From miki_m_ando on Instagram yesterday, ICYMI:
Thank you very much to support me today for my first come back skating in competition after 2 1/2 seasons and giving birth my baby Makes my feel go for it thank you so so much<3 and I'll try to do my best tomorrow!!! Xoxo
I'm definitely liking Miki's new look, and her jumps (at least in the SP) look very good. As long as she's got that Lutz and Loop consistent (along with the Salchow and Toe) she could definitely shake up the Japanese ladies podium at Nationals.
Miki's FS was not good at all. 4 triples (3z, 3lo, 3s, 3t). Two spins were level2 and two level1, and her footwork was level2. She got low GOE for all her elements. She recycled her Firebird FS from her first Senior season, and the interpretation was at the same level as it was then: nil. Her PCS scores were inflated simply because she is a former World champion, but were certainly not reflective of what she put forth on the ice. It was a labored effort that looked every bit as hard for her as it was.
Yes, she did a good job getting this far back in shape, coming back from childbirth, but she is no way competitive with the top Japanese ladies.
But keep in mind, it is September and Japanese Nationals is in late December. If she's brought herself this far having given birth six months ago, how much more can she improve her jumps and spins in three months? If she's determined, quite a lot I would assume, as long as she doesn't injure herself in the process. Miki has never needed sophisticated choreography or speed and skating skills to win.
Actually, I think the thing to bear in mind is: Nebelhorn came out of the blue for Miki, due to Kiira's injury/withdrawal. I don't think she expected to be competing until the end of the year, at Japanese nationals... and her training was probably paced accordingly.
Add to that - she said in her interview for Japanese TV right after her SP, that her FS choreography was only completed 10 days ago.
So it's little wonder she skated so cautiously - I think she did a fine job under the circumstances. And I think that given another couple of months of training, the likes of Suzuki certainly can't afford a poor performance at the Japanese Nationals - or Miki could snatch a place on the Olympic team.
I appreciate the thoughtful and informed updates. People so quickly jump to (their own) conclusions. Perhaps more disturbing, is how they formulate opinions which they feel strongly enough to share, without any basis or concern that they may be quite poorly or inadequately informed about the circumstances.
Perhaps questions can be posed but bashing is so often simply ignorant.
Miki has no reason to be ashamed. Like YesWay pointed out, she didn't anticipate skating this early in the season, but she rose to the challenge. Not a perfect skate, and she knows she needs to--and will--improve. But she's got the minimum score crossed her list now, and has one less thing to worry about. I bet that when we see her next time, the spins will be better, and she'll have more speed and power. Go Miki!