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Thread: Which three Japanese men will go to Sochi?

  1. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by wallylutz View Post

    Finally, the costume - for me, it comes across as very distracting and somewhat inappropriate for the Olympics. With the controversy surrounding Russian gay rights in Sochi, would it be wise for the sport of figure skating, at least Men Singles, to be perceived as effeminate with costume like that? He is a handsome young man if you google many of his off ice pics, he has the qualities to carry the torch after Takahashi retires as Japan's poster boy. That said, he really could learn from Takahashi when it comes to fashion. Takahashi strikes a fine balance when it comes to fashion, which makes very endearing. Hanyu on the other hand seems to copy Johnny Weir from head to toe - not the wisest decision.

    I know look is subjective and don't claim to be any authority when it comes to style. Though with decades in this sport, I want to believe I have keen sense of what's too far and what's not. When the Shibutani were red hot a few years ago, I knew their outward projection could eventually become a burden for them and it did. Take it however you will, appearance and how you project yourself still matter a great deal in this sport, so is the perception of the outside world beyond the skating community. We don't live in bubbles. In an Olympic year, Hanyu's choice of style and lack of improvement in his delivery presents a risk should he fails to deliver his jumping content. We are already seeing some early signs - in Finlandia FS where he made 3 jumping errors, his first mark is still vastly higher than his PCS. That's in a competition where he had no close rivals. Fernandez who arguably doesn't have the same natural technical talent that he has, consistently beat Hanyu in PCS last season - again, Fernandez projects very well on ice and off, which helps him a great deal and compensate for his disadvantages. As a result, Hanyu having the highest TES at the 2013 Worlds FS but only 6th in PCS, failed to make the podium. The difference between his TES and PCS was a wooping 9 points, in favor of TES. Even Joubert had higher PCS than he did, who finished 10th in the FS.

    Simply put, JSF will need to take into account this obvious problem that Hanyu has, his inability to get high PCS scores. Having the same coach as Fernandez and outskated him technically yet still lost is a major warning sign that something is not right with his skating.
    About the costume...could I just point out that for years, it's been the Russian men who tend to wear elaborate, fussy costumes. Remember Alexei Urmanov? They're based on the ballet tradition, as I understand it. Didn't Urmanov have one costume for a Swan Lake performance that included black parts, white parts, and gloves?

    Ah, yes...here it is:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V9Mmd5zuKxY

  2. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by Olympia View Post
    About the costume...could I just point out that for years, it's been the Russian men who tend to wear elaborate, fussy costumes. Remember Alexei Urmanov? They're based on the ballet tradition, as I understand it. Didn't Urmanov have one costume for a Swan Lake performance that included black parts, white parts, and gloves?

    Ah, yes...here it is:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V9Mmd5zuKxY
    bada-bing-bada-boom. Precisely. When it comes to looking "unmanly" the Russian men over the years have led the parade! Ballet tradition or no. Anyway, I think and hope the Japanese men that make it to the Olympic team will be judged primarily on their skating, not their costuming.

  3. #78
    Yuzu Tracker msteach3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GGoldberg View Post
    On top of that they will probably show the programs of single skaters throughout the broadcast with MAYBE Meryl and Charlie's FD and a snippet of the Shibs.
    You got that right. US figure skating continues to decline in popularity with no end in sight. How do we stop this bus?

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    Quote Originally Posted by msteach3 View Post
    Actually Americans care so little for figure skating right now that no effort will be made at all to even conjure up an alleged conspiracy...
    Yes, but they still have Hamilton, Bezic & the gang.
    I've noticed how empty were the seats at Skate America, and I was very sad...

    Quote Originally Posted by LRK View Post
    Tsk! Even among our own board members? I'm shocked - shocked and saddened... Come on, where's your patriotism - put in some effort!
    1-0 for Canada, they have wallylutz.

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    To answer the title question, I believe Hanyu and Takahashi are a lock. The third man could be Kozuka or one of the new comers. I just cannot imagine Sochi game without Hanyu and Takahashi unless their own physical reasons. God, no! No injuries of any kind anymore for any skaters this season!!!

  6. #81
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    Right now, the only lock is Hanyu but Takahashi will be selected barring irredeemable disasters at Japanese nationals. His presence is necessary to divert media attentions and national expectations away from Hanyu. Oda, Kozuka and other guys can't do that job in the first place. The third spot should go to the the most promising #2 man after Sochi. Apparently Machida has taken some lead, and Mura is another candidate. Oda started out strongly as usual but probably runs out of steam by Japanese nationals. He ALWAYS makes stupid mistakes at major competitions. Even a couple of strong skates before nationals won't regain the federation's confidence. Kozuka has the least chance among the top six. There's a saying that Sato's #2 students tend to miss the Olympics.

  7. #82
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    After Skate America I can see I greatly underestimated Machida. He definitely has a huge shot, maybe the favorite for the 3rd spot right now.

  8. #83
    Custom Title Kitt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pangtongfan View Post
    After Skate America I can see I greatly underestimated Machida. He definitely has a huge shot, maybe the favorite for the 3rd spot right now.
    He was pretty impressive, I must say.

  9. #84
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    well, with 3 of the Japanese men at SA and the other 3 at SC this coming week, we'll get a pretty even look at how things are shaking out.

  10. #85
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    It might be Hanyu, Machida and either Oda or Kozuka. If you asked me before the start of this season if Takahashi would be there, I would have laughed at the possibility of him staying home. However, he has been at his worst as of late. Even as a fan I think he's at risk of not making the team. I'm not sure if Machida will hold up, either, because last year he did well on the GP and then kind of sunk a bit from there. I could even see a Hanyu/Oda/Kozuka team. Oda's another question mark since he's not that consistent either.

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    Takahashi will be hard pressed to make the podium at Japanese nationals. I agree about the media attention and how he's way more prolific than any of the Japanese men, but if Oda/Hanyu/Machida do really well on the Grand Prix (as Machida already has so far and Oda/Hanyu seem poised to do), it will be really difficult to justify Takahashi's presence. Machida scored almost 30 points higher than Takahashi at Skate America. Takahashi's PCS marks will keep him up, but only until people start finally saying the emperor isn't wearing any clothes. I'm glad he rotated his quad and did his axels in his Skate America FS though, which shows he's a fighter and isn't willing to give in that quickly. He's quite fortunate Brown had a really disastrous FS, otherwise he could have been 5th. I can't remember, but skaters in the past have made the GPF with a 4th and a 1st, right?

  12. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by CanadianSkaterGuy View Post
    Takahashi will be hard pressed to make the podium at Japanese nationals. I agree about the media attention and how he's way more prolific than any of the Japanese men, but if Oda/Hanyu/Machida do really well on the Grand Prix (as Machida already has so far and Oda/Hanyu seem poised to do), it will be really difficult to justify Takahashi's presence. Machida scored almost 30 points higher than Takahashi at Skate America. Takahashi's PCS marks will keep him up, but only until people start finally saying the emperor isn't wearing any clothes. I'm glad he rotated his quad and did his axels in his Skate America FS though, which shows he's a fighter and isn't willing to give in that quickly. He's quite fortunate Brown had a really disastrous FS, otherwise he could have been 5th. I can't remember, but skaters in the past have made the GPF with a 4th and a 1st, right?
    Yup. Hanyu did in 2011-2012. He was fourth in Cup of China and first at Rostelecom to qualify for the GPF in Montreal.

    Takahashi has to do something drastic. NHK will be do or die for Takahashi and he will have to beat Fernandez and Oda. Can't see it unless both Oda (possible based on past years except that he skated well at Nebelhorn) and Fernandez (unlikely) cack. I have to really admire Takahashi's class by reason of the short interviews he did in English after Skate America though. But he still has to up his skating.

  13. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by CanadianSkaterGuy View Post
    I can't remember, but skaters in the past have made the GPF with a 4th and a 1st, right?
    Javier made it last year with his gold from SC and 4th at NHK. However, NHK is still pretty stacked with Javier, Oda and the same 2 American men that placed ahead of him in SA this year.

    I can see the JFed holding Dai up so that he makes the team (if he bombs JN). He does rack in the advertising dollars... and this is the VERY last chance to milk his popularity dry. Who realistically has the chance to podium and grab OGM besides Yuzuru of the remaining 5 anyway? Yuzuru's got the podium covered already and the networks need their 2 national heroes to bring in the viewers. That would be my theory behind Yuzuru (who is a lock) and Dai making the team. The 3rd man, will either be between the "oldies" Oda and Kozuka with Olympic experience or the newer 2 without that experience. If Oda and Kozuka do well, I can see the better of the two (from GP series and JN) going. I do think Oda's history of bad performances when it counts will be taken into consideration. If Kozuka can blow his next GP out of the water and at JN, he has the upper hand against Oda. Machida and Mura haven't built that consistency yet to tackle Olympic nerves. To me, they are high risk investments. True, they are the ones staying post-Sochi but for Sochi, the fed may not want to put all their eggs into Yuzuru and an on and off Dai.

  14. #89
    Skating is art, if you let it be. Blades of Passion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CanadianSkaterGuy View Post
    I can't remember, but skaters in the past have made the GPF with a 4th and a 1st, right?
    Historically, getting 1st and 4th has always been enough to make the GPF, but this year that might not be enough. There's so much talent that is in good form.

  15. #90
    Yuzu Tracker msteach3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluebonnet View Post
    To answer the title question, I believe Hanyu and Takahashi are a lock. The third man could be Kozuka or one of the new comers. I just cannot imagine Sochi game without Hanyu and Takahashi unless their own physical reasons. God, no! No injuries of any kind anymore for any skaters this season!!!
    After SA I would say Kozuka is along shot. He seems to have lost his confidence and just hasn't grown as a skater. He looked a bit stiff and unsure in Detroit.

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