Originally posted by hydroradi
U. S. women must jump to it
BY JO-ANN BARNAS
Knight Ridder Newspapers
From his seat at the Westfalenhallen, Foster saw competitors from other countries attempt more difficult jumps and combinations than the American women.
ME: maybe he should've been watching more closely the past two years Jr. Worlds, where the Japanese have been attempting such combos. for a while now, and eventually it figures that these phenoms (aka Miki Ando) would eventually be moving onward to Seniors. Not only that, but Shizuka Arakawa (a Sr. competitor) has been attempting & landing 3/3 & 3/3/2 combos. for two seasons now as well (aka 3/3 @ 2001 SA, 3/3/2 @ 2002 4CC, & TWO 3/3 combos. @ 2002 Japan Nationals). Finally putting it all together @ 2004 Sr. Worlds. ***Note: additionally, the wake-up call should've been sounded when Sarah Hughes unofficially retired from competiton last year - the first & only American woman to have ever landed TWO 3/3 combos. (7 triples in total) in competition thus far - and whom consistently landed difficult 3/3 combos. over a period of 4 seasons as a Senior.***
He saw new world champion Shizuka Arakawa of Japan whip across the ice with a three-jump wonder: a triple lutz-triple toe-double loop combination. Arakawa followed that with another difficult combination, triple salchow-triple toe.
He saw the fifth-place finisher, Carolina Kostner of Italy, open her program with a three-jump combo: triple flip-triple toe-double loop.
ME: please see my comments above. 'nuff said.
And he watched as Miki Ando of Japan, a 16-year-old who finished fourth, attempt a triple lutz-triple loop combination, though it appeared as if she cheated the landing on the second jump. Ando, competing in her first senior worlds, has landed a quadruple jump at least three times in competition. She didn't come close to completing it Saturday.
ME: ah, how everybody is underestimating Miki, lol :D At least that has been my perception after reading several articles & message boards, etc. Heck, IMHO she has more potential than Shizuka......let Shizuka bask in the praise (she truly does deserve it; no ifs/whats/buts about it) & also take on the enormous expectations & pressure that comes along with being a World Champion (just ask Michelle Kwan)......while Miki hasn't even begun to show what she is capable of, which is good, I'd rather the Japanese press laid off Miki (unlike what they did with Midori) & let her progress in relative peace. Also, I'm glad that Miki has things she still needs to work on (aka presentation) b/c as the old saying goes "a fat cat is a lazy cat". Let Shizuka peak here, while I wait for the others (aka Kwan, Cohen, Ando, et al) to peak when it's most important. ***Note: as to the underrotations being pointed out on Ando & not Arakawa, more biased reporting, Ando is usually clean as a whistle (1/4 underrotation is nitpicking IMHO) whereas Arakawa's (being 2" taller than Ando) underrotations are usually more severe. Either way, as long as they're not 1/2 underrotated, I think they are ALL good. ***
The point being, the pendulum in women's skating is favoring athleticism again.
And Foster wouldn't mind seeing the Americans start moving that way, too.
``This competition showed that the bar has been raised,'' Foster said. ``Our people will have to start doing triple-triple combinations, triple axels and even quadruple jumps. We won't be competitive until they start to do that. That's a lesson to be learned for this event.''
ME: hmm, I personally think he is overreacting a bit, at least in regards to America's elite (aka Kwan & Cohen). However, he's right on as regards our Jr. development program. In fact, they should have noticed the Japanese program stepping it up a few years ago & did likewise (best to be ahead & not have to play catch-up). JMHO.
There's movement in that direction.
Kirk and Richard Callaghan plan to work on securing a second triple combination - triple flip-triple toe - for next season.
ME: I agree that Jennifer needs two 3/3 combos., but is her heart really in it?, now that is the question (Shakespeare anyone, lol ). Not only that, but she has had hip problems in the past due to working on those combos. (especially the loop jump). Thus, she needs to ask herself, is it worth it? If so, I wish her well (as always, she's a favorite of mine). If not, she always has the option to compete in Pairs (another favorite discipline of mine). Or even to just turn away from it all & go to college (ala Sarah Hughes). I wish her well in whatever she decides to do (no lie).
Robin Wagner, Cohen's coach, said they would begin training a quadruple salchow on a harness this summer and would add a triple-triple combination for next season. Cohen practiced a quad before but stopped two years ago.
ME: *sigh* I honestly don't think that either Cohen or Kwan need a 4S or a 3A......no lie......one 3/3, yes, but not two (rather a 3/3 sequence + one 3/3 combo.). However, in Cohen's case, I would suggest one or the other, but not both. It's time to face facts, Sasha IS inconsistent *period*. I personally don't give a damn but that's just the way it is. Yes, she can do them in practice (even the 4S), but history has shown that it doesn't translate into big time competition (aka Olympics, Worlds). Best to work with what she excels at & can do ~ i.e. 6 triples + one 3/3 combo. or sequence + exceptional/innovative/unique/creative spins, spirals, carriage, posture, toepoint, etc. ~ and concentrate on skating "clean" programs (nothing more nor nothing less). Make it so that she blows everyone away on the second mark, so that all she has to do is concentrate on skating clean for the technical mark & see how the chips fall. JMHO
Kwan, five-time world champion, said that she, too, knew she had to push herself on the first mark. But first, she must decide if she wanted to compete next season.
``It's a test on your body,'' said Kwan, 23. ``But I know I need a triple-triple, that's for sure.''
ME: weird how I've seen a bunch of threads on several message boards about how Kwan should retire, etc........please........she's honestly America's best hope for gold at the upcoming Olympics. And if anybody can't see that, then they're blind (no lie). I mean c'mon, what more is there to be said - Michelle has basically dominated the ladies field since 1996 - has never been off the World podium since 1996 nor the American podium since 1995. Not only that, she's the one that started the trend of 7 triples since that time, and there are still women that have never matched that in competition (aka Fumie Suguri being one). Furthermore, she has landed the 3T/3T a total of eleven times in competition. Her record speaks for itself. And IMHO the only reason she hasn't done so since 2002 is b/c she's had no competition.......no need to do more than six solo triples when everybody around you can barely manage five.......and the one that could match her plus add TWO 3/3s had barely any presentation to speak of (aka Elena Sokolova in 2003). Well now that's all changed with the arrival of Shizuka Arakawa's TWO 3/3s at 2004 Worlds + very good presentation (not to mention Miki Ando). Heck, I personally think this is a good thing for Michelle (& skating btw) ~ will push her ~ finally has some competition. I honestly will not be surprised to see Michelle once again doing 7 triples + one very difficult 3/3 + a 3/3 sequence. JMHO.