To be fair, Satoko DID beat Akiko at Nationals last year, but that was only after Akiko had a terrible FS with several jump errors.
Originally Posted by ForeverFish
I guess one could argue that Satoko was held up given that she got no URs in the competition.
NMURA seems to be hinting that Satoko would be held up for the Olympic team regardless of what Akiko does at Japanese nationals.
Well, her spins aren't the best. And below the top in ss and transitions.
But she really is one of the best performers out there, perhaps deserves higher pcs.
But it isn't what she lacks that makes is hard to crack, let's say, being one of the top 5 skaters over the years.
It's just that when you're skating in the era of Kim, Asada, Kostner, Rochette, and Ando, you'd better have something tangible/intangible to beat them. Suzuki may have better artistry/musicality than Ando, but her spins aren't better, and her jumps are way behind the scale and quality of not just her, but the others. In another era, Akiko could def. crack top 5, but not in the past 2 quadrennials. (Well, maybe 2 yrs ago when Kim was out, Kostner getting into form, Asada struggling, and Leonova was a contender, lol)
Suzuki doesnt usually skate great at Japanese Nationals though. So if the JSF really want Satoko on the team they will likely get an opportunity to do that. URs are easier than falls to ignore if you simply want to as well. I am not sure that is the case, but if politically that is the situation they could well make it happen since it is unlikely Suzuki will skate lights out at Nationals. She very rarely does.
Originally Posted by Mrs. P
Exactly. I mean, Akiko didn't exactly have a glowing performance, but Satoko most likely did not develop a chronic UR problem in the three months between Japanese Nationals and Jr. Worlds.
Originally Posted by Mrs. P
I predict Miyahara and Suzuki will be the evenly matched rivals at Japanese nationals unless Suzuki wins Skate Canada, or Miyahara fails to live up to expectations at GPs. In 2009, Nakano and Suzuki received exactly same PCS in the FS (Nakano was a little higher in the SP but not much). Again in last year, Oda and Mura received same PCS in the FS. In a sense, they selected the 3rd on the basis of technical and mental strengths, not past records or reputations. It is almost certain that Miyahara delivers "cleaner" performances than Suzuki, without serious errors like falls, pops, step outs. Suzuki's mental weakness was shown in many occasions. If she "senses" that the judges are not on her side, she easily crumbles under pressure. The most obvious cases are national sports festival of this year and London worlds. On the other hand, she skates comfortably when she knows that the judges are on her side (WTT of this year and last year). If Suzuki finds out that the national judges are not giving her big PCS advantages against Miyahara, she is most likely to panic and bombs in the FS. The audiences and viewers will be convinced that Miyahara skated "better" than Suzuki and she deserves to go to the Olympics. Suzuki can't beat Miyahara relying only on the PCS, and that is the scenario I expect to happen.
Suzuki and Miyahara are in SC, NHK, and Rostelecom, which are the three toughest of the 6 GP's. SC is probably the toughest, with Akiko needing to beat Kim, Julia L., Gold, Korpi, and Osmond on her home turf for a win which NMURA says she needs. I think she will medal, but not win. Suzuki and Miyahara go head to head at NHK. Again I would expect Suzuki to medal against a very tough field of Mao, Li, Gold, Nagasu, and Radionova. I would expect Miyahara to be in a battle with Elene G. for ninth and tenth (last) place. Then Miyahara goes to Rostelecom, against Kostner, Osmond, Kanako, Julia L., Tuk, and Mirai. She might beat Imai for ninth place. I would hope the JSF wouldn't pick someone for their Olympic team who may get a couple ninth place GP finishes over Suzuki, who has won 11 GP medals (including GPF medals) in her career. If the JSF wants Miyahara to get more international exposure, Four Continents would be a good competition for her.
Originally Posted by NMURA
The future is on Miyahara's side and it's reasonable to give her some "expectation" points to offset Suzuki's "reputation" points. Suzuki needs to prove her chance of winning an Olympic medal (which she has never done before). Miyahara needs to prove that she's the most promising (eligible) skater younger than Murakami.
Akiko has no real weakness but she isn't super strong and her style or presence isn't overwhelming. She will need some help but who knows an Olympic medal is not impossible BUT of course it is possible she might not make it out of Japan.
Forever stuck on those steps
Yeah. And of course, that's the only thing that counts at all - that one triple at Jr. Worlds. Doesn't matter that her team actually did get the note, got her Kulik as a jumping coach and she managed to get 6 out of 7 triples ratified in her FS at the Asian Trophy (including a 3Lz-3T!). Or that she does Lz and F with correct egdes. Who cares that the rest of her skating is pretty amazing, from her SS to the CH with beautiful transitions over to her maturity and interpretation.
Originally Posted by ForeverFish
I really love Akiko, and saying the JSF will get Satoko to be part of that Olympic team no matter what is BS. Even if Akiko doesn't have a chance at an Olympic medal at all (with which I'm not even completly agreeing), if she proves to be of help for getting a team medal (assuming they let to different skaters skate the SP and FS) or simply skates better than Satoko&Co., she's in. Despite that and how so many people seem to think nothing of Satoko than "that girl has tiny jumps", she's improved a lot and actually is a threat for that omyplic spot - because of the qualities to her skating. If she manages to skate well at her GPs and at Nationals, it's fairly possible she will have earend her Olympic spot. I don't like it, but it's highly likely one japanese lady will be left at home who'd really deserve to go to Sochi. And that one could be Akiko as well as Satoko (or maybe Kanako).
08-15-2013, 09:34 AM
I think someone on this board has already made the point that Satoko has little chance of placing higher than eighth or ninth at both of her GP events this season. That's no fault of hers, but simply the issue of this being an Olympic season, when the competition will be tougher than ever.
And, anyway, you didn't read my post in context. I was responding to the suggestions that Satoko should get the third Olympic spot just because Akiko is too old/past her peak/has no chance at a medal anyway. Last time I checked, Akiko was still very much in the game, and the JSF doesn't award spots based on potential.
08-15-2013, 10:01 AM
There is no way that Satoko will be put on the team over Suzuki. Unless she absolutely bombs and Miyahara skates lights out, Suzuki will undoubtedly outscore her. As mentioned, Miyahara (through no fault of hers) will likely not medal on the GP, whereas Suzuki is an expected medalist in all her GP events.
08-15-2013, 10:09 AM
I dont know if I would even call Suzuki an expected medalist at her events.
First off Skate Canada. There is absolutely no way she is beating Kim of course. So if NMURA's claims she is in trouble if she doesnt "win" Skate Canada are true (which I dont neccessarily believe, but she is Japanese and knows more about the inside situation there than any of us do) then she is already in trouble as she is never winning there barring a WD from Kim. I would favor Gold to finish above her, she could beat Gold if she skates really well (and even if she doesnt Gold could have mistakes too) but Gold would be favored over her at this point IMO. Julia L. last year despite a rough season posted top scores, excluding the WTT, on par or higher than Suzuki. Osmond is on her home ice, finished higher than Suzuki at Worlds, and beat her at Skate Canada last year. She could medal but she isnt neccessarily an expected medalist, not for me anyway.
NHK perhaps. Then again I would expect Mao and Gold to most likely beat her. Mao beat her there this past year with about 3 triples which proves emphatically who the JSF favorite is. Li has quite a decent shot of beating her. She is much more consistent, and is only getting better, and finished above Suzuki at Worlds. Suzuki had a bad event at Worlds and should/hopefully will usually skate better than that, but as I said Li is very consistent, gaining judges respect all the time, and improving at a rapid rate. Who knows what Nagasu will bring but if she wants any hope of the 3rd spot on the U.S team she will be really bringing it by this stage too.
08-15-2013, 10:13 AM
If not an expected medalist, certainly a medal contender and certainly more than Miyahara.
Something tells me that Gold will turn in on in her GP events, but Suzuki does have experience on her side. I could picture them splitting their GP events in terms of higher placement.
08-15-2013, 10:30 AM
Yes, I would hope/expect that Gracie has a better GP this season than she had last season. She'll want to set herself up well for the US judges come January.
As for Akiko, I dearly hope that she manages at least a bronze at both of her events. Here's how I anticipate things will pan out for her:
SC: Yuna, Gracie, Akiko
NHK: Mao, Gracie, Akiko (unless Mao skates as poorly as she did last year, in which case I would expect the scoring to be: Akiko, Mao, Gracie)
It might not be good enough to get her into the Final -- I can see Yuna and Carolina winning both of their events, and Mao and Ashley with one gold and one silver apiece -- but two medals on the GP is still quite a respectable feat. It'll show the JSF that she's serious about challenging for the Olympic podium.
08-15-2013, 10:45 AM
I think you're all underestimating Miyahara. She will place 6th or higher at both GPs. actually, she didn't get so many UR's except in Milan, Italy. She constantly lands 7 or 8 triples on paper (meaning ratified clean triples). NHK trophy is the JSF's home turf. You can see their "plan" by watching how she would be treated closely.
There are only three examples which Japan had 3 Olympic spots in the past (Torino ladies, Vancouver men & ladies). We can't say many things about their selection patterns but some conditions must be different from worlds. There's no quota battle like worlds. Therefore someone like Suzuki who can place within 8th but has no medal possibility is useless for the JSF. They need to invest on future because it's once in four years. If they want to "split" the tickets, it's more than rational to give the Olympic spot to Miyahara and the worlds spot to Suzuki.