maybe because of a lower population to begin with, but then there are lots of successful Canadian men with good technical. I don't understand what you mean by lack of final rounds. But you're right, watching the Canadians you're struck by few difficult jumps and lots of falls when they do try them. Joannie was an exception, not the rule. I do think Alexandra has much nicer presentation than many of the ladies. I thought she has a grace, flow and elegance, and hit some nice positions, but still needs to reach full maturity.
    IMO lack of final rounds is a big issue.

    In a typical summer or fall competition all there are often too many ladies competing to put them all in one group ( unlike the other disciplines ). Therefore it is not unusual for the field to be subdivided into as many as 7 groups for example ( pre-novice usually having the most entries )

    Only in Thornhill ( from pre-novice to junior ) do the best skaters in each group face off directly against each other in a final. Everywhere else there aren't any event finals.

    What this creates is an environment where the best skaters never face each other. Often there is at most one talented skater in each group. In junior ladies for example that lady will win the group simply by landing one triple and/or double axel jump as the rest of the group is so weak that they have no hope at all of landing any double axel or higher jump. Indeed many of the junior ladies in these competitions make mistakes with even simpler jumps. Often these skaters are also weak in the other aspects of skating as well. You just want to push most of these ladies as they crawl along the ice.

    In this environment, there is simply nothing to give an incentive for the talented skaters to add things to their arsenal and improve. I am not saying that our ladies aren't motivated but even
    the most motivated people sometimes need external inspiration to push themselves. One source of that inspiration is seeing a wonderful spin or something from another competitor. The talented ladies in Canada get none of that stimulation.

    As well , it is not a wonder that our best ladies are overwhelmed at an international competition with much stronger fields. If the best ladies faced off directly against each other, the step to international competition would not seem such a big step.

    In pairs , men and dance, there are no subdivisions of the skaters hence all the good skaters compete directly against each other all the time.

    Really event finals IMO are needed at all competitions and levels starting at pre-juvenile. Canada does not have a national juvenile or lower competition in place so it is important that at least the best juvenile skaters face each other in each section often and even that is not happening.

    Also our ladies should go to the American comps more often.

    In Canada, most of the pairs will compete in Quebec and/or Indy. Pretty much all our junior ice dancers compete in Ottawa with many doing Lake Placid and/or Thornhill as well. The men usually all go to one of Quebec, Thornhill or BC. So our best skaters often see each other. This does not happen with the ladies.

  13. #208
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    Quote Originally Posted by bekalc View Post
    I'm not sure how those girls can be compared to Caroline Zhang. Both are better skaters just in general. The thing about Zhang is she was much tinier than both girls and her jumps when she was little were barely rotated and eeked out. Jenny Kirk was another one tiny itty bitty jumps.
    If you have someone who is just eeking out their jumps pre puberty, its hard to imagine that they are going to have great jumps when they grow hips. In contrast take Yu-na Kim as a young jumper and Yu-na had these big huge jumps. Is it so surprising that Yu-na had an easier time handling puberty when Kim was use to jumping big from the very beginning? Same goes with Ando, and while Asada's jumps aren't perfect they are big too.

    That's one thing about Adelina (who i don't think is that little) her jumps are seriously huge. Its hard to know for sure how puberty will affect her but that's a good sign.

    And as for Mirai, Mirai's had issues cheating her jumps for a long time. But I think the other issue with Nagasu is the rumors about her work ethic that keep on coming up. That's frankly the it factor not only does the skater have to withstand injury, make it through puberty but they also have to have the drive to really work had and improve daily.

    Yes Nagasu was injured this summer. But lots of skaters deal with these kinds of things. Its telling that Carroll felt she wasn't training properly until a few weeks before Nationals. Its not a good sign that an athlete would stagnant after just missing an Olympic and World podium. Athletes with hearts of champions are always driven to improve.
    All very good points. Adelina's jumps really are humongous, she gets more height on them than some pairs get on their throws! Also her coach was asked about if she worried about puberty, etc and she said that Adelina is very good about eating healthy and controlling her portions, and isn't interested in boys and partying so it sounds like she has the right mindset and a great work ethic so different from Mirai in that respect. I don't know about Liza she seems like she could have more of a diva attitude but I think having Adelina around will keep her focused.

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