I agree it will be Russians, whomever that is. I could see Radiaonova being the dominant skater. She tends to handle pressure better on average than Sotnikova and Tuktamysheva, and she is a better skater than Julia or Tuktamysheva (I know it doesnt paint a positive perspective for Tuktamysheva to say that back to back like that). However they have others coming up who will probably be big in a couple years too. Someone who could win the next Olympic Gold might not even make the next Olympic team, perhaps more than one. By 2018 it will probably be the deepest a country was ever in for the ladies event ever, including even the Americans.
The Americans are the most likely ones to challenge for major titles besides the Russians. Edmunds needs to improve and push Gold, and others need to come up too. If Gold doesnt have strong enough domestic competition to help her get better she will never make it to the very top outside of the U.S. Wagner, Nagasu, and the other vets are pretty much done. Their skill set is outdated at this point.
I also dont see anyone in Japan right now. Even if Murakami stays she will never a world beater. Miyahara has potential but I also dont see her as World Champion material, well maybe a 1 time if she is lucky but definitely not a dominant skater.
Osmond and Li I think still have potential but they sure lost a ton of ground this year to people who finished around them at Worlds last year. They obviously have to stay healthy, they have no more time to lose. They need to get better and build up their rep value immediately.
I had thought Kanako would stand on top of the podium for a while after the Sochi games, but Adelina's soaring PCS will probably sink most of skaters at least in 2014. If Elena makes a successful senior debut, it would be interesting to see how soon she gets close to Adelina and Julia's PCS. Personally, I love the skate of Polina and Kanako.
I really hope it is Radionova who ends up on top. She doesn't have any Sochi scoring issues to taint her image; she missed it due to the age limit (thanks to Asada/Kim I have a soft spot for skaters in this situation). If not her, it could also be any of the 4 girls that made the JGPF.
Originally Posted by pangtongfan
Japan's junior situation is not good but Marin Honda might become a contender.
I agree it about Osmond and Li. Li needs to keep her jumps but massively improve her PCS because even her clean 7-triple skates get poorly rewarded. Osmond needs to stay healthy, stop falling, and keep her transitions, and Skate Canada will do the rest.
I had to laugh a bit at that part, but very true I believe. She needs to start doing 7 triple programs as well though I think, and maybe do a harder triple-triple for the short. She isnt Sotnikova (especialy not Sotnikova in Russia).
Originally Posted by CarneAsada
Li also needs to skate and jump alot bigger. Li is pretty totally dependent on her consistency and pretty good base value, even her GOEs arent high.
I havent seen much of Marin Honda yet.
I agree whole-heartedly on the Americans. I don't think Gracie Gold needs a ton of competition, but she needs someone who's just good enough to beat her if she doesn't keep on her toes. For her to have a serious chance, she has to have some level of dominance. I think one of the problems Mirai Nagasu, Rachael Flatt, Alyssa Cizsny, Agnes Zawadzki and an early Ashley Wagner had was that they didn't have a consistent target. They were all fighting on about the same level. U.S. Figure Skating needs something of a heirarchy to start building their program up again. That's a perk of the Russian system right now. With Julia Lipnitskaia and Adelina Sotnikova's European and Olympic results the past couple months, they have separated themselves from the other Russian girls going into the next cycle and given the others two goals to aim for.
Originally Posted by pangtongfan
As for the Russians, I don't want to guess at who might be around for Pyeongchang in four years. At this point, if Julia and Adelina both compete at Worlds, I fully expect them to get three spots back for Russia. It'd be a huge shock if they didn't. In 2018, they could both still be around, one of them could or neither of them could – they'll only be 19 and 21, still pretty young in skating. Elizaveta Tuktamysheva needs to re-establish herself next year, or the Federation might pass her by. Elena Radionova looks nice, but I will not comment on her until we see her at a senior Worlds. The same goes for Anna Pogorilaya, Nikol Gosviani or any of the girls currently in the juniors. And, assuming she sticks around, don't forget about Alena Leonova. If Russia'd had three spots, she'd have been at these Olympics.
If Kanako Murakami sticks around, she's got a shot at being one of the top girls, but she's really inconsistent. Satoko Miyahara is one I'm curious about, but again, she hasn't even been to a senior Worlds yet. I'm still reserving judgment. I don't think Zijun Li's going to be a top skater. I don't dislike her, but I don't think she stands out enough next to the other top girls. I'm not sure about Kaetlyn Osmond. As you wrote, she needs to stay healthy, and she needs to put together two clean (or mostly clean) programs on a consistent basis internationally. She does stand out, though, and she does have a powerful federation backing her if she can get herself into contention. If she can put the pieces together, she and Gracie might be the most intriguing prospects of all the non-Russian ladies at this point.
Judgement comes sooner than later! Akiko said Sochi was her last competition, so that means Satoko will be at Worlds in her place.
Originally Posted by caseyl23
Good question about spots.
How do we see the spots going this year?
I think Russia will get spot No. 3 back, though I can see USA and Japan keeping their three spots.
Russia should get their 3rd spot back. U.S has a good chance to keep 3 spots when their Olympic finishes would have done that and the field at Worlds will be weaker. Japan should also keep their three spots. Mao has a great shot to win and should atleast medal no problem with Kim not going and Putinflation over with. Murakami should be top 10 easily.
USA, Japan and Russia are the safest bets right now to end up with three spots. For Japan, it'll depend on which Kanako Murakami shows up (if she shows up), and Russia will still need Julia and Adelina in competition shape to do it. Is Carolina Kostner skating for Italy? If so, they could get three. Canada and China could be borderline as to whether or not they will keep two. They have to improve on their Olympic results if they're gonna make it. I could see France getting two. Does anyone think South Korea can hang onto two spots, or are they back down to one after this season? My gut instinct says one, but it could be close.
Originally Posted by Mrs. P
Edited to add: And good luck to Satoko. I always pull for the new skaters at Worlds.