Who will stand on the podium in the Men's event?
OK … Japan Nationals will be "THE" Men's event of all the Nationals. The depth of talent amongst the Japanese men is almost as unfathomable as the reality that several of the best Men's skaters in the World will have their season's essentially end before the New Year. While this can be one of those times where people say "I wouldn't want to be a judge" the fact is, in mens' - whether one lands the jumps or not, matters for a lot.
Projections? AND, will competing in the Grand Prix Final (in Japan, but only 2+ weeks before Japan Nationals) help or hurt in terms of preparations and "sentiment"?
My projections are as follows
Oda and Kozuka will be dropped from the team.
What a sad story for the two excellent skaters who wont make it to the Olys. And this does not even take into consideration Mura and others.
Based on this year's results so far, I would guess Daisuke, Yuzuru, and Machida but I really want Kozuka to compete in Sochi :(
I'm guessing Takahashi, Hanyu & Machida
I want Nobunari on the podium with Daisuke & Yuzuru. We shall see
Really want Machida to go.
The two excellent skaters can go to the Worlds.
I really Oda to go but Machida worked very hard this season as well this will be heartbreaking to me and also Kozuka ugh I'm going to be devastated I wish their was like a wildcard for Olympics because they all deserve to go, I know Hanyu and Takahashi are locks and I would like to have Oda be the third spot but I don't know what's going to happen it's so unpredictable .
I think machidas gonna do it, and he really deserves it this season.
I think Oda may be a dark horse. He didn't stand out because he didn't win his events, but you have to consider the fact that he competed against Patrick AND Yuzuru at one event and Daisuke at the other. Had he been at Rostelecom or Skate America (Machida's events), he might had had a shot at winning.
Oda and Machida's scores are actually quite close, so I think it's a tossup between the two. Also Oda has been improving from event to event, whereas Machida's best performance was at Skate America, so momentum might be a factor.
Also it's noteworthy that Oda managed a bronze medal at GPF DESPITE the fact he had new skates that were just a few days old, so he wasn't in his best element.
Kozuka is super dark horse territory, but I wouldn't be surprised if he makes a comeback.
So I'd go on a limb and say
1.) Yuzuru Hanyu
2.) Daisuke Takahashi
3.) Nobunari Oda.
There are two questions: who will podium at Japanese nationals? and who will go to Sochi?
If the JN podium is as follows, who will go to Sochi?
2. 3. Oda/Machida
if machida is second and oda is third, I think they would be willing to bump oda for dai although it'd be seriously heartbreaking. if oda was second and machida third, it'd be tougher to call, although I can still see them bumping for dai.
I hope someone finds and post a link to a livestream. This will be too exciting to miss!
Is someone doing play by play commentary? Please? And if there are live streaming links please alert.
1. Daisuke Takahashi
2. Yuzuru Hanyu
3. Nobunari Oda
4. Tatsuki Machida
5. Takahiko Kozuka
This prediction might also come with a little bit of wishful thinking... As long as Dai makes the Olys team, I will be happy. For him to not make it on his last competitive season would be heartbreaking :( I'm almost sure Yuzuru will make the team, and between Oda and Machida, I really prefer Oda. Machida never stood out to me as being anything remarkable, although it will be a shame that someone who is as talented as he is might not be able to go to the Olympics. But that will be the case no matter what - this Nationals will be the most heart-breaking of them all, I think. I'm not sure about them taking someone else off the team to put Dai on it if he doesn't make the podium.. If he had gone to the Grand Prix Final and skated very well I would say probably, but the fact that he has been injured, if he didn't skate his best at Nats, would they still want to send him to Sochi? I am going to be very nervous for this competition. I will probably get up at 4AM here in the U.S. and watch it, if anyone knows of a live stream that's available in the U.S? If not, I'll get up and follow the live results. I'm that nervous/excited.
Hanyu will win with at least 25 points margin.
Takahashi will be pushed onto the podium with their best efforts. Anything better than SA would be enough. All of his rivals (Hanyu is not the one) will be held down to make a room for him.
The third spot should go to Machida or Oda. I think Machida has the definite advantages. His 4T is more reliable than Oda's, which means Machida has better chances to skate a clean SP. Therefore he has the better chance to place high enough to earn a spot in the Olympic final flight, and he might grab a medal if one of the main contenders make (many) mistakes. Plus, Machida can contribute to the world mission for Japanese men for a few more years. Oda has already announced retirement after this season and has no future expectation. If both of them skated to more or less the same level, Machida will be chosen. Oda must outskate Machida clearly in everyone's eyes. That is a tall order considering his relatively disappointing records at Japanese nationals. Oda's best skates (season's best) usually come from GPS or GPF.