My answer is that both Yuna and Julia (if clean) will have the Gold and Silver medals respectively. I think by this point it will be hard for every one else (Asada included with her current mindset) to catch them. I think, however, the bronze hunt will be one for the ages. There are at least five girls who could end up winning that third step on the podium and I'm rooting for Kostner to get it. Then of course we have Asada, Murakami, Gold, Suzuki and let's not forget about Sotnikova who I think by now should've realized she's no longer the Russian Federation's sweetheart and, if she manages to be the (yes somewhat nervous, still) tough competitor I saw at europeans, she could steal the bronze if the other make mistakes.
For the first time since I started watching Olympic Games back in 2002, I think we'll have such a deep field in the last two groups of the competition. I hope so, anyway.
In Vancouver 2010 she was the overwhelming favorite, and so she had every reason to crumble as many favorites have before her, especially given her mixed results at the 2009 Grand Prix. In 2013 Worlds she was the old champion returning after a long break to her last World Championships, untested since 2011 Worlds when she lost to Miki Ando. She had every reason to do poorly as many returning champions have before her.
Now, several other skaters have greater momentum, coming from a strong Grand Prix or European Championships, and she has missed establishing dominance during the Grand Prix season. She has missed out on most competitions during this quad, though she did win the most important one (pre-Olympics world title). She is competing on more hostile ice (Russia rather than Canada), and has no powerful federation to back her. She had to deal with an injury very recently. Doubts are quite rational...as is cautious optimism.
I don't know if Kim has ever faced someone like Julia. (A Tara like competitor...Tara was a great competitor.) Kim was always the better competitor.
The reason I say Julia is a better competitor. Is we haven't seen Julia fall once this season. Ashley is quoted as saying that seeing Julia in the kiss and cry, that Julia is like a 40 year old in 15 year old body. Extremely composed.
Of course maybe its to early to call Julia a better competitor than Yu-na. But so far Julia is just the steely little thing. As for Kim, she's going to have just as many expectations.
I've always thought of Yuna as the one who cannot many any mistakes. She looks so confident that she gives you the feeling she juct can't lose. I didn't see her this season, but it was the same story last year until the WC. At the moment, I can't even think of Julia as a rival for Yuna, the difference is huge. I only hope the judges will be fair.
I believe that she didn't want to participate in the 2010 Worlds at all and was pressured/dragged into it by her Federation. She was so checked out and unhappy at that competition, which contributed alot to her sub-par performance.What about 2010 Worlds.... Kim's made plenty of mistakes at big competitions.
I think is probably judges put Yulia above Yuna , I mean, it is obvious that gracie's jumps are better and they give lower score, they can give +3 to yuna and +2 to julia and make up with her higher bv, i dont dont know, they are capable of everything, julia spins are by far superior than yuna's, step seq similar in quality, interpretation is so subjective, transitions similar, but yuna's better quality, spiral julia better.
Yulia actually reminds me of Yuna when she was 15. Yuna was pretty consistent with as good jumps back then. People seem to make a mistake in thinking that it is natural to get better at jumps as you train more and as you get older, but it is actually the opposite.