Japanese World Team: 2013 Outlook
Now that the season has officially ended, a lot of skaters are preparing for the penultimate Olympic season. I know it's a bit earlier, but I am quite curious on your thoughts about the Japanese 2013 World Team, especially for single men and ladies.
Starting with Men:
I cannot imagine Daisuke being out of the World Team unless the unfortunate happens *TOUCH WOOD* *TOUCH WOOD*. There's no way JSF will leave him out, and if he bombs either his SP or LP, PCs will save him from sinking down the rankings and the podium.
Yuzuru will surely make the World Team. He's the future, and best hope for Sochi and beyond. Hopefully next season, he'll be able to solidify his position as Japan #2 (#1 will come with time!)
With the return of Nobunari Oda, there is going to be some intense competition for that third world spot. At 24, time is not on your side, and 2014 Sochi might be his last Olympics (if he makes the team). I really hope to see him win a World medal that was eluded from several times.
I feel like the fight for the third spot is between Takahiko and Nobunari for the time being. I am not writing any other Japanese skaters off, because one season can result in a major shift in the competitive landscape. But since the Worlds team is dependent on results from GP + Nationals, the fight is most likely going to between the two.
Miki Ando might return to competition, depending on her 'motivation' level: http://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/hl?a=20...000520-yom-spo
It is in Japanese, but basically it says that Miki has intentions to compete in 2012-2013 GP series, but it will ultimately depend on her level of motivation. Also seems like she's wants to improve her choreography?
I hope Mao gets her jumps consistency back! It has been a tough two seasons for her, and I admire her more now for being able to face difficult times with strength and courage!
Akiko Suzuki - JSF has to learn to love her now! No more dumping her, and placing her in the "Special A" group because she deserves so much better after her stellar results this season! I really hope to see her go to the 2014 Sochi Olympics, skate her heart out and win a medal.
If Miki doesn't return, Kanako gets the third spot again. She's a great SP skater but often pops her jumps in the LP. She's so cute, and I love her personality but she needs to fix her jump technique. I don't see anyone else challenging for the third position....Haruka Imai is even more inconsistent, and there's no one else I recall who stands out. Risa Shoji maybe?
Your thoughts? Please no personal attacks - if you think it's too early to make speculations, don't comment on this thread.
Last edited by Becki; 04-23-2012 at 06:08 PM.
Men - Hanyu finally becomes the #1 Japanese man. The JSF is still favoring Takahashi but the international judges seem to have different opinions. He'll lose to Hanyu at NHK and GPF decisively. The JSF must accept the reality. Kozuka, Oda and Mura fight for the third spot.
Ladies - If Ando comes back, Suzuki will be left out again. Otherwise same with this year.
wishing the best for granny suguri
Really? You think they'll have Kanako over Suzuki? It seems that with GPF, Worlds and WTT Suzuki has continually established herself as the No.1 Japanese Lady. Of course the Japanese fed might consider Ando and Asada still above her, but there's 3 spots.
Originally Posted by NMURA
Wicked Yankee Girl
Only one of Takahashi and Hanyu can appear at NHK, unless one of them agrees to do 3 GP's. They should not meet until the GPF.
It's hard to know who will take the third spot.
Hanyu is so young, he might still either grow a bit or fill out a bit, either of which would require him to adjust his technique a bit, and hence not overtake Takahashi next year.
Kozuka might get his jumps back.
The biggest wild card is Oda, but I wonder what GP assignment(s) he will get, if any?
Say it ain't so, Joe! I agree with Trewyn--even if Miki Ando returns and Mao Asada regains some of her old form, Akiko Suzuki is simply a much better bet than Kanako Murakami at this point. Suzuki has medalled at every single competition she's entered this season, and I for one have been very impressed by the improvements she's made in her skating at this point of her career, including the addition of a triple-triple to her repertoire. Meanwhile, Murakami's jump technique is questionable as ever, consistently failing her when she is forced to complete more than 3 jumping passes in a single program. Younger skaters such as Risa Shoji also have their own issues to work out--IIRC, Shoji has some UR-prone jump technique issues as well.
Originally Posted by NMURA
Daisuke Takahashi vs. Yuzuru Hanyu. The veteran and the upstart...it will be such a beautiful battle between the two. It is definitely one of the things I most look forward to watching next season.
As Becki has pointed out, it's a bit weird how a single season has changed the pecking order of the Japanese men so dramatically. Around this time last year, I remember that a bunch of people were saying that Takahashi was past his best-before date and that Takahiko Kozuka was surely going to continue crushing him this season. Very interesting how things have turned out (and it perhaps serves as a cautionary tale against speculating). But hey, it's the off-season, so....at this point of time, I would say that Kozuka's position vis-a-vis Takahashi and Hanyu has suffered from his very inconsistent and lackluster season. It is troubling (and wrong, IMO) that he received lower PCS at Worlds than the likes of Artur Gachinsky in the LP. Granted, Kozuka didn't skate very well at Worlds, but Gachinsky skated quite poorly too, and I find Kozuka to be much superior in terms of basic skating quality, choreography, etc. Even worse, Kozuka skated an ok LP at WTT, but only managed to get so-so PCS at a cheesefest held in his home country where his compatriot Takahashi was treated to an absolute lovefest in terms of scoring. Unless Kozuka consistently returns to near-Moscow form next season, I do not see him challenging Takahashi and Hanyu anytime soon. Based on intuition alone, I think Kozuka should be able to hang onto the third spot, however.
I have no idea what condition Nobunari Oda is in right now. Sadly, I wouldn't be surprised if the JSF has entirely given up on him at this point--Takahashi, Hanyu and Kozuka have all stood on a World podium at some point, while Oda has only sabotaged his opportunity to join them with his Zayak issues. Unless Kozuka crumbles further next season and/or Oda regains all his jumps (plus gets a consistent quad), I really do not see Oda challenging Kozuka for the third spot.
Last edited by evangeline; 04-24-2012 at 03:08 AM.
the Golden Era
I would'dnt be surprised if Yuzuru becomes Japanese No.1 by next season
I can see Oda retiring now, I see him as the 4th man.
So for Men in 2013 in that order:
I have a feeling that Miki might skip the GP? but should make the World Team.
So for Women in 2013 in that order:
Murakami and Imai 4th and 5th respectively. Murakami for 4CC though..
I don't think Suzuki is "simply much better". I'm sure about "Murakami is much more favored by the JSF" though. In the case of "Nice worlds performances" at Japanese nationals, the national judges can place Murakami above Suzuki without much difficulty IF they want. Their relationship is similar to Hino (Suzuki) and Uno (Murakami). Actually, their coaches are same (Nagakubo and Yamada). Uno has been given so much advantages in Japan simply because he is "favored". A little "better than Murakami at this point" would not be enough for the #3 position. It's nearly impossible for Suzuki to win a medal at next years worlds with performances of this year. And it's doubtful that Suzuki can keep the current form.
Originally Posted by evangeline
Murakami better than Suzuki? Oh no, Suzuki has established herself as Japanese number one lady this season and I think it is likely that she will be able to keep her form for the next season taking into consideration the fact that she was able to add a triple-triple to her repertoire this season and to have such good consistency on her jumps. On the other hand, Kanako has SEVERE problems with her technique and because of it she's going to have as hard time as Mao has recently had. Bad technique will always, sooner or later, take its toll. See Mao, Caroline Zhang or Kimmie Meissner.
Originally Posted by NMURA
Oh, I hope you're wrong. Not that I have anything against Yuzuru--on the contrary, I think he's wonderful!--but I hope Daisuke remains the top guy in Japan. I'll be Dai's fan anyway, of course. Hmmm....maybe we could start an Adopt Takahashi U.S.A. movement. We'd give him a good home!
Originally Posted by sky_fly20
Last edited by Olympia; 04-24-2012 at 07:46 PM.
Suzuki clearly marked her position as one of the Japan's top ladies. If she repeats her results from this season (all podium finishes), even with weak skates at Nationals, JSF will send her to Worlds. JSF's Worlds criteria is based on the past season, and sometimes the previous season if I am correct. I don't see her battling for Japan #3 anymore
Kanako is on the borderline, but if Ando decides not to continue, she'll snatch the Japan #3 spot again.
If the Japanese fed tries to shoehorn Murakami ahead of Suzuki, they'll be hoisted by their own petard. Murakami's specific flaws - URs, popping jumps, poor technique in general - are targetted quite considerably by COP. It would be like pushing Cynthia Phaneuf over Joannie Rochette. Just a mindbogglingly dumb idea. If Ando comes back, it'll be at the expense of Murakami, but I think it'll be Asada, Suzuki and Murakami at the Olympics.
Last season, I thought the ranking was Kozuka-Takahashi-Hanyu. Oda never really entered my math - his specific skill set isn't hugely rewarded but his mistakes are hugely penalized (when one/two mistakes equal a 20 point loss...). While I think Takahashi's simply too good a skater to take demotion lying down, he's rapidly approaching where Belbin/Agosto were by the 2010 Olympics. I can see him keeping the top spot next season, but not by Sochi.
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I think Takahashi will definitely be at Worlds next year and the Olympics, likely as Japanese #1. I can't see Hanyu surpassing him. I think Hanyu is so young he's still unpredictable and could still lose to Kozuka or even Oda. Oda's been MIA for so long I don't know what he's going to do. Kozuka had a bad season and may skate much better next year. I wouldn't count him out at all.
I think the ladies team will be Ando, Asada, and Suzuki, probably for 2013 Worlds and 2014 Olympics. Murakami doesn't get high enough scores even when she skates cleanly. If Ando doesn't come back, and I really have no idea about this, Murakami will probably be on the team. Asada hasn't been skating well but as a former Olympic silver medalist/multiple-time world champion I can't see the JSF not putting her on a world or Olympic team.
This thread is about the Japanese World Team, right? The discussion has focused on their Men and Ladies but these are happy dilemmas whereas they have big problems in Pairs and Dance, especially for the Olympics. It is doubtful Tran will be granted citizenship in time. Japan will have a low ranked Dance team and may not have a Pairs entry. Who else do they have in Senior Pairs?