Asada v. Tuktamysheva: 2015-16
Oh boy this can be interesting. TSL had these to say
I agree with pretty much everything they said actually.
Liza can wear all the mighty and powerful magic mumu she likes, add winks and kisses to the judges in her choreography, but her artistry is still nowhere near Mao's level by seniority, maturity and and diversity. It will be interesting to see how they mark the PCS this season... or will we have a surprise winner by the worlds?
Ladies field is deep with alot of contenders. This season may be a few 3A attempts by the worlds (?!!) If Mao/Liza do decide to attempt 3A early in the season, it may affect their consistency and success rate overall, and impact their PCS momentum.
I still would like to see their programs first before make my mind up, particularly regards to choreography, music construct and costumes!
What would really impress me however is if Liza decide to do one of the following
- Miss Saigon
- Memoir of a Geisha
- Madam Butterfly
and Mao decide to do some Eastern Europe upbeat techno disco program with alot of fist pumps, flail arms, with greater musicality freedom and less balletic form. She should beat Liza in pretty much all categories except may be jumps.
Liza is likely to come up with a program that maximise the COP points with consistency while compromise on choreography. The best way to compete with that is with superior choreography, better maturity, sophisticated nuanced presentation and go on the offensive? It will be the first time Liza defending her title... will she play COP smart and play safe like she does last season? Lots of 3T3T shorts and compete on PCS early in the season? Who will do the 3A first?
Last edited by os168; 09-09-2015 at 07:46 PM.
I loved this! A agree with pretty much everything they said as well
Nutjob On Ice
I love Mao (who couldn't after the Olympics?!?), so I am a bit (very) biased on this (especially because Liza's skating is really not my favorite). But using TSL's format, I'd say:
Jumps: Liza. It's her thing. Period. She may be the best girl jumper in the history of skating (correct me if I'm wrong), and not even Mao can top that.
Spins: Mao, by fifteen landslides. She has it all: centering, speed, flexibility, positions...it's all there. Liza's speed and centering are good, but her positions leave much to be desired.
Footwork: I'd give this to Mao. Liza is very fast and powerful, but her footwork lacks refinement. Mao, on the other hand, is one of the few skaters with memorable step sequences (her Swan Lake StSq is my favorite ever), which I love about her. They're fast, finessed, dynamic, acknowledge the music, and have unique moves and choreography.
Choreography and Interpretation: Mao. Besides the fact that her step sequences are, IMHO, some of the best ever, her maturity, versatility and acknowledgement of the music are far above anyone in the current field. Even if she was only half as good, she'd still win because Liza's noodle arms. 'Nuff said.
Skating skills: I'm going to have to call this a tie. Liza is incredibly fast and powerful-it gives her a real wow factor-but lacks finesse. Mao lacks that instant wow factor, but her finesse is...very finessey. I am terribly at analyzing edge quality, but they seem about equal in that respect.
Mental toughness: Liza. Anyone who can do as many competitions as she did last season and win no less than silver at every one is incredibly tough.
Including one tie.
Wow, I was far less biased there than I thought...LOL. Pretty close! I prefer Mao, but who knows?
I don't think Liza is that fast on the ice actually. Her speed and ice coverage have always been lacking a bit though they are better then a couple years ago to be sure.
I root for them both, but I am probably leaning more towards Mao b/c of her return. Go team japan! Go team russia!
Uh best jumper in history?! She's landed 2 triple axels and had only two good seasons so far. I mean, come on... Ito at the very least is undoubtedly better, and given Liza isn't executing a 3-3 harder than a toe-toe (though she has done 3Z+3T in the past). I'd say Kim and Mao are better jumpers if you look at more than just one season... I mean Miki has also landed a quad (only once or twice) and consistent 3Z+3L... But somehow landing a triple axel twice and the easiest 3-3 makes Liza the best jumper ever? Sorry layback, but I disagree. Maybe a few seasons with this type of quality jumping and we might have an argument but one dream season isn't enough to get called best jumper ever.
Last edited by CanadianSkaterGuy; 09-09-2015 at 09:55 PM.
Floating in Blue
One thing that isn't discussed more in this 'match-up' is the issue of age. It can't be easy for Mao coming into this season at 25, the eldest lady in the field, after being out of competition for well over a year... to compete against a bunch of teenagers (and not just Liza, others too.)
When was the last time in ladies figure skating that a World Champ title was achieved at age 25+? That is a rare feat these days. The only name that comes to mind in recent memory is Irina.
Quick calculation- Carolina was 25 years, 1 month when she won in 2012. If Mao won this year, she'd be 25 years, 6 months.
Originally Posted by sabinfire
Maria Butyrskaya did it, of course. Maybe the greatest impact she had on the sport. A female singles skater winning worlds at age 26. And winning her first World medal at age 25. Then bronze at 27. This after all the hype about Tara being the youngest Olympic champion ever. I think Maria's win made a huge impact on athletes at the time--like Irina and Michelle--telling them it was worth it to stay in and compete.
Last edited by Ice Dance; 09-09-2015 at 10:22 PM.
agree with this...
i like liza's energy and 3A... but i really do not have enough appreciation for her presentation... and i mean by this : music choice, choreography, costumes, transitions... the whole package seems to be coming out from the 90s... and for this, I do not blame Liza... but her team... with the talent she has, I am sure she could work with a wonderful choreographer and find her true style...
i am not Mao's biggest fan but I 'd give it to her this year..... but I sort of expect another Russian or Japanese lady will show up strong this year
Originally Posted by CanadianSkaterGuy
As long as both skate their best, i dont really care who wins.
As for people who dont like the music choices and costumes etc, well, maybe just something different after all, not all people have the same taste, and it is great that it is finally gaining some room =)
And come to think of it, Carolina only got to her peak in her latter years when her maturity and superb blade work and edge qualities became well integrated in her presentation and overall programme. She used to skate like a speed truck as a young girl. PCS wise, I will safely say that Mao is the strongest among current active female skaters. Even in the past seasons, I think only Carolina could best her in footwork and SS and Yuna Kim, in maturity of IN and PE. It really is a pity that the current crop of super skaters, including the Russians are pretty mediocre in SS. I don't see any of them with the smooth edges, effortless glide and multidirectional skating but oh boy, they sure can jump, rotate fast and achieve all sorts of difficult spin positions. Besides Mao, I will say probably Gracie Gold has the strongest SS.
Originally Posted by satine94
Mao vs Lisa? Mao will win it in PCS (assuming no meltdown), so I believe Liza will simply try to out BV and out TES by maximising her CoP scores. Analogous to how PChan (SS and PCS king) and Hanyu (TES and GOE maestro) will likely face off.
Well, there are just too many factors to be considered, so there's more of guessing what we're doing here rather than analysis or anything else.
One thing nobody has mentioned so far is that there might be other ladies who can challenge them. Especially Mao, since we don't know in what shape she is. Gracie and Ashley don't seem likely to challenge them, that's true. Satoko has nerves of steel and it seems to me that she improved her jumps a tiny bit plus her programs this year are very good and so early in the season. She knows how to maximize these COP points. Radionova - same, though in this case I think the time has come that she could start to struggle with growth spurt. A new russian wunderbaby - Medvedeva. She jumps like crazy, her spins are magnificent and most of all - she has nerves of steel. All of the aforementioned ladies (including Ashley and Gracie) could win with both Mao and Tuktamysheva if they're a bit off. Now - why should they?
Elizaveta will have to deal with the pressure of being a reigning world champion. Last season she was basically nobody, apart from successes in 2011-2012. We saw nerves can do their job at worlds, particularly FS. Plus, she's supposedly aiming for 2 triple axels in the free - very risky. Mishin seems to concentrate solely on jumps and while they're perfect technique-wise, having 2 triple axels may have more of a negative impact on her programs - less transitions, poorer choreography in the first 30-40 seconds or so and then being more tired. The long program we saw in July was quite mediocre, but yes, there's still room for improvement.
Mao is old, had a one year break and no one knows in what shape she is. I'm quite optimistic (bias alert - I was literally jumping from joy when I heard she will come back). Mao herself has said that she will return only if she reaches her Sochi level. If that's where she is it couldn't get much better. As others have noted, she usually does poorer at the beginning of the season and losing momentum might not do well in her favor.
I hope everything will be in Mao's favor and here's hoping why. First, she's the most experienced lady in this field and she has nothing to prove to anyone. In my eyes she's a bit like Michelle Kwan post-2002. She's competing because she loves it. After Carolina's retirement she will be the PCS Queen and it has saved her many times, 2012-13 Grand Prix as the best example.
Japan Open will certainly show us way more and so I will reserve my predictions re: who is gonna rule at the end of 2016 season. My only suggestion for others would be not to neglect other ladies. Same goes for Patrick/Yuzuru. People forget there are always Javi and Denis. And it could work in their favor .
Skating is art, if you let it be.
Liza is the better jumper, but Mao does have a better Flip jump and can do 3Loop in combination better (not that such a thing matters anymore, sadly). Mao's 3Axel at its very best is also better than any 3Axel I've seen from Liza; Mao has the better air position and flow going in and out.
Outside of the jumps, Mao is better at everything. At least potentially. She hasn't actually had that many amazing programs (her SP's from 2011 to 2013 were all forgettable or outright annoying to me, her 2013 LP later in the season was blandly overstuffed, as was her 2014 LP), so it all depends what she has come up with for the season. Tuktamysheva is a strong, lively skater so it doesn't really matter how much better Mao is than her in terms of edging, flow, transitions, posture, extension, finesse, and musicality if those attributes are not being used properly. Mao can not have paint-by-the-numbers, try-to-get-points-in-the-most-CoP-slaving-way-possible kind of programs if she wants to pull ahead. She needs to do something truly beautiful that will create an emotional reaction and force judges to give her big PCS, not because of how many transitions she has, but because they are transfixed and transported by her skating.
I'll also give Mao the edge over Elizaveta, but only slightly. Comeback seasons are always difficult. The TSL analysis did them both justice. I love Mao's style and Elizaveta's is really engaging, fresh and lively. I predict that Mao will get up to 5 points more on PCS and that isn't all that much. I read the Mao might come up with a half loop - 3S combo (I really look forward to that, even if it's not fully rotated I think if Mao does it it could be truly beautiful) and Elizaveta seems to focus on her 3A's, not on her combos and that's risky and will cost a lot of strength so Mao's strategy could be more reliable.
But somehow I've got the feeling that it won't be between those two next season. Gracie, Satoko, Polina and maybe Adelina (EDIT: and Julia, because of her FS music, she'll nail that) could be very strong.
Last edited by psusanne; 09-10-2015 at 06:23 AM.