Dai is known in the skating world while nice to be a bit of a diva; the young bucks are pushing him and he ain't so fresh.
I don't think Takahashi's spot is guaranteed. The reason being his jumps are the least consistent among top 5 Japanese men. You have to wonder maybe competitive skating is not for him anymore. If he fails to make the GPF, Japanese Nationals could become a heartbreaking event I suspect for his fans.
One does not simply skate into Sochi
I hate to admit it, because Daisuke is my favourite skater, but I also feel that he is probably past his prime. If he fails to deliver this season, I wonder if the japanese federation can send him to Sochi, without the better performing skaters crying foul play. On the other hand being the "elder/senpai-skater" who has kept Japan at the top in the last years, I really, really doubt they will not choose him for Sochi - maybe if he doesn't make GP Final and is out of the top 4 at Nationals. But I still have faith that Daisuke won't let it come to this.
In my book Yuzuru will go as a definite, only doesn't go if he has an injury. Daisukes chances are like 85%. I think that maybe Oda's chances aren't that bad either, I think it's either him or Kozuka. Depending on Machida's and Mura's performances at the Grand Prix. If they win over Oda/Kozuka one of them will be chosen. It is an exciting, but nervewracking time for the japanese male skaters.
I agree with this.
Originally Posted by wallylutz
As well, Takahashi does not seem to be getting any better, while the others do seem to be getting better. I certainly do not think it is a given that he will be one of the three and it would be surprising if Morozov is going to improve him.
Oda did very well at Nebelhorn. He goes up and down, but he looks to have his confidence back for the competition again. (Last year, he seemed to do well in the practices and then have problems in the competition.) He certainly still has it. Mura, Machida and Kozuka are in it too. Hanyu looks like he will do well with room to spare.
I would pick as the only likely one as being Hanyu with the other two positions up for grabs. But I would be really surprised if Hanyu would be chosen if he did not earn it. But, to me, as well, Machida and Mura look like the dark horses with the other four skaters really being the ones who are likely going to be in contention.
The tragedy of it is that all six of them deserve to be there.
Wicked Yankee Girl
I'm hoping that with Joubert withdrawing from Skate America that Nobu will get the slot!
Right now, they are not listing a replacement.
Is Oda even allowed to go to Skate America? There are already 3 Japanese men there.
- * -
Is Joubert ok? Just wondering since he also withdrew from the French Masters.
Originally Posted by dorispulaski
I just checked the Skate America Preleminary Entries thread, and apparently the French fed withdrew him as a sanction for not having done French Masters (!!!??!)
Originally Posted by blue_idealist
I think Dai is still very likely to earn a trip to Sochi, but I agree with those who think his spot isn't 100% assured. If you look past the (well deserved) reputation he's earned over the years and consider the current state of the field in this pre-season, Oda and Machida are looking very comfortable while Dai's jumps honestly don't look to be getting any better. I still think his PCS and ability to deliver under pressure will put him through, but it's going to be a nail biter. Hopefully what we saw at the Japan Open was an early season blip and he'll improve as the season progresses. If his jumps have regressed though, he's going to be spending the season trying to get back his form rather than pushing forward and improving.
I'm still more worried for Takahiko than Dai at this point... Taka's performance at the Japan Open wasn't terribly impressive, and his foot injury can't have helped his progress. Yuzuru, Dai and Taka are still a notch above the rest of the Japanese men IMO, but Machida and especially Oda are really making a case for themselves with great programs and strong jumps. If they can keep this up throughout the season, I wouldn't be too surprised if one of them snatched a spot to Sochi.
Hanyu is pretty much a guarantee.
Takahashi is a sure bet, but he will have to earn it. I'm really hoping he doesn't perform subpar and the other guys actually skate well and he's still held up.
Oda would be my bet for the bronze. He's got a renewed confidence.
Kozuka is my pick to push Dai off the podium.
To me, the most logical prediction for Japanese nationals:
A situation I can totally picture playing out:
I think the difference is, if Takahashi fails to medal at Japanese Nationals I can picture his fed giving him another chance (maybe even Kozuka too). Unfortunately for Oda, he will have to bring his goods to Nationals because if he doesn't make the podium, he's likely off the team. But yeah, that's not even getting into Mura and Machida.... so much talent!
Takahashi has made it known that this will be his final competitive season I believe. Do we know or have an inkling about any of the other more experienced men? Not that it should, but I wonder if sentimentality will factor in this at all. Oda has been to the Olympics previously I would note.
Takahashi, Oda, and Kozuka were all at the 2010 Olympics. They were 3rd, 7th, and 8th respectively. I think Oda could have moved up a spot or two if he didn't have that penalty for his interruption.
Originally Posted by lcd
leave no stone unturned
I hope Kozuka goes as a personal favorite even though I like Oda and Machilda and japan is capable of sending like 6 top men at Sochi
Yes, Daisuke is retiring for sure. I think his body wouldn't handle competing for more seasons too well, especially now when quads are a must to stay truly competetive. He talked about his future plans in a Japanese newspaper, but the person who was going to translate it seems to have disappeared off the net (or changed their Tumblr username). However, the translator mentioned that they left Daisuke's interview as the latest to translate, because it made them depressed. It made me wonder if Daisuke said that he planned to take a break from skating altogether...
Originally Posted by lcd
Nobunari is also retiring. After Sochi he wants to spend more time with his family and become a coach in Osaka. He said that he plans to learn from Canadian coaches, and hopefully help to develop pairs and ice dancing in Japan. His goal is to have his future pupils win an Olympic gold.
Takahiko's interview made it unclear whether or not he plans to retire. He said he wants to concentrate on his studies more, and maybe become a JSF member in the future. A bit sadder news is that in a recent news it was mentioned that his injury might end up requiring surgery. Takahiko postponed it until after the Olympics - I hope all those quads until then won't mess up his leg permanently.
I haven't heard anything about Takahito's plans, but he got married recently and his child was born, so he might be thinking about retiring as well.
I haven't heard anything from Tatsuki, either, but I really hope he will hang on for a few more years. His skating really improved recently.
As for the predictions, I don't think my heart can stand it. :( IMHO all of the guys did well enough to deserve an Olympic spot, and I'll be sad for all those who won't make it.
One thing to remember, though - the selection process will NOT be based solely on the Japanese Nationals.
Here's the link to a pdf document listing the Olympic figure skating team selection criteria (in Japanese): http://skatingjapan.or.jp/image_data...senkokijun.pdf
The Olympic Team of Men and Ladies single will be announced at the end of Japanese Nationals.
The team will be decided from among the Olympic qualifiers by the following selecting method:
1. The first spot will be awarded to the winner of the Japanese Nationals.
2. The second spot will be awarded to a skater chosen from the following pool: the winner of the silver medal at Japanese Nationals, the winner of the bronze medal at Japanese Nationals and the skater who placed the highest on the podium at the Grand Prix final.
3. The third spot will be awarded to a skater chosen from the following pool: the skater qualified in point 2 but was not chosen, 3 skaters who will have the highest World standing at the moment of the Japanese Nationals, 3 skaters with the highest ISU season best score.
So basically, only the winner of the Japanese Nationals is certain to get a spot (and even that might possibly be influenced by the skater's international success, as the judges are more likely to give high PCS/GoEs to a skater who proved their consistency). If the second place winner has no high international standing, his season PB is lower than 3rd best and he didn't make the GPF, he might find himself booted off the team.
To sum up: the entire season including the Nationals will be a bloodbath. :( Every competition counts, as making the GPF (& winning a medal there), high season PB and high ISU standing will help to decide 2nd and 3rd spot. I don't envy those skaters who are slotted at the most packed GP events (Skate Canada: Hanyu, Oda, Mura + Chan & Abott; NHK Trophy: Oda, Mura, Takahashi + Fernandez, Abott & Aaron). :(