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Thread: 2012 Cup of China Mens Short Program

  1. #61
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    Nobody has "dissed" the US men from what I can see on this thread.

    Also....Hanyu completely ran out of gas in the LP at Skate America and he still beat every single US man there, not only overall but also in the LP. Just saying....

  2. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by evangeline View Post
    Nobody has "dissed" the US men from what I can see on this thread.

    Also....Hanyu completely ran out of gas in the LP at Skate America and he still beat every single US man there, not only overall but also in the LP. Just saying....
    Quote Originally Posted by Li'Kitsu View Post
    It always sounds a little ridiculous if the US men field is compared to the japanes one. Japan has more than 3 medal contenders, america has hardly one... I doubt any american man can challenge the japanese top 3 with at least solid skates - and it's debateable for Oda and by now even Machida too ...
    What Li'Kitsu said, especially the highlighted portion may not sound like "dissing" to you evangeline. And, it doesn't matter if you think it's dissing or not. IMO, it is dissing, or at the least completely underestimating some talented figure skaters, and not really looking at the full complexity of issues involved.

    I like watching a lot of skaters on the basis of their talent, regardless of nationality, and I wish that the way figure skating was structured was less based on country of origin than on talent and equal opportunities to compete against the best among peers.

    ETA:

    Hanyu is a remarkable skater who is clearly going places, but he was over-scored in the sp at SA, and made errors in the fp which should have lowered his scores more than they did. Yes, Hanyu would still be on the podium regardless of his mistakes in the fp, largely because of how well he performed in the sp and because the judges have confidence in him. And, yes the three American men did not come close (especially Jeremy who should have made the podium and clearly would have if he'd landed his jumps in the fp like he can do -- Jeremy attributed his poor performance to nerve compression problems in his back, but obviously even with the lack of jumps Jeremy's PCS marks show he possesses far more maturity and artistry than Hanyu, Machida and Kozuka). Again with more opportunities to get out there and compete on the A circuit in front of senior international judges, Armin and Razzano -- (especially Armin) have the all-around talent to be more competitive and place higher in competitions. Even had they skated cleanly though and landed all their quads Armin and Razzano would likely not have been given very high marks on a par with the top guys (and that has to do with reputation and politics factors).
    Last edited by Art&Sport; 11-02-2012 at 05:48 PM.

  3. #63
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    Number of grand prix spots:

    Japan: 13 - 7 skaters 6 with 2 spots and 1 with one (Murakami) -- top six at Japanese nationals + Oda (returning)
    USA: 12 - 7 skaters. 5 with 2 spots and 2 with one (Armin M. and Douglas Razzano) -- top five at nationals + Dornbush (13th) + Weir (returning)

    Both Japan and US have a problem getting their skaters out on the international skaters due to their deep fields. Keiji Tanaka (7th at nationals) Ryuju Hino (10th at nationals) have been on the junior circuit for three seasons, just like Jason and Josh here in the US.

    But I think the key difference is that while both countries have depth, Japan arguably (so far this season) have more breadth. It's not to say the U.S. men aren't talented -- they are -- or that they'll never be able to compete, but the results show that the Japanese men have the edge in the GP.

    That said, all that could change in the next generation: IN the JGP series -- the junior men from the U.S., on the whole, have been more impressive than the junior men from Japan. The trio of Brown-Farris-Chen have won 4 of the 6 golds (and Japan has won none) and the us men have won 6 medals overall (vs. 4 for japan).

    But as we all know junior results are not always indicative of what will happen at the senior level.
    Last edited by Mrs. P; 11-02-2012 at 05:54 PM.

  4. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by Art&Sport View Post
    Even had they skated cleanly though and landed all their quads Armin and Razzano would likely not have been given very high marks on a par with the top guys (and that has to do with reputation and politics factors).
    By "top guys," do you mean skaters like Chan and Takahashi?

  5. #65
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    ^^ Fair enough re your comments Mrs. P, and I'm saying there are a complexity of reasons for that. The top Japanese men have more resources, country and fed support and opportunities than e.g., Ross, Richard, Adam, Keegan and Armin have had (and Keegan and Armin will have to be competing with Joshua and Jason to get the chance -- eventually they will run out of time and begin to stagnate for lack of opportunities). Even though Oda has suffered from injuries and also experienced difficulty being able to get on the Japanese World team, he still has had plenty of opportunities and has won a lot of senior international medals. I don't think that Oda has more breadth of talent than Keegan and Armin and other U.S. guys. Although he is a strong jumper, Oda has had numerous resources available to him to work on his weaker artistic impression skills, and IMO both Armin and Keegan are better or at least on a par with him in presentation skills. But clearly Oda has more clout reputation wise because he's had more training resources and more opportunities.

    I do think the U.S. fed has too often shot itself in the foot (e.g., not realizing the necessity to get with CoP quicker and not understanding the importance of their male skaters training quads; not always giving Johnny the same backing and political support that they gave to Evan; favoring Ryan Bradley over Jeremy Abbott at 2011 Nationals, and then seeming to think that Ryan was magically going to be able to muster top level respect from the judges at Worlds -- at the least U.S. fed should have hedged their bets and sent Abbott with Ryan and Richard that year and maybe, just maybe the U.S. may not have lost 3 spots for Worlds, and that's not a knock on Ross). A huge problem is that if a federation does not seem to trust their most experienced and better internationally known male skater, despite his having made mistakes in his Nats fp, then none of your male skaters are going to get the respect they deserve at international competitions. IMO this situation could have helped weaken the already fragile confidence of a Jeremy Abbott, along with the confidence of first-timers like Richard and Ross who performed extremely well at 2011 Worlds but were low-balled in the marks.

    When the narrow windows of opportunity present themselves, U.S. skaters like Adam (and including Ross, Keegan, Armin, Razzano, and Carriere) must skate lights out on a consistent basis just to be given credibility and continuing opportunities. Otherwise, they have to once again wait and gear up do battle at U.S. Nats with too often few returns.

    Bottom line, the U.S. has not even been able to capitalize on the fact that Evan Lysacek is the reigning men's Olympic champion (because although Evan is very competitive, he is more workmanlike and not a very exciting skater to watch; also Evan did not land quads at the Olympics and Plushenko helped make that a firestorm, which led to Patrick Chan making it his business to master quads which has completely changed the men's landscape).
    Last edited by Art&Sport; 11-02-2012 at 06:34 PM.

  6. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by evangeline View Post
    By "top guys," do you mean skaters like Chan and Takahashi?
    In the instance to which I'm referring (SA), I'm talking about the top guys with rep going into that competition who aside from Jeremy were obviously Hanyu and Kozuka (and now after his excellent showings, Machida).

    Also clearly Menshov has more political support and recognition from judges than do Armin and Razzano, even though I think Armin and Razzano have better lines and are more polished skaters than Menshov -- although Menshov is a more consistent jumper.


    I totally give lots of cred to Machida for using unique, catchy rhythmic music by the DJ group C2C, from Nantes, France (known for their disco-mixing skills). FUYA (which Machida skates to) is from C2C's first album, Tetra.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1KOaT1vdLmc (C2C official video)
    Last edited by Art&Sport; 11-02-2012 at 06:52 PM.

  7. #67
    Forever stuck on those steps Li'Kitsu's Avatar
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    Art&Sport... I don't really want to answer to all of that in detail. To make it short and even more blunt: what I wrote back there that got you so upset was basically meaning I think your comment sucks. I never said the American men suck, aren't talented, or wouldn't easily be the strongest field after the japanese one. I'm not dissing them and I like a lot of them. I said those comparisons are ridiculous because I was referring to yours in the first place which made it sound like the american men were as strong as the japanese ones - and I've heard american fans saying that more than once. That doesn't change the fact that this in untrue - the japanese are at least one step ahead of the americans.

    And the most annoying part is that you are the one belittling the japanese - so japanese skaters are that good because they have the money and federation? No, that's not it. They are just that good, no matter how you might dislike it. For example, if I remember correctly, there are not enough ice rinks in Japan - some skaters have to train at night to get enough training time. Is that speaking for oh-so-perfect resources and opportunities?
    And the fed? Lol. Yes, the JSF has the money - but that's pretty much it. Kozuka? That man has the best skating skills in the world only second to Chan, mature choreography, subtile but lovely expression. He regulary gets snubbed in PCS. Oda? He just lost to a very subpar Chan despite being pretty clean himself expect for 2 mistakes (one of them a mere step-out), mainly because his PCS sucked. If the JSF are trying to politik, they're doing it pretty badly.

    And Machida has it so much better than poor little Jason and Josh? Yes, those two are facing a lot of competition at nationals - so? When Machida was 17 he was still a junior too, and guess what - he had to stand behind Takahashi, Oda and then Kozuka for a long time. He's 22 now, that man managed to bite his way through a tough field. He's not just lucky like you make him out to be.

    And I don't really know why I would like to uber around the japanese field for nationalistic reasons. Guess what, I'm just so much more impressed with them than with the american men.

  8. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by evangeline
    What's also sad is knowing that the Japanese world team (barring injury/severe catastrophic meltdowns) will almost certainly have Takahashi and Hanyu....leaving only one realistic spot for at least three talented men (Machida, Kozuka, Oda) to fight it out.
    Quote Originally Posted by Art&Sport View Post
    ^^ Re evangeline's comment, quite true. Somewhat similar for U.S. men, as both Japan and the U.S. are the most talent laden countries in the men's field. At U.S. Nats (with Evan and Johnny coming back), there will be six experienced senior international men vying for 2 spots (Evan, Johnny, Jeremy, Richard, Adam, Ross), and that's not even including the very talented Carriere, Messing, Armin, Aaron, as well as the very young guns, Joshua and Jason. And not to forget Mroz (if he gets his jumps and confidence back), as well as Grant Hochstein and Jonathan Cassar (who although he doesn't have a 3-axel, is a very expressive skater with an amazing spread eagle). Even Sean Rabbit has some good programs this season and would be competitive with some of the lower-ranked senior international skaters from some countries.
    Li'Kitsu, Above are the original comments by evangeline and myself. I was not making any kind of rebuttal or comparison, just simply making a comment from my perspective as a fan of skating and a follower of the U.S. men in particular. Clearly, I was not making a better than comparison between U.S. men and Japanese men with my initial comments. I simply commented that the situation for U.S. men (as a result of depth) is "somewhat similar" to what evangeline pointed out exists for Japanese men.

    You are the one who jumped on what I said as an opportunity to look down on the U.S. men's field, which prompted me to point out the complexities involved. Still, my point was not to make comparisons in terms of which group of guys is better, greater or lesser. I was just pointing out the differences in circumstances, resources and opportunities. There is no question that the Japanese men have had more success and carry more clout and competitiveness as things now stand. But that doesn't mean that on any given day the Japanese guys all have more talent than all the U.S. guys. Again, you were the one who brought up that kind of comparison, not me.

    I don't think skating fans on the Internet have ever equated the Japanese and U.S. guys as being on equal footing in terms of overall competitive success. All I have read other fans mentioning is the fact that both the Japanese and U.S. men's fields have more depth of talent than the men's fields in other countries. I don't think that fact is debatable either.

    Also, you have in your latest comments chosen to speak in a "mocking tone" about Josh and Jason, referring to them as "poor little Josh and Jason," simply because I mentioned that Josh had to spend another year in Juniors and would right now be very competitive with Machida. Sure Josh is still young and like Machida will eventually have the opportunity to shine on the senior international stage.

    My comments went beyond the surface to point out general failings in how the sport is structured, and also failings by the U.S. fed in their decision-making process. I think there are plenty of obstacles that all skaters have to overcome and regardless of any perceived advantages or disadvantages, all skaters must find it within themselves to fight, to overcome, to prevail, and if they are lucky, to win (or at least medal occasionally).

    BTW, I absolutely love Daisuke and I aso enjoy Hanyu and Kozuka too. And I think in many ways, Jeremy Abbott has skills that soar above not only them, but also Patrick Chan. Whether or not Abbott will ever be able to demonstrate this consistently on competitive ice remains to be seen. And in the end, it doesn't matter because winning is not everything and not the only thing.
    Last edited by Art&Sport; 11-02-2012 at 11:57 PM.

  9. #69
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    I hate Dai's costume. The sexiest skater alive should not be wearing a red pimp jacket.

  10. #70
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    I think it's a semantics debate.

    How many men can realistically make it to worlds from the USA: Jeremy, Adam, Josh, Ross, Jason, Armin, Stephen, Johnny, Evan and Richard. Depends on who skates well. This is a very broad field. There are a number of people who, if they step it up and others have poor skates, can make it to Worlds. The reason it's not a deep field, in my mind, is that it's not a field that'll win medals at Worlds. Of those skaters, only one is a podium level contender (Jeremy Abbott). The last three world medalists from the USA were Lysacek, Wier and....Timothy Goebel. On the other hand, how many of the aforementioned skaters have placed top ten at worlds? Jeremy, Adam, Richard, Johnny, Evan and Carriere.

    How about Japan? Well, I'd argue only four men can realistically make worlds: Oda, Kozuka, Hanyu and Takahashi. Machida makes five, Mura six (really stretching it). That's still a pretty broad field. The reason it's deep, however, it that three of them are world medalists, and a fourth one would've been but for a double toe. You can imagine a medal sweep in Tokyo in 2014. Machida's posting short program scores that would get him in the final group at Worlds, but we're all but certain he won't qualify due to the depth of field. That's deep.

  11. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by ImaginaryPogue View Post
    I think it's a semantics debate.

    How many men can realistically make it to worlds from the USA: Jeremy, Adam, Josh, Ross, Jason, Armin, Stephen, Johnny, Evan and Richard. Depends on who skates well. This is a very broad field. There are a number of people who, if they step it up and others have poor skates, can make it to Worlds. The reason it's not a deep field, in my mind, is that it's not a field that'll win medals at Worlds. Of those skaters, only one is a podium level contender (Jeremy Abbott). The last three world medalists from the USA were Lysacek, Wier and....Timothy Goebel. On the other hand, how many of the aforementioned skaters have placed top ten at worlds? Jeremy, Adam, Richard, Johnny, Evan and Carriere.

    How about Japan? Well, I'd argue only four men can realistically make worlds: Oda, Kozuka, Hanyu and Takahashi. Machida makes five, Mura six (really stretching it). That's still a pretty broad field. The reason it's deep, however, it that three of them are world medalists, and a fourth one would've been but for a double toe. You can imagine a medal sweep in Tokyo in 2014. Machida's posting short program scores that would get him in the final group at Worlds, but we're all but certain he won't qualify due to the depth of field. That's deep.

    Yes, a matter of semantics, because in my perspective, the meaning of "depth of talent/ deep field" has nothing to do with whether the U.S. men sent to Worlds will medal or not. Deep field means that at least 1 - 8 or more U.S. guys can realistically reach the U.S. Nationals podium. Now that's deep! You seem to feel that just because the U.S. does not now have a proven male veteran who in recent years has been on the Worlds podium, that it means they don't have "depth of talent." I disagree.

    Everyone who enters a competition is competing for a medal (of course realistically the top six to eight competitors in terms of talent, reputation and politics actually have a chance to medal at Worlds, and obviously the Japanese guys can sweep podiums). Politically, there is less chance they will sweep the Worlds podium in 2013 unless Chan is injured, but two medals out of three for the Japanese men at 2012 Worlds ain't bad and they have the chance to achieve that again, though there will be spoilers. If Jeremy ever gets his mojo working consistently in competition he could be one of those spoilers. With more experience, confidence, rep (and consistently landing their jumps) IMHO, even Richard, Adam and Ross have as much chance to compete for a Worlds podium as anyone else (if they are able to make the Worlds team). It is quite presumptuous of any fan to feel that because of the U.S. men's relatively poor competitive showing in recent years they don't and won't in the near future be able to match the best that Japan and the world have to offer. But fine, maybe it behooves for everyone to keep thinking the U.S. men lack talent and are such underdogs.

    Clearly, when they were still competing circa 2005 - 2010, both Evan and Johnny were always threats to make the podium (Johnny less so circa 2009 - 2010 than Evan mainly because Johnny was strangely CoP-challenged and was not receiving the same kind of political backing that Evan received from U.S. fed, not because Johnny had less talent or competitive ability, but because he's such an outspoken nonconformist).

    The main difference is that in recent years while Johnny and Evan have not been on the scene, the Japanese men have come into their own with Dai becoming World champion in 2010 (he should have been in 2012 as well), and of course Patrick Chan has been dominating the top of the podium post 2010. Last season, Hanyu began proving his mettle and his skills are absolutely amazing. Kozuka grabbed silver in 2011 and is showing improvement from his less successful showing last season. And now there's Fernandez putting up a head of steam as well. Reaching the Worlds podium will be a difficult enterprise for anyone outside of Chan, Dai, Hanyu, Kozuka, Fernandez -- also Evan if he returns with strength (he may or may not), and possibly either Richard, Jeremy, or Johnny if they make the team, skate lights out at Worlds and others falter.

    At this point, the Worlds podium appears to be out of reach for Joubert (but I wouldn't necessarily count him completely out). Brezina has seemed to show little improvement from last season. Unfortunately, Amodio appears to be a necessary evil (he can be entertaining and he has good jumping ability, but I find the direction his skating has taken to be rather annoying). Gachinski seems lost (but he has time to recover), sadly Verner has seen his best days and Menshov and Voronov are journeymen who seem to be like lesser versions of Plush. But once again, Menshov and Voronov have enough jumping ability that if others with more all-around skills falter they can place well (but likely not as far as the Worlds podium). Nan Song and Denis Ten are highly competitive, and Kevin Reynolds is also in the mix.

    ETA:
    Edited out references to Plush since his focus is reportedly Europeans and 2014 Olympics.
    Last edited by Art&Sport; 11-03-2012 at 12:08 AM.

  12. #72
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    You think plushenko would be somehow persuaded to go worlds?!?

  13. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by gmyers View Post
    You think plushenko would be somehow persuaded to go worlds?!?
    Oh yes, I forgot, Plush mainly has his eyes set on Europeans and 2014 Olympics. He is preserving his strength for Sochi 2014. So Plush then is out of 2013 Worlds equation, and not unsurprisingly that fact does not open things up very much, or make the field any less competitive. I will edit Plush out of my previous post, but still he looms on the horizon.

  14. #74
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    Apparently Joubert withdrew, citing abdominal illness and fever, and is flying back to France for treatment. It makes sense...he didn't look too well in the SP and it's not really like him to not do a quad or to double a triple jump; it's a lot more common for him to fall than to do that. It's better for him to rest, recover quickly, and hopefully will be able to compete in TEB, which is in only two weeks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Victura View Post
    Apparently Joubert withdrew, citing abdominal illness and fever, and is flying back to France for treatment. It makes sense...he didn't look too well in the SP and it's not really like him to not do a quad or to double a triple jump; it's a lot more common for him to fall than to do that. It's better for him to rest, recover quickly, and hopefully will be able to compete in TEB, which is in only two weeks.
    Oh, sorry to hear that. Maybe Joubert will come back strong for TEB and if he's at full strength at Worlds, he might make another run for the podium.

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