Who is Russia's best skater going into Sochi?
Lots of talk about who is best, who is too young, who is a headcae, who has the 3x3 in practice. Please help me folks...I am so confused. Leonova seems their most consistent jumper with the babies unable to put two programs together, though this is just the beginning. Last year I was smitten by Liza and thought she could win everything. This year she is heavier, slower. We have small (short I mean) men and women and 5 pounds (which comes on in water weight monthly if one is mestruating_frankly,) can come on young girls-any girl overnight and throwe off a jump. I have no idea if Liza is going to look Like Elene G when she finishes filling out. All I know is bust and hips wreck a great jumper. Leonova is 21? CMIIW. (Correct me new acronym for the fatigued or lazy). Liza is injured so it is easy that 5 pounds might just creeep on her tiny frame. Adelina is wonderful, but this girl is not done growing. People were writing her off. I have been a fan of Ksenia since Vancouver where I got back in touch with skating after a few years of too occupied. She does not land her jumps in competition but I like her skating basics and her programs. She is lovely but never lands them and I don't expect that to change.
There are Polina S who I have seen a little. Her costume at SC blinded me , lol and she was nothing special. I have seen and liked a few times Korobeynikova but no one talks about her, so I assume she does not have the tech marks as she is nice to watch. Who else is on the cusp? Julia L is being touted as the true one to watch for Sochi. I know no one can guess which 3 ladies will be on the Sochi team, but if held this year, who would you choose. I like Leonova-her spunk, and grew to admire her just last year as she had a good sp, though she was too grungy a pirate-i prefer well dressed pirates, but her LP was awfully choreographed Morovzovian _____! I am not his fan and never have beeb after SLC's Yagudin Winter-who alledgedly had his SP done by Morozov tho I belive TAT had a hand in it. Still she performs the heck out of whatever she is given. Generally, I hate her packaging, but she seems a fairly consistent jumper and the only world medalist since Irina left. Adelina did much better than Tut. zWhatever charmed me last year, and she did, is gone now. One bad event does not a career make, I know. I am heartbroken at Gracie's meltdown. If she had the killer look as Prettykeys mentioned that winners like MK have. I'd feel confident. Somehow, it seems like we likely may be shut out between the Japanese and one wonderbaby from Russia. Who would you choose for the three spots based on how they have competed thus far through novice, junior, seniors? Who looks like they have killer instinct and jump technique to match? I am guessing Japan will have Mao, Akikko, Kanako or Haruka unless injury intervenes.I think Miki is done. I am not sure Ashley is capable of the most difficult 3x3. She is slow and does not have height compared to the Japanese ladies. Then there is Yuna, and it seems she is training 8 hours a day. So unless Gracies shows killer instinct (she doesn't) I am afraid we hyped her up too much. She is stunning and I like her skating, but it seems her big chance is to be a reliable combo jumper. I look at MK at 15 and it was there, as PK said. One cannot fake this. I think Gracie does not look like a killer, nor a headcase, but I have adjusted my expectations. We may have one spot to Sochi, and Ashley will be in her first Olympics. I am already trying tom say it is okay if we finish 4 anf 7 again in Sochi. Anyone see it different? I hope so, as it clearly seems between 4 asian ladies from asia and the best of the Russian trio.
MK had it, Tara had it big time. Sarah felt at 16 she could challenge the best and meant it. Witt had it. Arakawa had it, masked in demureness. Irina had it, even when people did not like her skating so much. Yuna had it big time and the scary part is maybe she still does. Maybe she is keeping expectations low in Korea while practicing like a crazed woman. WOul cool as ice Yuna be happy with bronze or lower? I think she is going to find her old self at these competitions and show us all who is who. The low key humble talk is strategy to fly under the radar this year. Look at Patrick-he was beaten rightly so by Javier, and he is a veteran 2xWC with one OLy under his belt. I can't expect miracles from Ashley or this young Goldie kid who got too excited and rushed all her jumps. Nerves of steel win, and Osmond skated like a veteran, smiling all the way at SC. Still I see her body as her enemy, she will change and grow out. Kimmie Meissner had the killer instinct but her body betrayed her, and injury.
Anyway, I just want the russian skater cognoscenti to tell me their best ladies trio and why. Olympics is very close and only injury will screw up the 3 destined to go.
Last edited by skateluvr; 10-28-2012 at 10:29 PM.
That is easy. Julia Lipnitskaya by far. She will easily take over as Russians #1 next year, she really is already but of course not age eligible for Worlds, but will be for Sochi and Worlds next year. She will definitely be Russian #1 and is a major threat for the Olympic Gold next year.
The other 2 Olympians for Russia (if they even qualify 3 with Julia L. not at Worlds) could be a number of ladies but if I had to guess I would say Elizaveta and Adelina. I think Alena Leonova probably peaked last year, and with age and her general problem with nerves as an Olympics nears will start to slow down. The rest I see as long shots at best to make it barring major improvement.
Julia hasn't dealt with growth spurt as the other girls. I believe in Liza - she has almost done growing and she has killer jump technique. For me she is THE best jumper in the world.Now she deals with her weight but that will go. Adelina...I'm not sure about Sochi but someday she will be a champion a la Carolina Costner.I hope so)
Julia Lipnitskaya, the response from the crowd she gets is something very special.
the most crucial will be next season, if Russia only get 2 spots for Olympics
onw of Adelina or Liza will be left out, I think it could be Adelina and Julia going
Liza though I expect her to be ready by the end of the season still has low pcs marks from the judges,
hope Liza loses her weight from injury soon
Julia is just getting the same hype Adelina, Liza and Gracie got those last seasons, and that Osmond is facing now too. But it's way to early to anoint her as the second coming either.
Her only real advantages are her hyperflexibilty (which is already nothing exciting anymore for me, because her choreography isn't making any good use of it), and her consistency. The latter is a great thing, but who knows if she'll keep that through the higher expectations of seniors and her own growth issues. Especially her axel... to me that one looks pretty bad. There's like absolutly no height in it, no power... let her gain some weight and maybe it will become hard for her to rotate that one.
That said, what puts Julia ahead of the rest of the field is her presence and self-confidence. She's so sure about herself for someone so young! That really is something special... but mainly because it usually takes longer for those girls to develop it. Adelina and Liza have one full senior season to gain experience and that self-confidence, and then it won't matter if it took them longer or not. The only thing that counts is having it (look at Ashley!).
Which brings up the next point: experience. Julia won't be at any major senior event before the Olympics maybe except euros 2014! I know she did a great job so far as a competitor, but this is really soemthing else. She might just hit the age of becoming more self-aware being 15 then and all too.
For the other girls: I still think Adelina is the most talented all around of the bunch. Her jumps have great power, height and ice coverage. She has much speed, great flexibility, and she's developing as a performer. She needs the consistency and that one badly, but she still has another year. I think she changed a lot since last year, mentally too. Adding the double jumps to her 3Lo at SA was a mistake because of the Zayak rule, but I think it showed she really wanted to fight for those points and medals. She didn't give up because of her mistakes and kept performing, something I didn't realize so strongly about her last year. She's on the right track.
I do agree though that 2014 might be too early for her. She'll just be 17 then. Maybe some posters like to treat it that way, but it's no shame being still far from your peak when you're still that young.
Despite a 4th place at SC, I think Liza looked pretty good! skateluvr, I can't agree at all with you that she looked slow and heavy! She seems to have worked so much on speed and ice coverage, and her spins are getting better too. Given her recent problems I think she did great. It looks like she won't be making the GPF, but who cares. It would just tire her out too much before russian nationals anyway. And maybe she'll have her growth issues put behind her by then anyway, even if she's still missing the 3Lz-3T "just" 3T-3T is enough for that actual ladies field anyway.
Besides, she does have the confidence when she's on - with a little more work on her PCS (and jugdes NOT low-balling her like they did at SC ) she'll be a great competitor. Her great musicality is a plus too.
Alena is still in the mix too, we'll have to wait and see how this season goes on. Others like Polina K., Polina S. have probably put themselfves out of the game. Even if they start to deliver better results, I'd still think the others are considered to have better chances...
Additionally, I don't see russia losing their 3. spot for the ladies. To whom?
For Sochi on the other hand, I think it's pretty likely there won't be a russian on top of the podium.
I think that, at the moment, Julia is the best, but if the "puberty monster" hits her in the next months or within this summer, she could be in Liza's or Zhang's situation by 2013 fall, who knows? A year ago, Liza looked unbeatable, now she's (unfairly, I agree) fourth in her first GP of the season... I think Adelina is the best: she has already passed the puberty period (or, she's finishing it), and her jumps look still good, she just needs consistency, and we talked about it millions times! Alena Leonova could easily be out of the Olympic team if Julia, Liza and Adelina skate as good as they're able to, but she can be a factor, if she is in last season's shape. And then there are Korobeneykova, Shelepen () and Makarova, I think they are out of the race for being in the Olympic team, unless someone of them changes like Alissa or Ashley did in the next year... So, I would pick Lipnitskaya, Tuktamysheva and Sotnikova...