Yu-Na last year at Worlds scored around 70 for a clean SP with the edge call... without it, how high can she reach? 73? 74? (Remember that she scored 78 with the spiral sequence, 5.40 points, and with higher GOEs for all the jumps and with a level 4 layback, she doesn't have all these things now so I don't think that she can really score more than 75)
Julia scored 72.90 without skating her best (she can usually do a lot better all of those jumps)... I don't think the judges will be afraid to give Yulia almost the same PCS as Yu-Na, and the same for the GOEs, and don't forget that Yulia's spins will score a couple points more than Yu-Na's...
The only one who has the chance to beat Julia in the SP is Yu-Na, but only if she skates incredibly incredibly well (at least as well as she did at nationals I would say)...
At this point, I'm pretty sure that Team Asada and Team Kim are aware that Julia is the one to beat. I'm also certain that they are aware of the overscoring as they are skating on Russian soil. These are realities that may play well into both skaters's psyches heading into the Individual events. With Mao, she must know what her chances are realistically- and there's absolutely no shame in admitting that fact. She probably now knows how it must have felt for Cohen, Slutskaya and Arakawa when they saw her during the 2006 season. The positive here, is that really- there's not that much pressure on her to perform. All eyes will be on Kim, Gracie, and Julia. Although the press will be on Asada too, this week's events have changed- she's not a favourite for gold anymore. This should then give Asada a sense of just 'do your best' because that's all she can do. Obviously, this is how it should play in a perfect World.
As far as Kim is concerned, the judges should be able to compare her style side by side with Julia. Yes, Julia has flexibility and the technical prowess, but they would never dare give her PCS marks akin to Kim's in either Vancouver or at Worlds. There's just no explaining that. Kim would have to really bomb for her not to be rewarded.
I don't know about you, but what are the chances that Julia will end up with mind games on the night with such high stakes?
Welcome to GS, Alexis!
Whoever wins, it will be a disservice to Julia if she is overmarked. If she should do better than everyone else but get outlandish marks, it will look as if she won because of her marks, not because of her performance. This shadow will follow her afterward. When YuNa won in Vancouver, she was so clearly superior that there was no question that she deserved the gold. But even a close victory can be understandable as long as both skaters are marked to the same standard, as in the case of Michelle and Tara in Nagano. Some of us may not be happy with the results, but we see what the judges valued and how things added up.
I honestly doubt that Julia will crumble under pressure. That girl is a robot. She has nerves of steel and has nothing to lose.
Although I respect her fierce competitiveness and I think her spins are great, I am not a great fan of her skating. When I see her skating I am left without emotions and quite frankly I do not like her programs. They have been crafted very ingeniously, but they are manipulative in my opinion (especially Schindler’s List). I also fail to see her connection to the music and her ability as a story teller. She is a prodigious 15 years old, but she is till a kid and it shows. She has the making of a star, but in my opinion she is not shining yet. I know she gets huge scores, but I do not think that her performances (especially the FS in the Team Event) deserve these kind of staggering values.
Whether she is unbeatable will really depend on the judging and the performances of other skaters. If Mao skates lights out and lands her jumps, I really do not see how they could put Julia on top. Mao skates with so much grace, she is so lyrical and her SP is truly magnificent in my opinion. And if Caro is clean on both programs with a similar jumps layout as in Worlds last year I do not think I could bear Julia receiving higher scores. It was hard enough at the Team Event after Caro’s performance which was too good for words. Even on that occasion, the difference in their skating skills was so palpable and Carolina’s ability to conjure moments of true beauty so clear that I was disturbed to see Julia being placed first. If that was a sign of things to come, then there is, alas, little hope for Caro and Yuna and perhaps only Mao’s triple axel could save the night. I hope I am wrong and that my dream podium (Caro, Mao and Yuna) comes true though!
I thought about that issue and that it would be interesting to ask a few skaters who won controversially many years ago how they fared, and how they see it now: "would you rather have finished 2nd and everybody was ok with it, or win with some/many boos?"
I'm afraid they have lifted Julia's scores to a degree where a clean Lipnitskaya will beat everybody but a clean Kim and Asada.
A clean Kim is imo pretty likely, a clean Asada is imo very unlikely. I fear even a stellar Suzuki or Kostner will lose to a clean Lipnitskaya since they'll just get the "politically correct strict minimum" in GOE and PCS. Lipnitskaya is imo the most reliable on her jumps, hence likely to skate clean (Flutz notwithstanding, but it probably won't be called anyway).
Yet another factor is how this situation will affect everyone's performances: will they feel "defeated before even skating" and hence make mistakes?
I have a really awkward feeling going into this.
I hope I'm wrong and look forward to writing a bolded "I was so wrong" post after the Individual comp is over. Accurate scoring for all and try to keep the inflation to a minimum, Olympics or no Olympics!
The point is Julia is now putting pressure on Yu-Na to perform. Yu-Na isn't known for skating lights out on a regular basis; she's only done it twice in her career and yes it happened to be at the two biggest events but that's still a small percentage of competitions where she's been clean a back-to-back. Julia on the other hand is known for skating close to flawless every time she steps on the ice.
Julia's scores have been trending upwards since nationals. The went higher at Euros and higher still at the team event. At this point the judges have positioned her to go head-to-head with Yu-Na and Mao; she's beaten Carolina in their last 3 meetings (COR, Euros, team event). The same can be said for Adelina. She scored 33.58 in PCS in the SP at Euros and 69.60 in the FS. Those PCS will keep her in the top 5 if she skates the way she skated at Euros. Both Russian ladies have been maneuvered into position for these Games and they are right where they need to be to land on the podium if they skate well.
I don't see Julia beating a clean Yu-Na or Mao, but if she's clean and they make mistakes I think the judges will place her above them. At this point the likelihood of them skating cleanly is Julia>Yu-Na>>>Mao. Yu-Na can skate cleanly but she's not known for it. She'll usually have a small mistake here or there but the affect on her score is negligible b/c she's usually a good distance ahead of everyone...that gap has closed significantly in the last month or so thanks to Julia.
If Julia is clean and Yu-Na makes a mistake, I think the judges will give it to Julia. She's getting the PCS to be competitive with Yu-Na and the +GOE has gone through the roof as well (+2s and +3s on everything, even her jumps which is laughable). It's not fair but it's the way it is. The judges are making it so that there will definitely be a Russian lady on the podium and with Julia consistently skating so well, the pressure is on the veterans to deliver.
I've calmed down a bit since yesterday (when I was off sick so I was getting caught up with articles and reviews and protocols), and I think the idea that a clean Julia could potentially beat a clean Yuna or a clean Asada does seem a bit ridiculous now, even with the home ground inflation. Or the fact that Julia's more of a threat to Yuna than a potentially clean Mao. I think it was just a knee-jerk reaction at this:
The fact that my favourite vets Caro and Akiko got so low-balled -- the reality that a fantastic Caro may not beat Julia is just settling in like a shock -- on top of Julia being so generously boosted when everyone else's GOE was completely stingy at best kind of put this fear in me. But seriously, no way they can put a clean Yuna behind Julia, even an obvious mistake-free Julia. The thing is, when Yuna is clean, she's squeaky clean. She may not get as much GOE on the spin as Julia, but that's probably the only area that she can possibly score lower than Julia. Julia may go fall-free, but she's never been without obvious mistakes, and even if they decide to lowball on everything that gives Yuna her name (jumps, flow, speed, choreography, lightness) and don't apply the same inflation on her (which they couldn't possibly, not to the reigning champion), that would still give her more than enough to beat inflated Julia. One mistake, they may pound on her, but there's also this:I fear even a stellar Suzuki or Kostner will lose to a clean Lipnitskaya since they'll just get the "politically correct strict minimum" in GOE and PCS. Lipnitskaya is imo the most reliable on her jumps, hence likely to skate clean (Flutz notwithstanding, but it probably won't be called anyway).
Someone said it before, that Yuna has the balls of steel, and it's been proven true more than once. When people assume the pressure may get to her, or when they think her absence may mean she may make mistakes is when she just comes into the game and bring down the house without batting an eyelash. When people think her win is automatic is when she doesn't do as well. (But not doing as well for her translates to a couple of mistakes and a second place, so there's that.) Before this, she's been pretty low-key about her ambition for this Olympics, just saying that she wants to wrap her last game before retirement as well as possible (and as she should), but now, with all the judging issues and someone suddenly getting 7-9 PCS and incredible GOEs after a single game to match the top trio (who have taken years on ice to get those scores), that would do wonders for her competitive streak and she would be unafraid to show it. She'd probably want to crush all the competition now. So she doesn't have a home ground advantage or a strong federation to back her up, but she's never really needed one, not when she has her reputation and PBS to back her up.Yet another factor is how this situation will affect everyone's performances: will they feel "defeated before even skating" and hence make mistakes?
Also, historically, Mao brings her A game when Yuna is on, so there's that.
Oh man. I desperately want Mao and Yuna and Caro to rock this game. I'm actually honestly fuming that this Oly FS is apparently really shafting my country (What's up with the drug testing on Canadian figure skaters? I thought people were making that up, one of the conspiracy theories, but apparently the majority of the skaters who were tested were Canadian? How many Russians were tested, huh?) and completely dissing Caro. If they do something to Yuna, then I just can't.
To answer the thread title, no. But the only one who can beat a clean (or nearly clean) Julia is Yu Na. I see Yu Na getting better GOEs on her jumps and footwork and better PCS on SS and TR, at least.Julia will do better on spins. I think that would be enough for Yu Na to win. But it will be a lot closer than it was in 2010. The pressure will be on her to do her 3-3s in both programs. At the Golden Spin, where she missed it in the long, she only scored a 131. Julia will beat that if she lands her jumps, flutz or no flutz.