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Thread: Mao Asada

  1. #3586
    Bona Fide Member Sam-Skwantch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by YesWay View Post
    I'm not much good at doing "reports" but I'll try to write a few thoughts each day...

    I went to the ladies practice today. Mao was business-like as usual. Anybody who's seen her practices will know what I mean? She has not reached top form so early in the season... jumps are a little bumpy... yet, she is still magnificent to watch. So graceful and elegant. She didn't do a full run through, and there was an uncharacteristic loss of balance at one point (a bit of a stumble, nothing serious - but very unusual for Mao).

    At the SP competition this evening... again she is nowhere near "peaking" yet... no triple-triple, no 3A, a bumpy jump landing, performance not yet "polished", and only lvl3 steps... but that's pretty much as they've planned it I guess. I have no issue with her score.

    However, her program was easily the most striking and sophisticated of the night, and when it's polished and she is in top form... I think it could become one of her most memorable programs ever. Her costume is already one of her best ever in my opinion... I think it's breathtakingly beautiful up close in real life... it gives her a commanding, striking look that sets her apart from the other competitors, the moment she steps on the ice...

    Haven't seen her off-ice or at the hotel but then, I haven't really tried - I'm not the "groupy" type...

    Video of today's practice runthough (sorry for rubbish panning/zooming etc ... I was watching first and recording second ^_^; )

    Looking forward to tomorrow... :-D


    Thanks YesWay!! Great post

    Looking forward to some of your great photos ..... if you are taking them of course

    I'm not concerned by the scores either. I see the potential and think she is skating safe so safe scores don't seem out of place. She looks great though and just watching her skate feels so good
    Last edited by Sam-Skwantch; 10-06-2016 at 03:57 PM.

  2. #3587
    Yes, way
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sam-Skwantch View Post
    Looking forward to some of your great photos ..... if you are taking them of course
    Yes, I'm taking photos :-D

    I won't sort through them or upload, until I get home... but here's a little sample from tonight's SP...

    I'd better get some sleep now... ^_^;
    Last edited by YesWay; 10-06-2016 at 05:10 PM.

  3. #3588
    On the Ice Vili67's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by YesWay View Post
    Yes, I'm taking photos :-D

    I won't sort through them or upload, until I get home... but here's a little sample from tonight's SP...

    I'd better get some sleep now... ^_^;
    Thank Dress is absolutely one of the best Mao has ever had.
    That foto is my new laptop wallpaper

  4. #3589
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    I too, love Mao's dress, the program is interesting. So I'm pleased that we'll get to see it develop over the season.
    (by the way, interesting, is my highest compliment)

  5. #3590
    Ma il mio mistero è chiuso in me Arriba627's Avatar
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    The music and the costume are awesome. Can't wait to see the FS. Glad she stuck to her game plan of skating a little bit more conservatively. Speed seemed a bit slow, but I'm sure she'll pick that up as the season goes along.

  6. #3591
    Yes, way
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    I just saw Mao in the hotel, at breakfast... she looked very relaxed, wearing her long-peaked baseball cap "disguise" (which is no disguise, she is still instantly recognisable :-D), and flip-flops on bare feet...

    Today's ladies practice session begins in 3.5 hours, but Mao won't practice until the last group of course...

  7. #3592
    Medalist gotoschool's Avatar
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    Fiery and lovely from Mao. Her multi-directional movements were sinuous, rhythmic and fluid. Enticing and exciting while also capturing the brooding and hypnotic beauty of the piece. I don't value Mao's performances based on scores given by judges, any more than a numerical value can be assigned to my favorite paintings or musical compositions.

  8. #3593
    Medalist gotoschool's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by YesWay View Post
    I just saw Mao in the hotel, at breakfast... she looked very relaxed, wearing her long-peaked baseball cap "disguise" (which is no disguise, she is still instantly recognisable :-D), and flip-flops on bare feet...

    Today's ladies practice session begins in 3.5 hours, but Mao won't practice until the last group of course...
    Congratulations on seeing Mao in the hotel.

  9. #3594
    Yes, way
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    Random observation from yesterday that I forgot to mention:

    There were no banners around the arena for any skaters when I first got there, which is unusual.
    But by the end of the day, four large ones had appeared... and all of them were for Mao...

  10. #3595
    Medalist mikaboo's Avatar
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    Mao’s SP from Japanese TV (with commentary, but nothing in the way between Mao and the camera) from around 1:00.
    http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x4w...5126;-sp_sport

    In this interview, she says she “dropped her level” (on purpose) but is satisfied she was able to skate to how she wants to skate so it’s a good start. She thinks her scores will go up when she includes the difficult jumps and gets closer to what she’s aspiring for. She plans to include the 3A and 3-3 going forward but stability in practices means stability in competitions so her task after this is to work on stabilizing her difficult jumps.


    Mao's SP already looks amazing, it can only get better from here if she’s healthy. There isn’t a moment where her lines look unflattering.
    Some people noticed that she changed the ending pose in the SP and that is the opening pose of her FS so that’s another thing to pay attention to in the FS.
    From THE ICE: https://youtu.be/UyDyfLi_PQ4?t=3m48s
    From Finlandia Trophy: https://youtu.be/amsktpNpP78?t=3m12s

  11. #3596
    Medalist mikaboo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by inskate View Post
    According to rosewood @FSU, after The Ice 2016 Mao changed her blades from Pattern 99 Revolution to the single plate blades designed by Takahiko Kozuka.

    Some info for those who haven't heard of those blades yet: Takahiko designed them a couple of years ago. He conducted a research on how to improve the blades to make them lighter and more durable. The blades he designed are cut out from a single block of metal (while normal blades are cut from two and held together with bolts). Takahiko used them in competitions during his last seasons as a competetive skater. Here's his best performance while using them: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bnqHYxIp1gc
    I read before that Mao wanted to use them last season but Coach Sato stopped her because he wanted to test them himself before she started using them for competitions. I'm glad Taka passed Coach Sato's test

    Quote Originally Posted by yhmafan View Post
    Thanks for the info. I knew Mao changed her blades but didn't know it's designed by Taka! wow
    Here's a detailed video on it (in Japanese). It takes 3 days to cut a 9kg metal block to make a single blade that weighs 275g.
    http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x27...演_sport
    Not only will be they last longer, but also be better for the body as well because the skaters won’t have to adjust themselves to the wear and tear of the blades.
    Last edited by mikaboo; 10-07-2016 at 04:39 AM.

  12. #3597
    choice beef largeman's Avatar
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    ^thank you mikaboo

  13. #3598
    Tripping on the Podium
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    Love Mao! I thought her sp is wonderful. Looking forward to her LP.

  14. #3599
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    The LP dress and hairdo immediately go on my all-time favourites list

    The program looks very promising, the step sequence is stunning already. I was afraid for falls (considering the blade change and Coach Sato's hints that Mao might be recovering from an injury, but the only "major" mistake was doubling the Flip and missing out on the combo that should go with it. Aside from the forever disgruntled Judge No.6, the score is good (considering the decreased tech content)!

    I'm not sure if the Technical Caller ate the same cornflakes as Judge No.6 or the technical requirements have changed since last season (I've been busy this summer and didn't follow the ISU communications closely...), but it seems like no one got lvl4 steps in the LP (Tukt and Sima got only lvl2)... I hope this gets sorted out later in the season.

    I hope Mao has great and healthy season; I love both of the programs and I hope to see them skated cleanly and with fire many times

  15. #3600
    Rinkside
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    I absolutely love the two programs and both are my all-time Mao favorites already!
    Finally she has the programs and costumes she deserves. She's been my favorite skater for over 10 years, but I didn't always like the way she was packaged and often thought her programs lacked that special something I felt with her first Nocturne SP for example.
    I always wanted a little more, but now I got it all and I'm so happy about what I've just seen, that I don't even mind the watered down content and her not winning there.
    I hope she gets over whatever is bothering her soon and skates these programs to perfection.

    When I first heard about her music choices and the concept, I thought it might be really good, although I wasn't sure if using to the same music for both programs would work.
    Well, it worked perfectly for me and good luck to Lori coming up with something even better for the Olympic season!

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