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Thread: Who is Russia's best skater going into Sochi?

  1. #91
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    Plush could still medal in Sochi. Hanyu, Chan, Takahashi look like strong bets for the podium, but none of them are infalliable and after what happened at the GPF, any one of them, or two even, could fall of the podium. Javier is capable of greatness but you have to keep in mind he has not even managed to medal at Europeans yet and his highest finish at Worlds has been 9th - in the past year or so we saw him skate really well early in the season, then choke when it matters most. I'm not sure he has overcome those demons yet, we'll know more after Worlds and Euros, but his presentation could still be better and so could his spins, and when he doesn't skate well his PCS drop a lot rather than hold him up the way someone like Chan's or Takahashi's do. Then anyone else you throw in the mix is just so inconsistent...Kozuka or Mura, Gatchinski, Amodio, Brezina, Abbott, Dornbush, Joubert if he's even a factor at all anymore, you never know what any of them will do on any given day and they have all had their fair share of bad international competitions so really, Plushenko does have a chance to medal. Most likely he'll be 4th, but Chan barely medaled at the GPF, Hanyu WAS 7th after the SP at Worlds lasy year and at SA we saw he really can meltdown, and then Dai's jumps are simply not that consistent, and he sometimes botches his spins and loses easy points there. Unless Javi medals at Euros and Worlds this season, I really don't think his odds of medaling in Sochi are better than Plushenko's, yes he has 2 quads and his 4s is a monster, but we've also seem him bomb time and again recently and when the jumps don't work, there isn't that much else there yet. So yes Plushenko can be on the podium.

  2. #92
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    I agree Plushenko has an outside shot at the bronze in Sochi. That is not an unreasonable thing to say.

    Anyway Russia's best skater going into Sochi are clearly the pair team of Volosozhar & Trankov who are seemingly a mortal lock for the gold or silver medal barring something catastrophic.

  3. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by pangtongfan View Post
    I agree Plushenko has an outside shot at the bronze in Sochi. That is not an unreasonable thing to say.

    Anyway Russia's best skater going into Sochi are clearly the pair team of Volosozhar & Trankov who are seemingly a mortal lock for the gold or silver medal barring something catastrophic.
    Plushenko is the best skater among Russian men to go into Sochi, maybe this statement will not raise any argument.

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    Leonova is finished isn't she for this year or will she have a chance because of age limiits and such? From World silver to not even making top 5 at her own nationals = sad. I wonder whether Makarova who did even worse than Leonova will retire?

  5. #95
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skater Boy View Post
    Leonova is finished isn't she for this year or will she have a chance because of age limiits and such? From World silver to not even making top 5 at her own nationals = sad. I wonder whether Makarova who did even worse than Leonova will retire?
    Lipnitskaya will be eligible next year, too, so, unless puberty hits her disastrously (probable thing), the team will be Julia, Liza and Adelina, it would require a miracle for Leonova is she wants to be in the Olympic team: I can easily see Korobeneykova beating her, and maybe Makarova, too, if the judges don't keep holding her (Alena, I mean) up with absurd PCS...

  6. #96
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    Leonova has demonstrated in the past she shouldn't be written off. This has been a bad season for her, but I maintain that point of view.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ImaginaryPogue View Post
    Leonova has demonstrated in the past she shouldn't be written off. This has been a bad season for her, but I maintain that point of view.
    This has been two bad seasons for her, not just one...ending 7th and 8th at GP events this season doesn't bode well. She did well last season at nationals (though some could argue that she was held up by the PCS), and she did manage to get to GP final, but only because she had 3 attempts at GP events and two best counted. 4th and 3rd place wouldn't get her to GPF, but she had third attempt where she placed 2nd... 2nd at worlds was great, but 7th at Europeans was pretty bad for a skater like her. So this season was very bad, but last season was pretty inconsistent.
    Last edited by hanca; 01-06-2013 at 07:53 AM.

  8. #98
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    Exactly. She had an inconsistent season last year too but managed to deliver a clutch performance at Worlds, winning the short program and silver overall. The season before she was 3rd and 9th (!) in her GP events, missed the GPF, was 5th at Europeans.... and managed to deliver a top five performance at Worlds on home ice. She got Russia a second spot for the Vancouver Olympics on her own and has been instrumental in getting and maintaining a third spot at Worlds.

    She's certainly not a lock for Sochi. But I maintain that we shouldn't write her off.

  9. #99
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    Quote Originally Posted by ImaginaryPogue View Post
    Exactly. She had an inconsistent season last year too but managed to deliver a clutch performance at Worlds, winning the short program and silver overall. The season before she was 3rd and 9th (!) in her GP events, missed the GPF, was 5th at Europeans.... and managed to deliver a top five performance at Worlds on home ice. She got Russia a second spot for the Vancouver Olympics on her own and has been instrumental in getting and maintaining a third spot at Worlds.

    She's certainly not a lock for Sochi. But I maintain that we shouldn't write her off.
    One excuse that I have for Alena's poor performances this season is that she is very emotional and still could have a hangover over her second place finish at worlds. She was a "placeholder" for wonderbabies for many years and she is not used to be a frontrunner. I believe Russian Fed is planning to send her to Worlds and I agree with their decision to leave her off Europeans team. Leonova needed a slap in the face to wake up. I still think she has a good chance for the Olympic team since Lipnitskaya might have a difficult season ahead of her with coming puberty.

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    I don't think that not sending Leonova to Europeans was slap in the face. I think it was to avoid more embarrassment, because at this moment she is definitely not ready, the same as she has not been ready since the beginning of this season. I am really glad Gosviani got her chance. She deserved it. She was substitute at JGP events, but because no one withdrew, she never got her chance. In any other country (except of Japan and USA) she would be on podium at nationals, but in Russia they didn't even put her on their national team and didn't give her any international assignments. It was pure luck that she got to compete at their nationals, as a third substitute, because three other ladies withdrew.

    I am just curious what happens if Nicole Gosviani delivers at Europeans - would they still send Leonova to worlds, or would they give Nicole a chance? She would have to meet the TES scores for worlds of course. And what happens in Nicole doesn't deliver, but their skating test/internal competition shows that neither Leonova nor Makarova skate any better than they skated this season. I don't think they have anyone else to send. Well, Korobeynikova, but she had exactly the same results as Leonova and Makarova at GP events, 7th and 8th, and ended up just under them in Russian nationals, so all three of them skate the same (bad) at this moment. Lipnitskaya, hurry up and get a year older. Your (young) age is causing inconvenience.

  11. #101
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    I didn't mean RusFed wanted necessarily to slap Alena I meant it in the sense that it must be embarrassing for her not to be even named on Euro team after a silver at worlds, it must be an awakening moment. As far as I know Russian Federation is planning to decide the worlds team after another local skate-off after Europeans, Leonova will have a chance to prove herself there. I think if she skates poorly again and Gosviani is good, Leonova might stay home altogether, but my impression is that the Fed wants to and will send her to Worlds if she stabilizes.

    The best thing Gosviani can do now is to get as high score as possible at Europeans to have a chance to have a GP event next season. This could be a break-through moment for her.

  12. #102
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    Quote Originally Posted by ImaginaryPogue View Post
    Leonova has demonstrated in the past she shouldn't be written off. This has been a bad season for her, but I maintain that point of view.
    She couldnt be written off in the past since for years she was still by far the best Russian eligible skater when she was on. That is no longer the case with Elizaveta and Sotnikova age eligible for Worlds, and will be even less so next year with Lipnitskaya and Radionova as well. Now with all the wonderbabies becoming age eligible, even if none have made a huge impact yet, she will be dumped like a hot potatoe next year if he doesnt make it Worlds this year and make a strong showing.

  13. #103
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    Next year only Lipnitskaya for Worlds and Europeans (Radionova only GP events. she still will be too young for Europeans/Worlds). But never mind, her time will come. And every year there will be more and more of the youngsters coming to age...and Leonova's chances will be decreasing from year to year.

  14. #104
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    OK well Radionova being ineligible boosts Leonovas chances. Sotnikova is erratic and Lipnitskaya might already be on decline. Elizaveta T. and Radionova are the only ones who looks the real deal, even for the future. Still unless Leonova does something spectacular between now and this December, be it at Worlds this year or the GP series next year, I predict her to be off the Olympic team, no matter how well she skates at Nationals. I dont see her continuing past the 2014 season anyway, but who knows.

  15. #105
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    Quote Originally Posted by pangtongfan View Post
    OK well Radionova being ineligible boosts Leonovas chances. Sotnikova is erratic and Lipnitskaya might already be on decline. Elizaveta T. and Radionova are the only ones who looks the real deal, even for the future. Still unless Leonova does something spectacular between now and this December, be it at Worlds this year or the GP series next year, I predict her to be off the Olympic team, no matter how well she skates at Nationals. I dont see her continuing past the 2014 season anyway, but who knows.
    But you forgot Pogorilaya. She will be senior eligible next season, I think.

    And I wouldn't write off neither Adelina nor Liza. Although neither of them skated as well as during their junior years, they still skated MUCH better than Leonova. I also don't know why Lipnitskaya would be on decline if she placed at the top of the Russian pack during senior GP events. The only reason why she missed the nationals was concussion, which can happen to anyone and doesn't mean any decline.
    Last edited by hanca; 01-06-2013 at 04:38 PM.

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