Well, I just hope all skaters at Sochi will have outings they can be proud of whatever the results. Even if Yu-Na is my favourite.
Reading over these discussions of Yuna and Mao, I am a bit amazed that almost four years since Vancouver, this is still the rivalry that dominates the ladies' discipline and will be the focal point of the ladies competition in Sochi. So many (including myself) thought Yuna would retire soon after Vancouver, and that Mao would soon be overshadowed by some prodigies who will dominate the stage in Sochi. Nope. Didn't happen. This may actually have more longevity than Kwan/Slutskaya, assuming they both finish on the Sochi podium.
Now that the GPF ladies free skate is over, it seems like the 2 triple Axels in the LP don't work that well for her, but given how stubborn she can be, I think she'll probably keep at it.
I hope her team will go back to the original layout with a planned 3flip-3loop because it's alot safer option.
It's better to do a 3flip-3loop (under-rotated) than do a triple-axel that only counts as sequence, or worse yet, double-axel counted as a sequence.
I find Asada's situation with Kim rather similar to Hanyu's situation with Chan. Asada can potentially beat even a clean Kim if she does everything in her programs, due to having higher difficulty. Just like Hanyu can theoretically beat even a clean Chan if he does everything in his programs. However inconsistency with 1 element, the 3A, (or the 4S in Hanyu's case) makes it an unlikelihood. And as mentioned, Mao has yet to skate a clean program with both axels (as Hanyu has yet to do with a 4S and all the fixings). Not out of the realm of possibility but Asada (and Hanyu) will really have to be at literally the peak of their game to be able to upset a clean Kim (or Chan).
What I do hope is that if Mao and Yuna skate in Sochi like they did this weekend and another top contender has the skaters of her life, the judges don't put the top two out of reach on PCS alone. Yuna and Mao getting 70+ in PCS for very uninspired LP performances will make it hard for them to be caught if the others can only get 66 for perfect programs.
http://www.isuresults.com/isujsstat/pbslto.htm and both are capable of scoring so much higher than they did this weekend.
Off-topic and nitpicking, but can we change the thread title to have some consistency in terms of names? "Mao and Kim" or "Asada and Yuna" sound really weird to me.
My answer would be to have a fan start a thread with a title identifying only Mao as wonderful -- and implying that Yuna is not.
Not fair, because both women are wonderful.
(Sorry, I haven't read the entire thread. Apologies if my comments above repeat what someone else said. And OK, my answer obviously is not the "best" strategy, but it could be a tiny little strategy. )
aftertherain makes a good point as well. I daresay that the OP's shameless favoritism toward Mao also is evident from the affectionate use of her first name -- juxtaposed with Kim's last name.
Nothing wrong in general with preferring one skater over another. BUT thread titles should be neutral, IMHO.
Based on Mao's interviews on Japanese TV in the last year or two, I think her outlook has changed/matured since 2010. It seems she is less concerned about winning gold at the Olympics (although obviously she would like that). Rather, she wants to end her career with a performance that she can feel "satisfied" with.
She will not be "satisified" doing a watered-down program. She will include the 3A's, which she considers her "signature".
If she manages to skate to a level that she feels satisfied with, that may well mean taking home a gold medal too, as a happy by-product. But I think it's an important mental distinction.
I think her "stategy" is to skate for herself, and not concern herself with "winning" or what her competitors are doing. I think that's the right strategy for her, at this stage of her career. It can be a psychological advantage too.
I think it would be bad for her to devise a "strategy for winning". Better if she chooses a strategy for herself.