Well, Mirai has "only" been to Worlds once.She did a fantastic SP and I was never the one who thought that she completely"tanked" her LP.I was in the arena and even though she did a few mistakes, her LP should have scored a few points higher in my opinion..
Generally, she has always been a late bloomer and since 2010, she has not really peaked at the right time for Nationals.
(It is interesting how one guy at the french Eurosport said that the American Nationals are always such a high pressure event due to their selection system and as a result, some girls peak there and not at Worlds.I am not sure they are right but it was an interesting point??)
Obviously, Mirai is still dealing with technical issues but it seems as she has worked a lot on her attitude and has that fighting look that I have rarely seen before.
At NHK, it was like she had no doubts out there and seemed absolutely calm and even"confident"!Maybe not as confident as Ashley but I think both would do absolutely fine if they were selected to Worlds..They have probably learned a lot from their first Worlds outings and I was really impressed with Ashley last year in Nice.
I really like Gold too and I think she will score higher than Mirai (even with less triples) but it seems like she has already a lot of pressure on her tiny shoulders.I would love her to get a little bit more of international experience before her first Worlds?
If Ashley wins but the 2nd and 3rd place finishers are very close, why not send them to 4CC for a skate off?
Or maybe Agnes/Alissa/Gao will surprise/get their acts together with two excellent programs, that would be great too!
i think if yuna kim skates in olympics more than likely she will win. she is above the field. shows in nrw trophy.
but if mistakes i think mao, miki (if she goes) akiko, plus carolina kostner has the inside track of winning the ogm.
My next group
however i would put in the usa ladies, all of the mention above, Ashley, mirai, christina, agnes, gracies, caroline zhang.
plus the russian ladies. of alena, adelina, elizaveta, julia, those 4 maybe polina and ksenia.Joanie, Kaetlyn
i would also put in outside changes of kexin zhang, zijun li, mae bernice meite.
I don't think it is very likely all the top American ladies would skate their best at Nationals. Their track record suggests well that would mean the world has come to an end. The odds aren't favorable especially when you factor in Czisny is returning form injury. I don't have a lot of faith in the consistency of Mirai, Alissa, Christine, Agnes, Caroline or Angela they could fluke out but not a thte same time. I am getting rather leery - I am not sure all these injured skaters will be ready for their nationals.
I think one or two could spring a surprise.
Skaters like Gold and Nagasu may not have started out impressive- but they have shown improvement in their second event over their first. Now that they've had some extra time, they may be set up to peak at Nationals or later. I would not count them out.
OTOH, skaters like Wagner and Gao started out with a bang, ready to take names and shock the world. Unfortunately both (Gao in particular) seem to have hit a bump in the road. It remains to be seen whether it is simply a bump or the start of a rough path. Still, they are very much in the game.
Then, you've got Czisny, who may/may not be in shape, or may/may not even show up. It is tempting to say she has no shot at all, but then I remember past surprises from her (coming out of nowhere at SC, everything coming together for her at Nationals 2007, her re-emergence post-2010)...and I just don't know what to expect from her. With her coming back from injury, I have my doubts...but stranger things have happened.
It seems like people are more forgiving or forgetful or her bad skates than say a Patrick Chan. However, she was dreadful at worlds this year. Injury or not her scores were amazingly high though consider her skates were just bad - Canada had no woman threat and even she beat Alissa. No disrespect to Canada or Lacoste. So I give Czisny kudos for trying to come back. I know it is about the joy of competing and in many cases the olympic dream
And consider that Flatt got pounded last year for doing essentially the same thing (skating on injury) and even SHE wasn't that bad. That strengthens your point. Czisny got a free pass from everyone- except me, it seems.
ETA: Perhaps that will be a non-issue, though. If Gold, Nagasu, and Wagner skate as we know they can- we shouldn't have to worry about Czisny getting on the team no matter what she does.
Last edited by R.D.; 12-15-2012 at 10:55 AM.
Czisny is not going to be on the team. The USFSA will ensure the U.S judges have their scalpels out like they did for Flatt last year. If the U.S regains 3 spots they might give her a look next year if she is skating great, and skates great at Nationals, but for this year with Olympic spots on the line forget it, even if she lands a quadruple salchow and 7 triples at Nationals. I will comfortably guarantee 2 things happening at Nationals. Czisny not making the team no matter what, and Wagner being named to the team no matter what (even if she doesnt compete). Beyond that who knows, many other things could happen, but neither of those two.
Even if Czisny comes up from behind to nab first or second (unlikely, IMO), the USFSA is not obligated to send her to Worlds. Like has been said, Wagner--whether she competes or not--will have a spot for sure, and I agree with the notion that Gold seems to be the realistic pick #2 given her 2 GP assignments barely after she went senior.
If Ashley were not to compete and Alissa were to win the gold medal at nationals, I think they would reluctantly send Alissa to worlds along with Ashley.
I am pretty sure the USFSA must send the national champion, no matter what. Here is the rule (IRC6.04A):
The team is named before Four Continents, so the reference to 4CC means last years 4CCs.The U.S. World Team shall be selected from those athletes who are ISU senior age eligible and shall include the current U.S. champion in each discipline. The remaining selections shall be based upon the results of the two most recent U.S. Figure Skating Championships, the most recent World Championship, the most recent Four Continents Championship and all other international events;