I agree she'll need it for the SP but not necessarily to place well for the entire competition. She will only risk being behind if everyone who has a more difficult content in the SP goes clean, which can happen but rarely does. I think it's much more important for her to go clean in the short than risk it as she had done at Worlds in the last two years. It is the year before Olympics so it's important for her to place on the podium.
Personally, I'd prefer if Mao concentrated on perfecting her programs and, if there's enough time, getting a 3F-3T. Her base triples have been showing a steady improvement since the beginning of the season, and 2A-3T consistency became quite impressive considering the fact she took a lot of time off this off-season. Given the hip/back injury that bothered her this season, I'd rather see her stick to the current jumping layout than to get injured right before the Olympic season.
That said, Mao stated that by Words she'd like to have either 3A or a 3-3 in both of her programs, and usually if she commits to a certain strategy, she doesn't go back on her word (unless detracted by injury or other unforeseen circumstances, knock on wood).
At that time, Mao had no 3Lz or 3S in her programs, tripped before her 3T and skipped it altogether, and every 3F she landed received some negative GoE from the judges. If it weren't for her triple axels, she wouldn't medal. I've seen some people accuse her of spending too much time working on 3A before the Olympics, but actually, according to a documentary aired after the Olys, Mao spent the most time working on her 3F. There was no time to rework her jumps completely (as it could take 2-4 seasons), so she just stuck to getting 3F solid enough to put into her programs and try to close the point gap left by excluding 3Lz and 3S by doing 3 triple axels.
Originally Posted by vera01
It's rather difficult to judge the stability of the jump basing on the performance in shows where the rink size is decreased and/or the show lights make it tricky to attempt upper-tier jumps. A lot of Japanese skaters didn't give their best performances during those shows. And then there's the issue of choreo - after the Nationals Mao said she planned to visit Lori to improve the choreo and make her jumping passes more comfortable to include a 3A or 3-3.
Originally Posted by let`s talk
Personally, more than 3A or lack of thereof, I'm worried about Mao's tight schedule (Nats, JSC, shows, shows, shows, a trip to Canada, 4CC...). Her main competitors will be much better rested in time for Worlds, and in the recent years Mao had a tendency to peak at 4CC. I'm not sure it was wise from JSF to assign Mao, Akiko and Daisuke to 4CC...
Like subtlety in ice dancing
Asada will absolutely need a 3A or 3/3 to win Worlds. She's done very well this season winning everything she entered so far. But Worlds is where everybody steps their game up, and Asada's jumps hasn't really been up to snuff. Plus, there's the matter of Yuna Kim, who doesn't seem to have missed a beat, coming back. The top contenders are all hungry killers. They will all assume that the others will bust out the big guns, so they are going to bring their own. It's an arms race and the motto is BYOB (Bring Your Own Bomb) if you want to win. Can Asada do it? I doubt it.
On the Ice
Well, IF Mao skates clean she can get 140+ in the LP.
Her GPF score was almost 130. She underrotated her 2A-3T for which she got 5.9. At NHK she got 8.6 for it, so here we have a 2.7 point difference. She also underrotated her 3F and got 3.5 for it while at NHK it was 6.1 whick gives us 2.6 points more. She doubled a salchow that received 1.3 points, a triple one she performed in China got 4.9, here we get 3.6 points. Summing up, if we substitute her jumping passes that went wrong at GPF with the correctly performed ones at other events this season we get a score of 138.9. She could obviously get a bit higher PCS since it'll be the end of the season and she could improve also on these aspects and get better GOE on other elements so that her final score would be 140+.
Now, if she is to jump a 3A, where would it be? Probably instead of a 2A-3T since she has been doing practises of her LP with 3A there. It can't be instead of her first jump, 3L because there's too little time for her to prepare for the big thing. The best she ever performed was about 9 points for her triple axel and we all know she's nowhere nere nailing it as she did at Olympics. Then she could make a combo with a 3T, probably 3F-3T so that she would have additionally about 5 points more for the combo and 0.4 for the axel instead of 2A-3T. So theoretically, she could earn 5.4 here and that would give a score of 144.3. But now let's face the truth. Her most recent good attempt at a triple axel was at 2012 4cc LP where she got 4.7 for it. There's no sense to perform it, it just takes too much time and her score with such an axel and a good 3-3 would be 140. So just 1.1 points more than a perfect program with no triple-triple and no 3A, just 2A-3T and 3F.
If she was to add a 3-3 where do you think it would be? In my opinion Mao would probably upgrade her solo 3F to 3F-3T but then she would have to eliminate one combination and all 3 worth a lot of points. Because I can't imagine her doing a 3F-3T as her last jumping pass even though that would be extremely cool! So where do you think she would jump a triple-triple and what her jump layout would be. I just want to see how many points she could rack up with a triple-triple.
I know all these are just hypothetical points for a perfect program from Mao but after such a short analysis I can clearly see she should not really concentrate on her 3A, let's be realistic, as much as I love Mao, she won't get her 3A like she did before 2010 and a triple-triple is more achievable.