Japanese Nationals 2013-14 - Dance
Short Dance scores
1 Cathy Reed / Chris Reed 55.51
2 Emi Hirai / Marien De La Asuncion 53.01
3 Shizuru Agata / Kentaro Suzuki 37.32
4 Chinatsu Nakazawa / Kokoro Mizutani 31.27
Reeds skated cleanly and Hirai/Asuncion had a mistake in the twizzle. But their scores are close. Of course, Hirai/Asuncion are not eligible for the Olympics. Maybe there are some considerations on the JSF side.
Wow the Reeds are a huge disappointment. With all their experience they are barely ahead of HIrai aneLa Asncion who made an error - this does not bode well for the REed's ; they are lucky the team in second is not eligible. I wish them luck but I do think if we all were honest it is clear the REeds are skating for Japan to go to the Olympics this is backed up by the fact another sibling is skating for another country because we all know making the singles in men's and women's in Japan would be very tough. IN fact could be a medal sweep for Japan in men's and women's though not likely with strong skaters from other countries.
Wicked Yankee Girl
The Reeds had to give up their US citizenship when they turned 22 (separately) to skate for Japan in the Olympics. They have been skating for Japan since they were Juniors. They are serious. They had joint citizenship from birth, since their mother is Japanese. There is no reason they should be looked down upon as non Japanese. Yes, they don't train in Japan. Neither does Yuzuru Hanyu.
True but that is because they wanted to improve their chances to go to the Olympics - I am very familiar with the situation
Ice Dance results
1 Cathy Reed / Chris Reed 142.87 (FD 87.36)
2 Emi Hirai / Marien De La Asuncion 134.98 (FD 81.97)
3 Shizuru Agata / Kentaro Suzuki 92.29 (FD 54.97)
4 Chinatsu Nakazawa / Kokoro Mizutani 76.47 (FD 45.20)
Cathy Reed / Chris Reed FD
They improved. Chris is suffuring from knee injury so they had to shorten on ice practice drastically.
I think it worked for them to learn to make it happen when their chance to practice on the ice is like only one-time run through per day.
Here is some 'delayed' report on Ice Dance:
My husband and I were pleasantly surprised, almost jaw-dropping actually, by Emi and Marien both at SD and FD! Compared to last season's Nats, they have improved a LOT under Zazoui/Haguenauer/Schoenfelder camp in Lyonn (-I only saw them on TV at last Nats, not live though, but the Reeds were simply MILES ahead of Emi/Marien and Bryna Oi/Taiyo Mizutani there.)
They skated much faster, more confident, more passionate. Of course I am not very familiar with any levels of Dance, but the way Emi/Marien skated was almost on par with the Reeds in Short dance from where we sat, to be honest. A bit surprised when we heard the scores of the two teams, but we liked that the judges scored them fairly at this comp. They were that good. And I loved their Free dance even more. Cool acrobatic entries to their lifts right on the note of music. Very expressive and passionate. Is spite of our seats; far and above on 4th level of the arena as usual, they did draw the audience in. Not ourselves only, a couple of our neighboring seats also got onto its feet for an ovation. What a shame Fuji TV didn't broadcast any of Dance and Pairs comp. Really.
Kokoro Mizutani (Taiyo's brother) needs to build some more muscle to hold his partner more steadily, I thought.
The Reeds did great in FD, considering Chris' knee condition. I felt awfully sorry for him cause he patted his injured knee right before their FD as if persuading his own knee to hang on till the end. When they greeted all the crowd after their FD, they looked very emotional especially Cathy filled with her tears. Must be their last Nats to compete, like many other single skaters, probably I thought. We stood up and clapped so thard for them.
As for their switching their nationality, of course we could imagine they did so for them in the first place: in order to get out of US where ice dance is so packed with talented skaters, so that they can compete at big competitions like the Worlds and the Games. However, I, as a skating fan for along time, I am only grateful to them to have been representing our country. As they were heading into London Worlds in March 2013, they clearly told to the media that their first priority was to place high enough to get a spot for the Games, and their goal was to place as high as possible, hopefully, though may not happen in the end, to place above 10th so that they can earn the second spot for one of Japanese younger dancers at the Games and Tokyo Worlds 2014. DIdn't happen, but I can't thank them enough. Such very very sweet sister and brother with golden heart!
At the end of the whole competition (3rd day), JSF announced additionally that Emi/Marien get assigned to 4CC! So happy for them, indeed. Good lukc ot them in Taipei.
Overall we pretty much enjoyed the dance comp here. While the levels of Dance and Pairs in Japan are nowhere near/close of any Canada/US/Russia yet, it's SOOOOoo nice to have a number of teams going head to head at the Nats, finally! "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step!"
Wicked Yankee Girl
Forgot to mention that Emi/Marien's Free program was 007 medley and its choreo was done by Olivier!!!
Other things I really liked was that prior to every performance the board in the arena showed skater's and its coaches' names, name of the music and its choreographer, and I saw a lot of 'familiar' names who once were elite skaters themselves and many long-term skating fans in Japan used to enjoyed their skating for years: e.g. Kenji Miyamoto -it was like I saw 4 programs out of 6 in each group were by Kenji!, idk how many programs he did choreos this season, at least over 50 probably!
And one of younger dance team programs (sorry I don't remember which one of the two; Shizuru Agata/Kentaro Suzuki or Chinatsu Nakazawa/Kokoro Mizutani) was done by Rie Arikawa who was the former partner of Kenji until 2002-03 season. I saw Rie's name among a couple of programs for single skaters, too. In addition to that, one of the tech panel at this dance comp was Kanako Tsuzuki who was Kenji's another partner from 2003-04 to 2005-06 season. How nice! Japanese ice dance as competitive discipline has been nowhere near the skating powerhouse up until now, but it's so nice to see already-retired skaters still get involved with competitive skating either as a coach, choreographer or int'l tech panel, and try to help younger ice dancers to improve.
Arikawa/Miyamoto at 2003 Worlds: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TFfNGMgH_6o