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Thread: What are Mao Asada's chances of becoming Olympic Champion in 2014?

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    What are Mao Asada's chances of becoming Olympic Champion in 2014?

    Mao had a reasonable season debut at the Japan Open, finishing second to Ashley Wagner by just 1.53 points. The difference between the two was simply the fact that Mao was zero'd on one of her spins. Had she got that, then she would have won. Loved Mao's new Swan Lake LP and she received great PCS marks.

    However, what worried me about Mao's season debut was that she still has the same technical problems she has been displaying for the last two seasons: the flutzing and under-rotating of her 3Z, the under-rotating of other jumps (she under-rotated every element of her 3Fx2Rx2R combination), doubling out on triples (the intended 2Ax3T turned into a 2Ax2T). All of this suggests a continuing lack of power in her jumping ability. She may or may not add the 3A later in the season, and there is still no triple-triple combination. Hence, the technical frailties of the last two seasons do not yet seem to have been resolved.

    With just 18 months to go until the Sochi Olympics, therefore, what are Mao's chances of becoming Olympic champion? My view is that unless she can sort out these technical problems soon, she faces an uphill struggle. The flutzing on her Lutz will probably never be resolved, but that is not fatal to her chances. What does need to be resolved, however, is the loss of power in her jumping ability - the constant under-rotating. If she can sort that out, then the rest of the pieces of the jigsaw will probably fall into place. In terms of the 'power' problem, she still looks rather frail and thin. If she is to become Olympic champion, then I think the element that she needs to work on most is her physical conditioning. If she can improve that, then she should be able to recover the power behind her jumping ability and stop the under-rotating. She should also be able to add a triple-triple combination
    Last edited by Mao88; 10-11-2012 at 02:12 AM.

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    Honestly, I think it too soon to tell. In part I say this because I think we need to see how Mao skates as the season progresses to see where here jumps really are. In part, well, there's lots of competition out there and we need to see how they stack up - that includes relative newbies (like some of the Russsian girls), skaters like Wagner who appear to be 'on fire' and on an upward trajectory, and the likes of YuNa...

    So, for me, too soon to tell at all. But, there is an elegance to Mao's skating and her overall body line that I find really engrossing. Hope she has a great competitive season!

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    If I had to guess now my odds to become 2014 Olympic Champion would be:

    Kim 40%
    Julia L- 15%
    Asada- 15%
    Kostner- 10%
    Wagner- 10%
    All other Russians combined- 5%
    Gracie Gold- 2%
    Akiko Suzuki- 2%
    Everyone else combined- 1%

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    Quote Originally Posted by pangtongfan View Post
    Everyone else combined- 1%
    awwww :(

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    Quote Originally Posted by brightphoton View Post
    awwww :(

    Someone I miss who you have a sweep spot for? Osmond perhaps.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pangtongfan View Post
    Someone I miss who you have a sweep spot for? Osmond perhaps.
    Caroline Zhang is my perennial favorite but she keeps getting the short end of the stick at Nationals

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    Custom Title Mao88's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pangtongfan View Post
    All other Russians combined- 5%
    I think Liza T has just as good a chance as Julia Lipnitskaya. A lot of doom merchants have been writing Liza off. However, she performed a superb SP today in the St. Petersburg Cup, scoring 69.43. Here are the protocols.

    Positive GOE on all elements, including a 3Tx3T combination, 3R, and 2A. Very good PCS marks as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by Olympia View Post
    As for Mao, I just cross my fingers and hope. Since YuNa already has a gold, this time around I want Mao to experience that for herself. If it's a matter of gaining additional power, surely she can improve her conditioning. This is a determined kid, and I don't think we've ever seen her go after something halfheartedly. I so love her style and artistry, and she also has the toughness of temperament that several of the current champions seem to lack.
    I think recruiting a specialist physical trainer to improve Mao's conditioning would be a very good move at this point. I think that her conditioning is the root cause of her problems and that a specialist physical trainer would be able to remedy that pretty quickly.
    Last edited by Mao88; 10-11-2012 at 10:43 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mao88 View Post
    I think Liza T has just as good a chance as Julia Lipnitskaya.
    I am writing her off of winning the gold (well almost completely) since her PCS suck so much for the very top level of skater, and with only 1 year left to improve them can only improve so much, that it would need to be a splatfest for her to ever win the gold. A medal perhaps. You cant win the Olympics just by jumps alone anymore.

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    Custom Title Mao88's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pangtongfan View Post
    I am writing her off of winning the gold (well almost completely) since her PCS suck so much for the very top level of skater, and with only 1 year left to improve them can only improve so much, that it would need to be a splatfest for her to ever win the gold. A medal perhaps. You cant win the Olympics just by jumps alone anymore.
    This is complete nonsense. Tuk's PCS is improving at quite a rate. Today she scored mostly 8's, with a total PCS score of 33.14.

    Here is the video of her short program

    Remember, she beat Kostner, Czisny, Wagner, Suzuki, Leonova, Murakami, and Nagasu last season (which incorporates the entire top 5 at 2012 Worlds!!) when her PCS was less developed than it is now. Add another 18 months of development and she will be a real threat for Gold in Sochi.

    Quote Originally Posted by sky_fly20 View Post
    Mao has a good momentum for 2014, she looks to be back in competitive form and mentally this season
    Hope your right
    Last edited by Mao88; 10-11-2012 at 12:04 PM.

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    Mao or Lipnitskaya, Adelina or Liza or Wagner.

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    Mao could win, the real question is if Kim will show and if so what kind of shape will she be in. I don't think anyone is expecting her to be in vancouver form, but anywhere decent = gold for Kim. So unless she bombs, or does not show at all, injury etc, Mao has a good chance if can improve before then and package herself well.

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    In 2011 Kim also couldn't depend on 2A's as much as she did before. The use was restriced. She needed to expand her jumps. In 2011 Mao had a 3A<<. It wasn't a benefit. Did lutz and flip. But in 2009 and 2010 everyone did point out 3A+2T was not actually a good mathematical combo because it was worth less than a triple triple. All 3A ever did was keep Mao close to Kim so if Kim made a mistake Mao could benefit and she did benefit even if Mao didn't even actually do a 3A!!

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    Simply the best. l'etoile's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gmyers View Post
    In 2011 Kim also couldn't depend on 2A's as much as she did before. The use was restriced. She needed to expand her jumps. In 2011 Mao had a 3A<<. It wasn't a benefit. Did lutz and flip. But in 2009 and 2010 everyone did point out 3A+2T was not actually a good mathematical combo because it was worth less than a triple triple. All 3A ever did was keep Mao close to Kim so if Kim made a mistake Mao could benefit and she did benefit even if Mao didn't even actually do a 3A!!
    Is that why ISU valued up the points of 3A by 1.2pts right after Vancouver? IMO, it's "if Kim made numerous, serious mistakes, Mao could benefit for having two perfectly clean skates even if she didn't actually do a 3A" which is to say for everyone else in the field.

    I do agree that Mao has enough cushion for PCS. It was interesting to see that in 2011 worlds, Mao with 4 major mistakes - two dgs, edge calls, singling salchow - earned 45 pts for TES but 60 pts for PCS.
    Last edited by l'etoile; 10-12-2012 at 01:27 AM.

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