It's hard to imagine the stress and emotional roller coaster these Japanese skaters went through since the competition. Well, maybe since before the competition and still something to deal with. Poor Oda was dealt the definitive blow right off. Dai and Koz had to endure the maybe agonizing uncertainty. Now Dai can celebrate and begin his preparation and Kozuka has to nurse the pain and somehow rebound.
It's not easy being a top athlete.
Congrats to the national team. Obviously the crowd reaction shows that Dai would make the team no matter how he skated. Hopefully Takahashi recovers from injury and does well in Sochi. It will certainly be a more interesting competition with him.
I feel horrible for Kozuka/Oda, who essentially skated just as a formality. This should have just been a 3-person competition between Kozuka/Oda/Machida, as Hanyu and Takahashi were making the team no matter how well or poorly they skated.
If this is what the JSF does when their marquee skater bombs both programs but still makes the team, then Kovtun/Voronov/etc. are sooo screwed.
I'm not saying it wasn't ok to choose Daisuke, but I'm just saying that he's a rock star, in Japan even much more than anywhere else, regardless if he even landed a single jump. So their reaction isn't a justification for choosing him at all to me.
But I knew that the only available spot was always Machida's.
But as I've written yesterday,
From a Team Perspective I would have chosen Dai to represent Japan at the Olys as well. If healed, Dai has a greater chance to medal than a healthy Kozuka or Oda.
As much as I hate the media hunting down people when they are at their most vulnerable I think it was important for the audience to catch Kozuko when they did so that we could all see his true pain. I felt sick to my stomach for him.
This was a competition I won't soon forget.
I can't imagine him giving up on the chance of having his last worlds at home. The only theoretical way I could imagine would be if he got a medal in Sochi and decided he wants to end his career on this high.
But even then, I'd say he'd still decide to compete at the Worlds.
About Plushenko: we saw last year that they
a)sent Kovtun (5th at Nationals) to the Europeans and not Menshov (3rd). Several russian athletes (incl. Trankov) signed a petition that Menshov should be sent. Didn't change a thing.
b)when Plushenko bailed out of Worlds, who did they send? Not Voronov (2nd), not Menshov (3rd), not Gachinski (4th), Yup, Kovtun again.
So I'm sad for the Russians for only having 1 spot, but I'd say it was mainly Plushenko's fault for not going to the HUGELY IMPORTANT EVENT where Russia gets their spots for Sochi, right after kicking everybody's behind at Europeans. He just assumed that he'd get the single spot (I'm afraid he'll be right, but...) that's why I'm so hoping for Kovtun to beat him and get the spot. Kovtun was put in a difficult position by his federation and by Plushenko last year when he wasn't ready for it. The GPs this far have shown that he can be ready.
I hope he makes it.
c) gave Bazarova/Larionov an unbelievable, ridiculously massive boost in scores in what was a very bad performance during their Nationals LP in 2012. Stolbova/Klimov had an amazing skate and got massively held back. Weird, it's almost as if THE RUSSIAN FS FEDERATION THOUGHT THAT THE RESULT AT NATIONALS MATTERS? lol
Stolbova/Klimov got 123.67 for this
and Bazarova/Larionov got 126.03... for... that:
I'll reformulate and post this in a Russian Nationals thread... We have to let it go... Japanese Nationals are OVER!!!
I wish Kozuka got at least second and then they would add Dai. Based on a lot of factors I would have picked Dai. Plus he's still injured. Sorry I just don't have any connection with Machinda...he's pretty new to the scene.
It's been a week since the Nats, and lots of discussions on its outcome still keeps going here and other threads, I guess. Allow me to go back to the comp itself with my small report, please?
I have atteneded this Nats with my husband for three days (except EX on DAY 4), was the second one we ever attended. To be honest, this Nats has been x10 times more exhausting and emotional than the first one (4 years ago in the Vancouver season)! >.< Still can not fully recover from it mentally, even though we were just watching it, not got competing at all of course.
Men SP -DAY 1
I have no idea on how many of skaters you guys actually saw either on TV or thru streamings, but from where we sat it seemed all TV cameras were covered during the first 3 groups (=18 skaters) and TV crews never bothered themselves for recording until the big boys on the ice...There were 30 skaters got competed in SP and a number of good skates we pretty much enjoyed, which never got aired, just like Fuji TV does at JNats year after year.
I already wrote here about the final 2 groups with top skaters. The below are who skated in the earlier 3 groups and got my attention:
-Taichi Honda (15yo, 4th at Jr Nats): Less jump content (3T-3T, 3F & 2A), but good presentation. skated clean. a bit weak on edge work and speed still, but elegant. Is the oldest among the famous Honda brother/sisters.
-Sota Yamamoto (13yo, 5th at Jr Nats): Team Nagakubo. Skating to 'Tenchijin' OST, choreo by Miyamoto. Less jump content as Taichi, still a tiny boy but can skate big. presence on ice was remarkable already. good speed over all and presentation. very emotional. Got the ovation from many crowds! Reminds me of 2-3 years ago little Shoma, or should I say 15 years ago little Dai? Remember his name.
-Shoma Uno (16yo, 2nd at Jr Nats): Juuuust fabulous! Though still a boy but can danace, skates big, his body language stood out, very expressive. Really a shame TV crew did not get it recorded...Big standing ovation. Scored over 72, placed 6th out of 30, and made it to final flight of Free. His surprised smile in KnC, with his coach Machiko Yamada and asst coach/choreographer Mihoko Higuchi, was priceless.
Sorry about Dice Murakami went down on 4S which got DG...Kento Nakamura missed 3A. Akio Sasaki was very entertaining skating to Japanese drum music, in spite of a fall on 3A. But only level 1 for this cool step sq? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UO_sy6a_jIE Really?