I can't believe this is her first competition after a long break! OMG She is GORGEOUS!
Let me just get this out of the way: Her skating was kind of awkward for me.
With that said ... dang, girl! Amazing first competition; just as you would expect from a truly gifted skater's comeback and I hope she is able to refine this program.
And hopefully Mao gets rejuvenated by Yuna's time back on the ice. Gracious, I'd love to see some of that (friendly!) rivalry again.
I was so bored with ladies skating without Yuna. I thought she did great, after all it was her first competition in 2-3yrs? Her jumps are still huge! can't wait to see more of her.
She skated beautifully. I loved how her short didn't feel like a required short. Her footwork was beautiful and not the rushed frantic footwork that is more common.
Yuna admitted recently that she struggled most with spins in her training up to this event. It's clear the jumps come naturally to her but that other elements take a bit of work to gain and refine. Fortunately, she's got four months until Worlds. She lacked the flexibility of many skaters even in her peak years so I expected she would be a little rusty after two years off.
Her 3Flip and 3Lutz+3Toe were amazing, though, and even better in the warm-up!
Aside from taking out the spiral sequence and including the option of either a 2A/3A, nothing much has really changed in the Ladies SP. Correct me if I am wrong. In respect to the PCS for the ladies' short program, the PCS have not been "trending higher."
NRW is a Senior B competition right? If anything, that may be the reason of her high PCS.
It should be remembered that until 1995 or so, hyperflexibility was not required or particularly rewarded in ladies' figure skating. As recently as 1992, Kristi Yamaguchi became Olympic champion and a legend in the sport without ever approaching even Yuna's level of flexibility, much less Mao's or Julia's. Flexibility, to me, really has intrinsically little to do with skating. Beautiful line and interpretive artistry are the goals. Flexibility can be a useful, but not necessary, tool in achieving those goals. I like that Yuna does not overly rely on this one tool, unlike Julia for example.