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Thread: What will the 2011/2012 season bring us in ladies?

  1. #16
    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    I'd like to see a True Lutz from Kanako and not the second Flip which gets full Lutz Base Value before the penalties are imposed. She's a Senior Lady now and her Tech should be at the Senior Level and not at the 'Attempt' Level. The 'Attempts' belong in Novice.

  2. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sylvia View Post
    Akiko Suzuki currently is in Detroit getting choreography from Pasquale Camerlengo. She is scheduled to perform in the Detroit Skating Club's benefit show for Japan on Thursday, June 9 (not sure if she is performing in the other DSC shows June 10-12?) -- for more info about the show: http://www.goldenskate.com/forum/sho...-support-Japan
    I hope this means that Suzuki is staying in! She's such a delight to watch.

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    Did I miss something?
    Why nobody talkes about Yu-Na Kim. Did she announced that she won't participate next season or what?
    If she is in the game, we can only discuss about who can be on the top if she messes up!

  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigdeal View Post
    Did I miss something?
    Why nobody talkes about Yu-Na Kim. Did she announced that she won't participate next season or what?
    If she is in the game, we can only discuss about who can be on the top if she messes up!
    I guess it's because it doesn't matter if she skate clean or not: she will always end up on the podium...

  5. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigdeal View Post
    Did I miss something?
    Why nobody talkes about Yu-Na Kim. Did she announced that she won't participate next season or what?
    If she is in the game, we can only discuss about who can be on the top if she messes up!
    I have very little idea what Kim's competitive plans are. Operating on the assumption that Pyeonchang does get the 2018 Winter Olympics, it's hard to know the extent of her duties as Olympic Ambassador will be. It's a good question, but there isn't much discussion from my end. I just don't know, and guestimating is less fun.

    Some thoughts on Alissa Czisny
    1. The competition next season isn't improving THAT much: She's guaranteed two GP slots. Despite the presence of the RBB (Russian Baby Brigade), none of them are guaranteed even one. On top of that, new GP system doesn't help those trying to break into the SGP. But assuming that Adelina and Eliza both get two slots (likely for the former, less so for the latter), they both have to miss Worlds. Meanwhile, Miki Ando may or may not be there, Mao Asada is still reworking her stuff, Kostner/Makarova/Nagasu are inconsistent, Leonova had the SOHL and still missed the Worlds podium, Murakami is green, etc. I genuinely don't see it the deep field people are proclaiming. By 2012/2013? Yeah, definitely.

    2. Not a world medalist in the judges eyes? Really? She missed the podium due to the fall on her lutz. Had she landed it with the same GOE she got on her later one, she's on the podium. This isn't like Phaneuf in fifth in 2010 where she had a really great skate but still missed the podium. This is a skater that had a big flaw in her skate and was the still closest American woman to the podium at Worlds/Olympics since Meissner/Cohen at Worlds 2006. I'd actually argue an analogy would be Rochette in 2008. Both skaters had problems with believing in themselves, but had their best result which motivated further refinement/improvement. I don't think Czisny is at Rochette's level in terms of jumps, which obviously caps the points she can get, but goodness, I think she can (nay, she will) improve next season. I don't expect to see her in Sochi (American ladies getting stronger and

    3. Now, I'm not saying it's a guarantee. But what I saw this season was a skater who improved in many areas. The most notable improvement I saw was in her drive to compete and general competitive vigour. That she didn't get a medal this year.... well, this year was a difficult one to calibrate for. To be fair, I'd feel more comfortable with my prediction if the US ladies had three spots for next year.

  6. #21
    leave no stone unturned seniorita's Avatar
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    Rbb
    (my coffee is on the screen now)

  7. #22
    Rejoicing in the land of Kwan kwanatic's Avatar
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    I think next year will really set the tone for Soichi, at least a little bit.

    Russian Babies (or RBB; I totally love that BTW!)

    Be afraid...be very afraid. These girls aren't playing. To be honest, the JGP was much more interesting than ANYTHING that happened on the senior level. There are a number of good skaters coming up, and not just from Russia...though I'll start with them first.

    These girls will make a splash, as early as next season. The three to look for are Adelina Sotnikova, Elizaveta Tuktamisheva (Liza T), and Polina Shelepen.

    I'd point to Adelina over the other two, for one crucial reason: her presentation. Whereas some junior skaters look like junior skaters, Adelina does not. There's an ease, maturity and flow to her movements and presentation that sets her apart from the others girls. She'll fit in easily amongst the more mature skaters. Then there's the jumps: she jumps out of the building! Her jumps have amazing height and coverage, and she lands them pretty consistently. She does have a tendency to flutz, which will hurt her a bit, but she can work on that. In terms of the lady I see really mixing things up next year, it's Adelina all the way for me...seriously, if you haven't seen her skate, you need to educate yourself...

    Liza T is another one. There was a lot of talk about the 3A she has, though she did not attempt it last season...that doesn't mean she won't in seasons to come though. Liza T lacks the maturity and flow Adelina has, but she skates with a lot of energy, pizazz and spark. Her 3-3 wasn't as consistent last year, but she's more than capable on doing them (3lz-3t) along with 2a-3t. Her jumps don't soar like Adelina's, but she's much stronger in her lutz technique. She's fiery...definitely a diva-in-the-making! And OMG she and Johnny Weir look like sister and brother!

    Polina Shelepen is a bit of a wildcard at times. When she's on, she's right up there with the other two; however, I've watched her the past two seasons on the JGP and she's prone to implosions. Still, she has good sized jumps (including a 3lz-3t and 2a-3t) that cover a lot of ice, her spins are probably the best of this trio of Russian ladies, and she has a mature statuesque appearance on the ice--she's listed at 5'5" on Wikipedia. She hit her growth spurt last year, so she seems to have made it past the puberty monster okay. She's not awkward with her height but she lacks the flow and ease of Adelina...in other words, her stroking is still a bit juniorish to me...

    On any day, all three of these ladies can challenge for a top 3 finish. I think the technical content that all three pack will really be what shakes the field up. All three have 3lz-3t (Adelina also has a massive 3lz-3lp) and each has 2a-3t. Adelina and Polina have all 5 triples (with occasional edge calls) and Liza too I think; she did a double salchow in combination at Jr. worlds last year...I don't know if she can't do a 3S or she just chose not to include it...Regardless, these ladies will push everyone, if only on the technical mark at first. The only thing against them right now is time (experience and maturity) but once that comes, look out...

    Japanese Ladies: New Wave

    I don't think Japan's in dire straits in terms of a next big star. There's still plenty of star power to go around. Miki, Mao and Kanako managed to make top 10 at worlds (1st, 6th and 8th respectively) so there's still hope.

    You can never count Mao out. I think, more than anything, Mao needs a break. She's gotta be running on fumes at this point. She needs some down time recharge her batteries and refocus. As for Miki, if she sticks to this new formula, she's going to challenge for a top 5 finish every time...I don't know how much longer she will compete, but she appears to be in great shape and could make a run at Soichi if she wanted to. Sadly, Akiko probably will never get her due, but I absolutely adore her skating...

    In terms of the newer girls, Kanako is leading the pack. Say what you will, but she had nothing short of an extraordinary debut season. She medaled at both of her GP events (bronze at NHK, gold at SA) and got bronze at the GPF. She came in 3rd at nationals and 1st at the Asian winter games and had a top 10 finish at worlds...that's not too shabby. Her technique does need to be refined, as does her style, but she's in the running right now. We'll have to see how she matures...

    Risa Shoji probably will stay junior another year, but she's a lovely skater. She reminds me of Shizuka with a dash of Mao. Lovely flow and softness to her skating. She won gold and silver in her JGP events, 4th at the JGPF and 5th at jr. worlds. With the Big 3 Russians jumping senior next year, along with a few Americans, I think she'll be the one to beat on the JGP next year. She just needs time...Same thing goes for Haruka Imai, Yuki Nishino and Miyabi Oba. None are shining too brightly right now, but there's still hope that one of them will hit a stride in the future...

    The American Ladies

    The problem with the US these past 5 years hasn't been a lack of good skaters. We have some pretty darn good ones...the issue is none of them has stepped up and grabbed that spot. After having Michelle bowl over challenger after challenger for that top spot for nearly 10 years, it's been weird seeing this group of ladies talk about how much they want to be number one and yet sit by idly, never stepping up and claiming that spot.

    Alissa stepped up this year...but she has a lot of improvements to make before she'll be able to compete past that PCS mark. Her spins are gorgeous, but she could easily lose a spot on the podium due to her technical content. Rachael shot herself in the foot this year (or more appropriately, in the tibia ) with how she ended her season. As anyone who watches the sport knows, a large amount of success is based on reputation and good rapport with the judges. Rachael's disastrous showing at worlds could hurt her both internationally and nationally. Ashley seems to slip every time she gets going...I don't know what it is, but given her abilities, I do expect her to be farther along than she is. Her issues are all little problems that she can't seem to get past...it's strange. It's been said time and time again that Mirai is the best all-around skater the US has right now, and I agree. Mirai has shown flashes of brilliance...yet her shining moments are too sporadic for her to get a firm foothold in this climb to the top. If she ever decides to flip on the switch, she'll be a podium threat every time out; the question is when will she flip the switch?

    In terms of upcoming talent, the US has some really good options. Agnes Zawadski is a powerhouse jumper who has the ability to really light up the ice. Leaving Tom Z will probably help her (how? IDK, I'm just glad she left him...:sheesh. Christina Gao has a lot of technical ability and improved a lot in terms of presentation last year...though she still has a bit of a ways to go. I really think these two, with Mirai and Alissa, could help to boost the US in terms of standings and I wouldn't be surprised Agnes or Christina make the world team this year...

    Farther down the line, we have Courtney Hicks (good appeal, needs polish and refinement), Amanda Dobbs (sat out with injury toward end of season but talented), Vanessa Lam (lacks height in jumps but promising), and my fav, Yasmin Siraj. Yasmin grabs my eye because of her musicality and expressiveness when she skates. She skates with the music, rather than just to it which is something several of the aforementioned skaters lack and, ultimately, that will set her apart.

    Even if the current crop of US ladies fail to step up, I'm sure Agnes and Christina are more than eager to take the reins...and, luckily, there's a lot of talent coming up behind them as well. All in all, I think the US will be alright in the long run.


    There's only one person I can point to who really caught my eye on the JGP last season outside of the Russians, Japanese and Americans: Zijun Li of China. She has a lovely lyrical style to her skating and she's decently consistent as well. Gorgeous spins and use of her arms and very good musicality as well. She had the misfortune of being pitted against the Russian powerhouses last year on the JGP and didn't really get an opportunity to shine. I see her as a top contender this year though..


    No matter which way you look at it, there's talent all around. Who knows how the landscape will change between now and 2014? I'm sure there will be some reshuffling as skaters come in and others go out, but one thing is for sure: the ladies competition in Soichi will be awesome!

  8. #23
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    Great post! Some great points you make there.

    As for the Russians, though, there's a lot with potential. Rosa Sheveleva in particular is a very strong jumper with nice presentation and a lyrical style. Consistency has not been her friend, but she seemed to improve on that aspect later in the season when she won a couple of domestic competitions. I assume she will opt for the JGP in the fall, but she could definitely be in the mix for the Euros and Worlds teams. She beat Polina Shelepen in the FS at both Russian Nationals and Russian Junior National competitions, so the judges do reward her when she skates well and are willing to give her higher PCS than Shelepen when she doesn't bomb. She has yet to do a 3-3 in competition but has all her triples (with no edge issues) and a huge 3lz-2t combo that looks like it could definitely be upgraded to a 3lz-3t in the near future. Sofia Birukova is also a great talent, although inconsistent, but my hope is that she dealt with most of her puberty woes last season and will be stronger in the coming season. She's a little older than the other girls (she turns 17 next month) with a more mature look and style, and we saw at COR where she beat both Makarova and Leonova that when she's on, she's a force and will be rewarded for what she can do. I believe she has all the triples, and her 3t-3t is a strong and consistent element for her. She has talked about attempting 3lz-3t, so I would assume she trains them in practice and maybe this season she will try it in competition. Her spins are also nice. She's a bit of a wildcard, but if she can get it together, she's a lovely skater and should be in the mix. Anna Ovcharova did not compete at all last season, but placed 5th at both the JGPF, Russian Nationals, and JW in the 09-10 season, an impressive feat considering she was only 13 at the time. At JW she put out a fantastic SP which earned her 1st place in the segment, ahead of Kanako, and just faltered in the FS. Consistency in the FS wasn't her strong suit, but she does have all the triples with no edge issues, even though her technique is not great. That being said, she did win the FS at the 2010 Russian Junior Nationals, where she placed 2nd. I haven't seen her skate since 2010 JW, but from what I have heard her training is going well. Puberty is also a question but she was around 5'3" and fairly mature looking as a 13 year old, so she might have just had an earlier growthspurt in which case her time off might not have set her back much. In any event, she and her coach are hoping for JGP this fall, and if she still has her distinct spark, I can see her dominating considering her PCS were quite strong at 13 and now that she's older and more mature I would assume they would continue to rise so long as she can still jump. For Anna, just getting the jumps done should be enough to get her in the mix to make the Worlds and Euros team, because her spins, presentation, musicality, flexibility, and step sequences are where she really shines. A 3-3 would certainly help give her an edge, though, and if she gets one, I personally think she could be right up there with Adelina and Liza. She was my favorite of the Russians when she was competing because she's such an animated performer and knows how to work the crowd. Then there's Polina Agafonova who I personally don't think is as strong as the other ladies I've mentioned. She has all the triples and a 3lz-3t, but can be very inconsistent, especially early in the season. Her 2a is also problematic and she is prone to UR issues. On top of that her presentation is very juniorish, and she's so petite with a young appearance that she seems like a little kid out there. To me, her skating also seems a bit slow, though I'm sure some of that is just due to the fact that she's 4'9". Still though, her spins are fantastic and she is capable of skating a 7 triple FS so shouldn't be counted out. Also at this point I'm wondering if she'll ever shoot up in height, because if she does, it could hurt her jumps, but if she doesn't, pairs could potentially be a better option for her. Polina Korobeinkova will also be age eligible for Worlds and Euros in the coming season. She has yet to compete internationally but has had some good results at domestic competitions and was 9th at Russian Nationals. She doesn't have a 3-3 or a 3lz, but the rest of her skating is very nice and lyrical - her style and look is very similar to that of Alissa Czisny. I don't think she'll really be a threat this season, but you never know. If she can get a 3lz and/or a 3-3, she might have a decent chance to go to Euros and/or Worlds depending on what others do.
    Last edited by silverlake22; 06-07-2011 at 03:13 PM.

  9. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigdeal View Post
    Did I miss something?
    Why nobody talkes about Yu-Na Kim. Did she announced that she won't participate next season or what?
    If she is in the game, we can only discuss about who can be on the top if she messes up!

    Kim will announce her competitive plan, if any for this season, after IOC announces the 2018 Olympic host city next month. Until then, nothing is set.

  10. #25
    Rooting for the divas with Kwanford Spun Silver's Avatar
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    ^ I'm really looking forward to seeing more of Yasmin Siraj as well. She was definitely one of my favorites at Nationals. She was a little dynamo. I hope her skating competitiveness survives the inevitable growth spurt.

  11. #26
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    I'll be completely honest. Since Adelina Sotnikova is the only member of the RBB I've learned to spell, I'm hoping she has the most success.

  12. #27
    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    The RBBs by the time of Sochi should be young ladies and I expect them to skate competitively as grown ups. I do not buy cutsey little girl skating. Pagaentry is just not my thing.

    If Figure Skating is to be considered a major Sport, we need mature contestants. Same thing with the rash of little boys we seem to be getting nowadays.

  13. #28
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    Midori Ito is planning a comeback at the age of 41 at Nebelhorn, hope the training goes well and she is there!!

    GOOD for her!!!!


    Maybe Kimiko Date Krumm (Tennis) inspired her to return.

  14. #29
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    Midori Ito will compete in the ISU International Adult Figure Skating Competition this weekend in Oberstdorf, Germany (Nebelhorn Trophy is held in the same town in September).

    Here's a great quote from the Associated Press article last week:
    The 41-year-old Japanese said at a news conference Thursday that "figure skating isn't just a sport for young people."

    "People of all ages should try, and in that spirit I decided to compete in this tournament," the 1992 Olympic silver medalist said.
    Last edited by Sylvia; 06-08-2011 at 09:39 AM.

  15. #30
    At the rink. Again. mskater93's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by russell30 View Post
    Midori Ito is planning a comeback at the age of 41 at Nebelhorn, hope the training goes well and she is there!!

    GOOD for her!!!!
    She's doing the ISU Adult Competition this weekend (aka O'dorf for the US Adult Skating Community). Unfortunately, one of the people who should be in her group had to withdraw due to injury. Such a shame - I was looking forward to seeing the pics on FB.

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