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Thread: What held back Asada's PCS?

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    What held back Asada's PCS?

    What could Mao Asada have done better to earn higher PCS (i.e. Kostner, Yuna's level)? Does she need to increase her speed and coverage across the ice? Improve her choreography?

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    a cat watching figure skating alebi's Avatar
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    According to what italian commentators said in the SP it was due to the long preparation before the triple axel. It makes sense in the SP where there're less elements and so this thing is more evident. Honestly I think that there's always a little "prejudice" when judging a skater but if we see the protocols for the free we see Caro is slightly higher in SS (because of her speed) and choreo/interpration because her Bolero is a program that really overtakes any other for originality, not the same delicate or elegant program we usually see for Mao that, ok, are her peculiarities and she's the best in these aspects and a pleasure to watch, but they also limit herself. I wanna see Mao exploring new fields if she decides to go on skating

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    Quote Originally Posted by alebi View Post
    According to what italian commentators said in the SP it was due to the long preparation before the triple axel. It makes sense in the SP where there're less elements and so this thing is more evident. Honestly I think that there's always a little "prejudice" when judging a skater but if we see the protocols for the free we see Caro is slightly higher in SS (because of her speed) and choreo/interpration because her Bolero is a program that really overtakes any other for originality, not the same delicate or elegant program we usually see for Mao that, ok, are her peculiarities and she's the best in these aspects and a pleasure to watch, but they also limit herself. I wanna see Mao exploring new fields if she decides to go on skating
    That's so funny that Mao's jump prep time would be considered longer to Caro's!! Honestly. If that's the best commentators can do to explain the PCS difference, I mean, really. REALLY?? What does that REALLY say?

    How about Yuna's excessive no. of back crossovers to prepare for her 3-3? Or Caro's telegraphings? I mean, Caro's telegraphing is much better than few years ago, and what with her now smiling broadly through them, it's less noticable, but honestly, long prep for her triple axel? For crying out loud.

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    a cat watching figure skating alebi's Avatar
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    Do you take a comment as if it's the "Bible" ? I just reported a thought and then find out another personal explanation instead of just polemicise which is not my style

    [edit]

    I also have the idea that a long preparation for a single jump is more penalized than for a combo, but you should ask the judges why, not me

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    Honestly, I don't know. In reply to the post above, her jump preparations are shorter than those of many other girls (Caro stalks her 3Lz through the entire rink and it doesn't hurt her PCS). Her speed and ice coverage improved greatly this year - and, what's important, she doesn't need crossovers to generate speed. If you watch her programs in comparison to those of the other ladies, she has very few crossovers in her programs, and is perhaps the only one who can noticeably accelerate while doing very complex footwork (especially visible in her SP step sequence). As far as the COP PCS requirements go, her programs are very well constructed. Quoth Evan: "Mao [Asada] looks insane. She's so good -- strength and jumps, of course, but also the complexity of her programs. I noticed in particular she is never on two feet; she is always on one foot, which is what judges look for in the components. They look for so much: transitions, edges, speed, multi-directional movement; she has all of that stuff."

    However, I suspect that the judges might not actualy care about the PCS requirements all that much. It's difficult to GoE-judge all the elements and, at the same time, pay attention to the artistic side of the program. From the judges' perspective, a simpler program with a lot of crossovers, great speed and occasional flirty/sexy pauses might make a greater impact. For example, when you look at the photos, Mao is very expressive, but it's quite difficult to see in the actual programs (when you look from the judges' seats) because she just keeps moving and in some of the nice moments she is facing towards the audience, not the judges.

    And then there's pure politics... Let's be honest, if the judges on the panel have their own horse in the race, they ain't gonna give excellent scores to its direct competitor.

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    a cat watching figure skating alebi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by inskate View Post
    It's difficult to GoE-judge all the elements and, at the same time, pay attention to the artistic side of the program
    This is something I always thought too! That's why I think the GOE can be given "more automatically" by the tech panel and let the judges focus on PCS instead of choose a range and use it for every PCS voice

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    Carolina does FIVE back crossovers to gain enough speed to do her DOUBLE-axel. The back crossovers take 5 seconds to do, and then from setup to jump, it's 3 seconds. So all in all, that's 8 seconds:

    (starts at 2:38) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bHLjfETG1eM

    Mao does 3-4 forward crossovers and pose to gain speed to do her TRIPLE-axel, all of which takes 4 seconds, and then from setup to jump, it's 3 seconds. So all in all, that's 7 seconds:

    (starts at 1:30) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xm9F-lSuArQ

    Mao's TRIPLE-AXEL jump took less time to do than Carolina's DOUBLE-AXEL jump.

    What's was this commentator smoking? Mao's TRIPLE axel taking too long to do, eh? And I just can't believe this stupid comparison I'm making between a jump that's so difficult no other lady skater can do it right now to a mandatory jump. How long would it take for anyone else but Mao to set up for a triple-axel? It would take them an eternity. They could prep and set up for the triple-axel until they're blue in the face and they wouldn't be able to do it.

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    It has been noticed before that many judges just follow the mark they gave for skating skills to mark the other components. Kostner skates faster and can do more with her blades than Asada even though her transitions are fewer and she does more crossovers, so she ends up with more PCS. Kim is faster than Asada so she gets higher PCS. The PCS judging in Sochi was an anomaly as Asada skated early and the Russians were receiving home Olympic inflation. Usually Asada would receive PCS behind Kim/Kostner and ahead of everyone else. So probably just skate faster and don't care so much about transitions.

    ETA another thing people who have watched all 3 live sometimes say is that Kostner and Kim stand out more than Asada and this is due in large part to their speed. Judges who watch live notice this.

    Quote Originally Posted by alebi View Post
    According to what italian commentators said in the SP it was due to the long preparation before the triple axel. It makes sense in the SP where there're less elements and so this thing is more evident. Honestly I think that there's always a little "prejudice" when judging a skater but if we see the protocols for the free we see Caro is slightly higher in SS (because of her speed) and choreo/interpration because her Bolero is a program that really overtakes any other for originality, not the same delicate or elegant program we usually see for Mao that, ok, are her peculiarities and she's the best in these aspects and a pleasure to watch, but they also limit herself. I wanna see Mao exploring new fields if she decides to go on skating
    Yes, but Caro did absolutely nothing other than crossovers and a glide going into 2 of her jumping passes in the SP while Mao only did such a thing before her 3A. Also, Mao's Rachmaninoff was hardly the same delicate or elegant style as her Nocturne. It might not stand out as much as Bolero but she is hardly a one-note skater.

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    a cat watching figure skating alebi's Avatar
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    oh my, you really took it as God's word
    you can send your report to international judges since you have so much time *respect*

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    I think Kostner's overall speed and ice coverage helped boost her above Asada. I also agree that Mao's preparation into the jumps makes them look less incorporated into the program and are more like moments that you can really tell she's about to do an element. Her transitions have improved but things like her flip are super obvious in their preparation. Her axel she tends to have a slight break from the performance to focus for it... I especially noticed this in her SP where she was going through the motions prior to her 3A probably because she was concentrating on the jump ahead.

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    First, I do think that the beginning of Mao's free skates are a bit bland.. She seems to take a lot of time to do her triple axel(s), her combo. Her gentler stroking doesn't help her I think. I also think that Mao using less speed in her program is because she is uncomfortable with it.

    Second, I think Mao has been plagued with the title of being the "technical skater", as was with Midori Ito, when she is in fact, artistic. All the focus on her triple axel by the community lowers her PCS I think. Because God forbid someone be great technically and artistically..

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    Quote Originally Posted by hurrah View Post
    Carolina does FIVE back crossovers to gain enough speed to do her DOUBLE-axel. The back crossovers take 5 seconds to do, and then from setup to jump, it's 3 seconds. So all in all, that's 8 seconds:

    (starts at 2:38) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bHLjfETG1eM

    Mao does 3-4 forward crossovers and pose to gain speed to do her TRIPLE-axel, all of which takes 4 seconds, and then from setup to jump, it's 3 seconds. So all in all, that's 7 seconds:

    (starts at 1:30) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xm9F-lSuArQ

    Mao's TRIPLE-AXEL jump took less time to do than Carolina's DOUBLE-AXEL jump.

    What's was this commentator smoking? Mao's TRIPLE axel taking too long to do, eh? And I just can't believe this stupid comparison I'm making between a jump that's so difficult no other lady skater can do it right now to a mandatory jump. How long would it take for anyone else but Mao to set up for a triple-axel? It would take them an eternity. They could prep and set up for the triple-axel until they're blue in the face and they wouldn't be able to do it.

    I agree the commentator probably got it wrong.
    When looking at the entrances into the jumps, however, you can notice Kostner's speed and glide into them on. She doesn't slow down going into them (like Mao sometimes does) and doesn't have a form break e.g. into her double axel (which Mao has with her upper body bend directly before the take-off). On the jump landing, Caro has an extended position and points her toe unlike Mao who oftem loses flow on the landing often with her foot pointing down. Some of these things are technical things but some of them also should be considered in the PCS.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jkun View Post
    Second, I think Mao has been plagued with the title of being the "technical skater", as was with Midori Ito, when she is in fact, artistic. All the focus on her triple axel by the community lowers her PCS I think. Because God forbid someone be great technically and artistically..
    Well, on the subject of the thread, Mao got 72.76 PCS which is a personal best. So I don't see how this is her being held back in a FS where she URed multiple jumps. But as mentioned, she doesn't carry the speed of Kostner or the seamlessness of Kim. I agree that she's been dubbed a "technical skater" more than a complete skater, although she's worked very hard to improve her artistry. Unfortunately, she's only really made those huge artistic strides in the past few seasons which is why Kim has always managed to stay ahead of her artistically and also Kostner when she skates half decently.

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    I like Mao a lot, and she was one of the last one's has been able to skate "beautifully".
    BUT:
    She won her 3rd World title with URs and edge calls. Many of her jumps was "cheated" and a bit "dirty" in her carrier even if the whole performance was classy, but technically far from being correct at the same way than Kostner or Yuna Kim.
    That was the reason of her PCS.

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    Mao need to skate on "deeper" edges which will help her speed. Mao also needs to work on larger upper-body(whole body) movements, which will help her projection and impression on judges.
    The technique character of her jumps. such as preparation to 3A, "pause" in front of her flip and generally unorthodox jumping style ... interrupt the integrity and flow of her programs.
    Like mentioned above, when you watch they skate live, Mao's skating is "smaller" than the other 2. And this feeling is not due to Mao has smaller figure (They are about the same), and People with smaller figure can definitely project.

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