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Thread: Can Kostner hold off Russian babies?

  1. #31
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    Great comments on this thread. Very informative! I love how the Mao supporters have explained in such detail the considerable strengths Mao still brings to her skating, especially the difficulty of her transitions and choreography.

    Right now, at this moment, I feel like Kim and Kostner are co-favorites for Worlds. Kim--because she is incredible, and she is Olympic champion. Kostner--because her basic skating is so gorgeous right now, and she is World champion. They have the credentials, they have the skating skills, and most importantly, the judges love them.

    This does not necessarily mean Kim and Kostner will win gold and silver. I just think their chances are better than anyone else's.

    Below them is quite a large group of medal contenders: Mao, Suzuki, Wagner, Osmond, Tuktamysheva, Sotnikova, and Gold.

    Outside threats, to me, would be Korpi, Murakami, and Leonova (if she makes the team?).

    For those arguing that Mao is co-favorite with Kim and Kostner, I'd say no. She should be, based on credentials and skating skills. But her jumping problems keep her from favorite status, IMO. The URs and edge calls are just tough to overcome.

    We'll probably have a different picture, though, after 4CC. The showdown between Gold, Osmond, and the Japanese ladies should be fascinating. I really wish Yuna was competing as well!!

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by chuckm View Post
    Seems Asada's 2a+3t was fully rotated this year only when she was skating in Japan. I guess that means it will be ratified again at 4CC.
    Well, not including the Japan Open (though she didn't attempt the 3T). To be fair, both times (NHK and Jap Nationals) where she did land it, both were clean 3Ts, particularly the one at Nationals, and not due to being in Japan.

  3. #33
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    Another reason I think Mao won't win... regarding her loop and flip, here's her season's history with them -- her flip has been a issue -- she has yet to skate a competition where she lands both 3Fs in the FS.

    Japan Open: FS - both 3L clean, 3F clean, 3F underrotated
    Cup of China: SP - 3F underrotated, 3L clean; FS - both 3F's underrotated, both 3L's clean
    NHK: SP - 3F clean, 3L clean; FS - 2L, 3F, 3L, 2F
    GPF: SP - 3F clean, 3L clean; FS - both 3L clean, one 3F clean, one 3F underrotated
    Japanese Nationals: SP - 3F clean, 1L ; FS - both 3L clean (though IMO the second one was UR'ed), 3F clean, 2F

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by CanadianSkaterGuy View Post
    Another reason I think Mao won't win... regarding her loop and flip, here's her season's history with them -- her flip has been a issue -- she has yet to skate a competition where she lands both 3Fs in the FS.

    Japan Open: FS - both 3L clean, 3F clean, 3F underrotated
    Cup of China: SP - 3F underrotated, 3L clean; FS - both 3F's underrotated, both 3L's clean
    NHK: SP - 3F clean, 3L clean; FS - 2L, 3F, 3L, 2F
    GPF: SP - 3F clean, 3L clean; FS - both 3L clean, one 3F clean, one 3F underrotated
    Japanese Nationals: SP - 3F clean, 1L ; FS - both 3L clean (though IMO the second one was UR'ed), 3F clean, 2F
    That's really interesting, I hope she will be able to fix them, maybe taking back some transitions and telegraphing them a bit more, she has already an amazingly-choreographed program, if she doesn't have < in her flip a 0.25/0.50 lower TR score shouldn't affect her...

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by CanadianSkaterGuy View Post
    I can concede that many of Mao's spins are great, although I much prefer the extension Kostner's flying camel (which is better than Mao's) and Yu Na's combination and flying spins. Mao does have a nice layback, and Yu Na's is better when she's capable of adding a Biellmann. Kostner's layback is her weakest, so maybe I should have put Kim first and then Mao and then Kostner (since the other two don't really have a 'weak' spin). Mao also travels during some of her spins, just look at her freeskate at Japan Nationals.

    I think Mao's inconsistency will be the main thing that holds her back from winning the World title - particularly on the 3Z and 3S. Her flip and loop are money for her, but those two question marks and potential under-rotation on her 2A-3T might be her downfall.

    Speaking of which, Kostner is capable of a clean 3T-3T, much more than Asada, who has cleanly landed her 2A-3T at Japanese Nationals and NHK. I question Mao's ability to add a fully-rotated triple to any jump in combination, whereas at least Kostner has a shot at it. I can bet that at World's it will be under-rotated but hopefully she can get it sorted. BTW, Mao's 2A-3T at the GPF was not ratified... it was under-rotated and was marked down as such (http://www.isuresults.com/results/gp..._FS_Scores.pdf). Mao also missed it at the 2012 Japan Open doing 2A-2T, and at Cup of China it was 2A-3T<<. Hardly landing it "the whole season".
    Well, I should've said Mao has been attempting those 2A+3T's rather than landing cleanly but twice she got them ratified. This is progress. Generally her jumps have been improving since the beginning of the season. She's becoming more and more consistent. We will see what happens at 4CC.

    Sorry but again I must say that Mao's spins are far better. You're claiming that Yu-Na's layback will be better when she adds the Biellman. This is ridiculous. Yu-Na has one of the worst layback posistions amongst top ladies I've ever seen. Her free leg posistion is atrocious. Every single variation in the layback Mao does a lot better than Kim. Just watch any layback of Mao's and of Kim's from any point from their careers. In classic layback position Mao has her back parallel to the ice, only a few in the whole history of the sport have achieved that. Her Biellman is one of the most beautiful currently in skating.

    Mao's combination spin has far better positions than Yu-Na's and is equally fast. Yu-Na's I-spin is ugly when compared to Mao's one. Mao holds hers for eight revolutions maintaining its beauty as well as the speed and centering.

    Mao's flying camel spin is her "weakest" because it was choreographed in such a way to minimise the time needed to garner level four. She fulfills few features at the same time, that is combines her difficult variariot with the change of edge. It's kind of rushed but it gives more time for the choreography and steps.

    Mao travels much rarely than Kostner who virtually always travels on her combination spins.

  6. #36
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    The judges seem to think otherwise with Yu Na consistently getting her GOE on her layback. Mao will slow down her layback, particularly in the Biellmann position, and her free leg, while better than Yu Na's, is still not the most attractive or high (especially in the sideways position). Sometimes Mao's combination spin will lose speed when she's switching sit positions after the change foot. Yu Na's I-spin is indeed less attractive, but she holds it for more rotations than Mao, too. Mao's flying spin in both programs is minimized, though I don't see why it has to be so rushed, particularly in her free... adding two or three rotations takes 3 seconds). Yu Na also has minimal rotations on her flying camel as Mao, but her flying camel has a harder variation of camel position in the lying back. Yu Na's flying sit is also much higher and faster rotations than any I've seen Mao do. Mao has a tendency to have better positions, but Yu Na tends to get more rotations and "completes" her spins better, IMO.

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bartek View Post
    Sorry but again I must say that Mao's spins are far better. You're claiming that Yu-Na's layback will be better when she adds the Biellman. This is ridiculous. Yu-Na has one of the worst layback posistions amongst top ladies I've ever seen. Her free leg posistion is atrocious. Every single variation in the layback Mao does a lot better than Kim. Just watch any layback of Mao's and of Kim's from any point from their careers. In classic layback position Mao has her back parallel to the ice, only a few in the whole history of the sport have achieved that. Her Biellman is one of the most beautiful currently in skating.
    I have to disagree on what you're calling "ridiculous." Everything aside from Yu-Na's free leg position in her layback is and has been top notch over the seasons, including her back position and the overall speed. When she attempted the Biellmann, it was fine, though she's not attempting it now. (And btw, her free leg has improved this season.) Do I really need to link to Sandra Bezic and Scott Hamilton gushing over Yu-Na's layback at 2009 Worlds SP? I guess I do.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...pt92ygE#t=205s

    Personally, I love this spin and this performance for all of the other qualities that it has, in spite of the lack of a pretty free leg position--that's just a nitpick though. (My favorite layback spin right now is that by Karen Chen, so it's not like I don't appreciate it at all.)

    Anyway, that back position was as good as it gets--parallel to the ice. The quality of a spin is not only about position, by the way, though there's an overemphasis on that in this thread. Yu-Na also has the ability to accelerate in her layback spin, which is a feature so difficult to earn that very few ladies earned it during the 2006-2007 season when it was required to get a level 4. (During that season, Yu-Na was the only one to earn a level 4 layback spin twice, btw--2006 Skate Canada FS and 2007 Worlds SP, which is how she broke the world record.)

    Mao's Biellmann is effortless and beautiful, but that's only one position in the layback. She also doesn't attempt the classic layback position all that often, so that makes it more difficult to compare her layback to Yu-Na's. I don't remember Mao getting her back parallel to the ice in classic position, but maybe you could provide some examples. In any case, Yu-Na has done plenty of good things in her layback spin, regardless of what Mao has or hasn't done.
    Last edited by jaylee; 01-31-2013 at 05:16 PM.

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by jaylee View Post
    I have to disagree on what you're calling "ridiculous." Everything aside from Yu-Na's free leg position in her layback is and has been top notch over the seasons, including her back position and the overall speed. When she attempted the Biellmann, it was fine, though she's not attempting it now. (And btw, her free leg has improved this season.) Do I really need to link to Sandra Bezic gushing over Yu-Na's layback at 2009 Worlds SP? I guess I do.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...pt92ygE#t=205s

    Personally, I love this spin and this performance for all of the other qualities that it has, in spite of the lack of a pretty free leg position--that's just a nitpick though. (My favorite layback spin right now is that by Karen Chen, so it's not like I don't appreciate it at all.)

    Anyway, that back position was as good as it gets--parallel to the ice. The quality of a spin is not only about position, by the way, though there's an overemphasis on that in this thread. Yu-Na also has the ability to accelerate in her layback spin, which is a feature so difficult to earn that very few ladies earned it during the 2006-2007 season when it was required to get a level 4. (During that season, Yu-Na was the only one to earn a level 4 layback spin twice, btw--2006 Skate Canada FS and 2007 Worlds SP, which is how she broke the world record.)

    Mao's Biellmann is effortless and beautiful, but that's only one position in the layback. She also doesn't attempt the classic layback position all that often, so that makes it more difficult to compare her layback to Yu-Na's. I don't remember Mao getting her back parallel to the ice in classic position, but maybe you could provide some examples. In any case, Yu-Na has done plenty of good things in her layback spin, regardless of what Mao has or hasn't done.
    I must say you've persuaded me a bit when it comes to Yu-Na's layback. It's very fast and well-centered, however her free leg position is so terrible that I just can't appreciate the whole thing "properly", its good qualities notwithstanding. I was skating-wise brought up listening to Dick Button and with all due respect to Sandra and Scott I respect his opinion more: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0bYtM0vmtkM&t=2m34s
    I don't deny it's fast and well-centered but the positions are inferior to those of Mao's.

    Even though Yu-Na's layback is good indeed Mao's one is even better. She's a bit slower but keeps the centering as well as Yu-Na and every variation (not only speaking of laybacks) she does is aesthetically superior.

    Mao doesn't do flying sit spin anymore but here is how it looked last season. High flying entrance, perfect centering, good speed and beautiful positions which require a lot of flexibility: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qKVVFyB8w94&t=1m52s

    Now the layback. It's true that Mao usually went for the lowered-leg position like Kwan did but her back position was absolutely perfectly straight and parallel to the ice. Last season, however, she did include classic layback position. It's brief, just 3 revolutions but still we can see that it is much better than Yu-Na's and I consider it better than the easier position with lowered leg. On the other hand, Mao changed her sideways position as well and it was not as good-looking as before. Biellman remained the same, as you said beautiful and effortless but it's held for 8 revulution as opposed to 3 in the older version: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qKVVFyB8w94&t=3m32s

    Combination spin. I would take Mao any day again for her beautiful, aesthetically-pleasing and effortless positions. Yu-Na's I-spin used to be terrible: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0bYtM0vmtkM&t=3m03s
    Relatively poor stretch, bent knee and no pointed toe. It may be fast, centered, ok, but the position is just poor.

    Now it's a little improved but still what Mao does in her combination spin is by far better: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oz7GcVmhxjA&t=2m7s
    Perfect line from skating leg up to the extended leg with beautifully pointed toes.

    Edit: And for the poster who claims that Yu-Na holds her I-spin (hardly an I-spin actually with this poor stretch) longer than Mao. This season right but here you've got Asada using this very position as a feature for 8 revolutions in a spin for higher level: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qKVVFyB8w94&t=2m19s actually 12 revolutions with continuous speed. And I dare say it looks much better than when Kim holds her I-spin for 8 revolutions.
    Last edited by Bartek; 01-31-2013 at 06:01 PM.

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by CanadianSkaterGuy View Post
    3Z, Kim > Kostner (just got it back) >> Asada (still flutzes and doubles occasionally)
    3F, Kim > Kostner > Asada (while Kostner and Kim have better technique and speed on their flip, Asada is consistently given good GOE for it, though... I give edge to Kim because she's able to tack on a 3T to hers, which is an advantage)
    3L, Kostner >> Asada (Kostner has nicer transitions and better height and speed, Asada's is consistent, Kim doesn't attempt it so she really shouldn't be compared)
    3S, Kostner = Kim >> Asada (Kostner has a nice salchow, but so does Kim, both do two of them, Asada's 3S is her worst)
    XX-3T, Kim >>> Kostner > Asada (Kim is the only one who can reliably do her 3T in combos without UR... Kostner has a good 3T but sometimes makes errors, Asada often UR's it in combination with 2A)
    2A, Asada > Kim > Kostner

    Choreography/Performance
    Kim > Kostner > Asada

    Spins
    Kostner > Kim > Asada

    Consistency
    Kim > Asada > Kostner

    At this point I think Kim is obviously the one to beat and Kostner and Asada will duel it out for silver/bronze. Even though I think Kostner has better jumps than Asada, Asada is slightly more consistent and still gets similar GOE as Kostner. A huge advantage is in Kim's ability to tack on 3T to her flip/lutz/2A.
    I mostly agree with you except 2A and spins, and probably 3S.
    2A : Yuna > Mao > Caro : Yuna has huge, fluid 2A. She can do it out of an Ina Bauer and spread eagle as well as add 3T. Mao has great 2A, but she pre-rotates a lot than Yuna.
    Spins : Mao > Yuna > Caro : Mao has flexibility, gorgeous balletic position. Yuna has fast, centered spins, her layover camel spin and layback are beautiful in my eyes.
    3S : Caro > Yuna > Mao : Caro has one of the best 3S in ladies.


    Quote Originally Posted by jaylee View Post
    I have to disagree on what you're calling "ridiculous." Everything aside from Yu-Na's free leg position in her layback is and has been top notch over the seasons, including her back position and the overall speed. When she attempted the Biellmann, it was fine, though she's not attempting it now. (And btw, her free leg has improved this season.) Do I really need to link to Sandra Bezic and Scott Hamilton gushing over Yu-Na's layback at 2009 Worlds SP? I guess I do.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...pt92ygE#t=205s

    Personally, I love this spin and this performance for all of the other qualities that it has, in spite of the lack of a pretty free leg position--that's just a nitpick though. (My favorite layback spin right now is that by Karen Chen, so it's not like I don't appreciate it at all.)

    Anyway, that back position was as good as it gets--parallel to the ice. The quality of a spin is not only about position, by the way, though there's an overemphasis on that in this thread. Yu-Na also has the ability to accelerate in her layback spin, which is a feature so difficult to earn that very few ladies earned it during the 2006-2007 season when it was required to get a level 4. (During that season, Yu-Na was the only one to earn a level 4 layback spin twice, btw--2006 Skate Canada FS and 2007 Worlds SP, which is how she broke the world record.)

    Mao's Biellmann is effortless and beautiful, but that's only one position in the layback. She also doesn't attempt the classic layback position all that often, so that makes it more difficult to compare her layback to Yu-Na's. I don't remember Mao getting her back parallel to the ice in classic position, but maybe you could provide some examples. In any case, Yu-Na has done plenty of good things in her layback spin, regardless of what Mao has or hasn't done.
    Not only Scott and Sandra. Kurt also said, "That is exquisite"
    http://youtu.be/1kc5mud9jQQ?t=2m

    I think Yuna's spins are underrated because of her free leg position, whereas Mao's are somewhat overrated thanks to her beautiful positions.
    As for the layback spin, Yuna's is faster and centered, her upper body is more flexible than Mao. It was really gorgeous live than TV, actually more impressive than Mao's.
    Don't get me wrong, I think Mao's spins are better than Yuna. She has very great, beautiful spins. But Yuna is a good spinner, too. Pretty free leg position and toe point are not everything in spins

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by naan View Post
    I mostly agree with you except 2A and spins, and probably 3S.
    2A : Yuna > Mao > Caro : Yuna has huge, fluid 2A. She can do it out of an Ina Bauer and spread eagle as well as add 3T. Mao has great 2A, but she pre-rotates a lot than Yuna.
    Spins : Mao > Yuna > Caro : Mao has flexibility, gorgeous balletic position. Yuna has fast, centered spins, her layover camel spin and layback are beautiful in my eyes.
    3S : Caro > Yuna > Mao : Caro has one of the best 3S in ladies.



    Not only Scott and Sandra. Kurt also said, "That is exquisite"
    http://youtu.be/1kc5mud9jQQ?t=2m

    I think Yuna's spins are underrated because of her free leg position, whereas Mao's are somewhat overrated thanks to her beautiful positions.
    As for the layback spin, Yuna's is faster and centered, her upper body is more flexible than Mao. It was really gorgeous live than TV, actually more impressive than Mao's.
    Don't get me wrong, I think Mao's spins are better than Yuna. She has very great, beautiful spins. But Yuna is a good spinner, too. Pretty free leg position and toe point are not everything in spins
    Mao's layback and spins in general are as well centered as Yu-Na's but definitely slower. However, Mao makes up this drawback with stunning positions. Her upper body is by far more flexible than Yu-Na's. Mao's back is basically flat to the ice showing much better stretch than Yu-Na, actually one of the best back positions in the history of figure skating (of course the free leg is not perfect in any way). In the Biellman position Mao again shows totally superior stretch to Yu-Na. Look at this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=56hdpfuw36E&t=2m43s

    When it comes to their axels I would give the edge to Mao again. I think this is her best jump actually, no wonder she occasionally bring it up to a triple. I cannot really see this pre-rotating issue you attach to Mao's 2A. To me it looks completely ok. While Yu-Na has been doing her double axel out of ina bauer or spread eagle for years, and this great of course as it adds difficulty to the jump, Mao has a difficult entrance of her own. Equally difficult as Yu-Na's spread eagle if not more but surely far more creative. How many times have we seen skaters using spread eagles as an entrance to garner more GOE? That had been practiced even before CoP emerged. I think I have never before seen a skater approaching a jump with a fan spiral and the one Mao does is of a highest quality: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oz7GcVmhxjA&t=46s
    In terms of height, distance and flow they are comparable, both huge and covering a lot of ice but Mao definitely has better extention of the free leg than Yu-Na. Additionally, she lands the jump with two arms above her head which fullfils the bullet for creative/difficult exit as well. This is why she gets 2's across the board and I would give her the edge as far as 2A is concerned.

  11. #41
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    Miss Mao has some of the most creative entries into her 2A.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...wtmch9w#t=127s
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...mG6Qvno#t=168s

    I think she has the best 2A of the ladies. So soft so effortless.

  12. #42
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    This is a tremendously helpful and enjoyable thread! Thanks to everyone for the precise examination of all the moves. Comparing the two skaters element by element makes me understand not only what the skaters are doing but how I can look at them to get more out of what I'm seeing.

  13. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bartek View Post
    I must say you've persuaded me a bit when it comes to Yu-Na's layback. It's very fast and well-centered, however her free leg position is so terrible that I just can't appreciate the whole thing "properly", its good qualities notwithstanding. I was skating-wise brought up listening to Dick Button and with all due respect to Sandra and Scott I respect his opinion more: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0bYtM0vmtkM&t=2m34s
    I don't deny it's fast and well-centered but the positions are inferior to those of Mao's.
    Cool, glad you can see some of the nicer qualities of Yu-Na's layback. You are entitled to love and admire whatever qualities you like, so if the position of the free leg is very important to you, then that's cool and I'm not trying to change how you feel. I just gotta disagree about certain observations, because I haven't seen the video support there in the past, but we're all entitled to love certain qualities more than others.

    I listened to Dick Button quite a bit, and I thought his obsession with the free leg was a bit much for a spin that's called the layback spin. But his ranting paid off, to a certain extent. Most American girls have terrific extension of the free leg in their laybacks. Pity though that Dick Button never paid as much attention to the issue of flutzing. I think the US girls would be better off today if he had. *shrug*

    Dick Button may not have liked Yu-Na's leg position, but that particular layback spin of Yu-Na's got a layback 4 due to all its other qualities, and that helped her break the world record in the SP at 2007 Worlds, so clearly it's not the only aspect of the spin that is important or valued.

  14. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by jaylee View Post
    I listened to Dick Button quite a bit, and I thought his obsession with the free leg was a bit much for a spin that's called the layback spin. But his ranting paid off, to a certain extent. Most American girls have terrific extension of the free leg in their laybacks. Pity though that Dick Button never paid as much attention to the issue of flutzing. I think the US girls would be better off today if he had. *shrug*
    #2, 3, 4, 6, 7, etc... at the US Nationals all have true lutz.
    flutzing isn't a specific problem within the US with or without Dick Button's ranting.

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    Japanese ladies flutz just as much if not more. Many of the Russian ladies do too.

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