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Thread: The Japanese Ladies

  1. #31
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    Originally posted by Kateri
    If we're talking podiums for 2006, I wouldn't rule Victoria Pavuk out of anything, if she improves her presentation.
    Shame Hungary only had 1 spot at Worlds - you shoulda seen her at Euros!
    ITA! Her short programme was incredible, and her long was amazing too. After her skate, the British commentators said she was a "superstar" :D I really did think she was good, she has triple-triples (although they might have been slightly cheated on landings - I'd have to check, though IIRC they were at least almost clean), other great triples, very good speed and edges (especially on the FO spiral with her hand on the ice, and her edge must be less than 45 degrees... wow), good spins, great musicality and energy... She's not a ballerina, IIRC, but she's definitely one to watch. Almost got a medal in her first Euros, kept her composure in front of her home audience bringing the house down, and skated a great long even though she had the added pressure of knowing she was in 3rd place going in!

    Wow.

  2. #32
    bugs are smarter than we are bronxgirl's Avatar
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    [QUOTE]When she competed Cup of Russia, the home crowd went just as nuts for Sasha as they did their hometown girl./
    [B]

    Sasha's coach at the time was TT. I don't know if she'd be viewed as the home town girl with Robin by her side.[B]

  3. #33
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    I don't know if it's been mentioned before but I looked up Shizuka in an online dictionary and it means "quiet; peaceful." I think that's an appropriate name

  4. #34
    Thank God for Stephane Lambiel and Matt Savoie! shine's Avatar
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    Quite/Peaceful + fragrant.

  5. #35
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    mathman

    I do like the concept of pants... I just think it was a bad decision because judges fear change. Its kinda like skating to a program with lyrics, or to the theme of robin hood (tanya harding, ick)

  6. #36
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    I didn't know Tonya Harding skated to Robin Hood. Katarina skated to it in leggings for her short program for the 1994 Olympics. She looked pretty good too.

  7. #37
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    Robin Hood was Tonya's 1992 LP music.

  8. #38
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    My thoughts:

    Claro que si......of course it goes without saying that the Japanese skaters are certainly a force to be reckoned with.......have always been. In fact, I think it just goes to show that nobody should ever be counted out, especially if s/he has shown that s/he has the potential to skate great (aka Kwan, Cohen, Slutskaya, Kostner, Ando, Arakawa, et al)......just a matter of time.......before everything comes together.

    The hard part is what follows thereafter, in order to prove that one is for "real" (as regards a medal threat in every competition from then on), one has to consistently hold to that high standard, which in Shizuka Arakawa's case would be having to perform near perfectly every time out - no falls, 6/7 triple programs, at the very least one 3/3 (no less will do), skated with confidence & attack. I wish her mucho suerte, especially as the only one that I can think of that has consistently performed to a high standard over a period of many years, and has never finished off the podium (either nationally or internationally) since 1996 (when she won her first of many Worlds Titles, not to mention Olympic Medals) is Michelle Kwan. That's a lot to live up to. Btw, Irina Slutskaya also fits into this category, and I would wager to bet Sasha Cohen is on her way as well (aka has dominated the Sr. Grand Prix for the last couple of seasons now, consistently medalled @ US Nationals since 2000, won GPF in December of 2002, Silver Medalist @ 2004 Worlds).

    ***Note: the above criteria could also be applied to Miki Ando as regards Jrs. - dominated/won ALL Jr. Grand competitions that she entered since she first hit the scene in 2001/2002, won Japan Jr. Nationals 3 times (tied w/Shizuka Arakawa as the most ever won by an individual), medalled @ JGPF every single time (won it twice), and medalled @ Jr. Worlds since she first debuted in 2002 (finally winning in 2004).***

    That said, IMHO none of the present day Japanese skaters can compare to their countrywoman Midori Ito.........No Way..........heck, Fumie Suguri still has never skated a 7 triple program nor landed a 3/3 in competition (fact; almost 100% positive this is so). Nor have ANY of them landed a fully rotated 3A in competition, and that goes for the ones that have at least tried it (aka Nakano & Onda). Furthermore, the only one that equals Midori's phenomenal height on the jumps is Yoshie Onda (no b.s.). The others have excellent height, but nowhere near the former two (though Ando does attain it on the solo 3F & 3R). Lastly, Midori never underrotated her jumps (most likely b/c of the phenomenal height she attained; in fact she had "hang time" which is extremely RARE). This, unlike Arakawa & Ando's 3/3s, though I give them credit for trying & landing them (moreso for Ando's, whom usually lands them less than an 1/4 underrotated on the second jump, unlike Arakawa). JMHO.

    ***Note: not to mention Midori's super fast spins, speed, & power, and the records that she set (high ideal; aka first Japanese woman to win Worlds, first lady skater to land a 3A, as well as a 3/3 combo., and also highest finish for a Japanese lady @ Olympics - 2nd). 'nuff said.***

    The following is how I presently view Japan's formidable skaters:

    Shizuka Arakawa - the complete overall package skater.....has it all.....technical + very good presentation. Remains to be seen if she can hold on to that standard in the long run, which would require her to be in tip-top physical condition throughout the year. As Michelle Kwan stated at this past Worlds ~ when she was young, she always thought that she had to be in tip-top physical condition throughout the year ~ now she realizes that a skater can't keep that up indefinitely and now knows the term about "peaking" at the right time. Hopefully Shizuka was listening (already has a bandage on her thigh; perhaps from overjumping???).

    Fumie Suguri - technically she's the weakest of the group, but presentation-wise she is very strong. Remains to be seen if she can upgrade her jump arsenal to that of her countrywomen...

    Yoshie Onda - has the best jumps of them all, but still hasn't landed a 3/3 combo. (sequence, yes, combo. no) nor a 3A (though she came awfully close @ 2002 Bofrost Cup On Ice; landed but short of rotation; height was out of this world!). Also, what's really holding her back is the presentation aspect ~ hopefully she'll be fighting mad at being left off the Japanese Team for Worlds & do an Irina Slutskaya (ala 2000/2001 season). GOOOOOO YOSHIE! I believe (no lie).

    Asada Sisters - too young (one of them is even age ineligible for the next Olympics), but what's really holding them both back is the massive underrotations on the 3/3s, as well as the other solo triples being weak. Personally, I think the problem is b/c they're built tall & skinny (ala Karen Kwan). Hopefully, as they grow & mature, they'll add power & strength to their skating. JMHO.

    Yukina Ota - outdoes her peers on the presentation aspect ~ best of the bunch ~ but skating is more than about looking pretty on the ice. Still has work to do on the technical aspect. Actually, she's facing the opposite problem of her countrywoman Yoshie Onda. It remains to be seen which one is harder (or easier) to attain ~ aka presentation or technical. Bueno suerte to both of them.

    Miki Ando - enigma (has the technical & her presentation is good). Literally has the ability to blow the field away........especially with her nuclear bomb full of exotic jumps & exquisite combos.........but will she have the "guts" to detonate them when the time comes. That is the question...

    Peace & Best Wishes, Nadine
    Last edited by Nadine; 04-04-2004 at 10:34 PM.

  9. #39
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    Excellent review, Nadine. I agree Midori was the greatest jumper of them all, and a wonderful spinner too. In addition, she had the charisma that is lacking in the Japanese ladies of today. However, many of them are certainly capable of winning at the world level, as Shizuka demonstrated. It will be interesting to see how she does next season. She has been improving continuously, so that is what I expect from her.

    Yuka Sato turned pro after winning the 94 worlds and developed into a beautiful skater, but we will never know if she could have stayed at the top in the eligibles.

    These girls are quite young (except Shizuka and Fumie) and they could be around a long time. Miki is still only 16 and already 4th in the world. She has the most potential of getting and staying at the top, although my favorite is Yukina Ota whose natural grace is unequalled in this group. I really hope she can master the difficult jumps. IMO it is harder to do that than to develop the presentation, but Yukina is young (17) so she has hope.

    Yoshie could develop her presentation too, but I don't know if it will be enough to get her to the top, unless she is able to land the triple axel and a 3-3 combo. She will need both.

    Fumie definitely needs a 3-3 to even make the Japanese world team at this point, even though she has the second best presentation of all (JMHO- I like Yukina's a little better, but Fumie is very strong presentation wise).

    Shizuka has room to improve both technically and artistically. That should keep her motivated.

    IMHO most of them are lagging behind the top US ladies in their artistry. They will have to upgrade their presentation, and the US ladies will have to upgrade their technical difficulty.

    Vash
    Last edited by Vash01; 04-04-2004 at 11:27 PM.

  10. #40
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    Originally posted by Fossi
    it is true the Russians love Sasha. Isn't she of Russian ancestry? I remember everyone saying she was. It will depend on how she skates, and how Irina skates.
    I also agree that maybe I judged Ando too harshly on her first outting. She will improve. It was just the hype. I expected more.
    The hype was certainly there. In terms of placement she did pretty good in her first worlds. I was disappointed that she did not land the quad salchow, but then how many skaters land a quad jump? If you take out 4-5 men that consistently land it, not many. Her performance at the Jr.Worlds was only slightly better, so for the senior level she was not quite there. I also suspect she was a bit nervous, being at her first worlds.

    Vash

  11. #41
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    Originally posted by Joesitz
    RG and Vash - I agree Yukina needs to up the triples combos and with consistency. What I was thinking about, is that Shizuka has shown the others that Japanese Ladies can be Queen of the Ice. That sentiment gives motitvation for the others to work harder. Bottom line for us is to muse and wait.

    I would say that in Dortmund, Irina got the biggest ovation. She is very popular throughout Europe. Her home town presence in 2005 is an advantage for the podium and a win if she is up to her best.

    My home town theory is based on my two Worlds I've seen live. MK got the gold in DC over a very high level technical of Elena. I'm sure the roar of the crowd has some influence on the judges., although it didn't quite work for Timmy but then he was up against the King of the Ice. With the roar of the crowd in Dortmund, it was clear that Lindemann would win over Lambiel, but also Winkler and Lohse v. Grushina and Gronov(sp). Both Lambiel and G&G were arguably better. However, the Germans were very good too, and that's where subjectivity comes in.

    Carolina in 2006? No surprise to me if she's on the podium., and maybe Yukina, too.

    Joe
    Joe,

    I agree. Home crowd can influence the judges. I have seen it many times, and at these worlds it seemed a bit too obvious.

    Irina's return was a big story at these worlds. Given the seriousness of her illness a top 10 finish was a very good one for her. If she is healthy next year, and has skated in a few competitions prior to worlds, she could challenge for at least a podium spot. She is capable of matching the Japanese gals in the jumps and has a great presence on the ice. One cannot count Sokolva out either, although she had a bad year.

    Carolina certainly seems to be moving toward that podium spot in Torino. I thought she was overmarked in the LP, perhaps to help her move to the podium in 2006? That may be a bit farfetched but Italy has not had a top level lady skater, and the crowd will certainly go wild.

    I would love to see Yukina on the podium. If Shizuka does well this year (at least medals at worlds) she will be one of the faves at the Olympics. Alas, there are just 3 spots on the podium. If history is any indication, all these ladies will be too old in 2006 to win the Olympic gold.

    Vash

  12. #42
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    I don't see a Japanese sweep of the podium in 2005 unless the U.S. skaters all die in a plane crash like in 1961.

    But they will be major contenders throughout the next season. Shizuka may struggle with the pressure of being WC but the goods are definitely there for her to consistently challenge for the podium. I saw flashes of potential artistry in Ando, but I'm not sure if one year is enough for it to come to fruition yet. Even without that, the quad could get her on the podium. Suguri is always a podium threat if she can skate (close to) clean and waiting in the wings is Ota who most Americans haven't seen yet. They have an extremely deep and talented team.

    Carolina certainly seems to be moving toward that podium spot in Torino. I thought she was overmarked in the LP, perhaps to help her move to the podium in 2006? That may be a bit farfetched but Italy has not had a top level lady skater, and the crowd will certainly go wild.
    I don't think it is farfetched at all. Her marks were a travesty. Yes, she landed a 3/3/2. But a program with 3 major errors, terrible choreography, music which sounded like it was pasted together with a karaoke machine, the presentation skills of a novice skater including a layback that belonged at the Special Olympics and a costume which was exceeded in ugliness only by Shizuka's SP dress did not deserve 5.7-5.8s and even, god forbid, one 5.9. Did I mention $peedy is from Italy? Of course, we'll never know which "judging hoes" decided that her Zamboni imitation was worthy of such high marks because of the sekret computer! I would have had Kostner in 7th place at best.
    Last edited by Ogre Mage; 04-05-2004 at 04:44 AM.

  13. #43
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    Originally posted by Ogre Mage
    I don't think it is farfetched at all. Her marks were a travesty. Yes, she landed a 3/3/2. But a program with 3 major errors, terrible choreography, music which sounded like it was pasted together with a karaoke machine, the presentation skills of a novice skater including a layback that belonged at the Special Olympics and a costume which was exceeded in ugliness only by Shizuka's SP dress did not deserve 5.7-5.8s and even, god forbid, one 5.9. Did I mention $peedy is from Italy? Of course, we'll never know which "judging hoes" decided that her Zamboni imitation was worthy of such high marks because of the sekret computer! I would have had Kostner in 7th place at best.
    Jeez, she wasn't that bad. Costume and music is subjective (I liked them) and her layback is quite good. Yes she did have errors, but even though she had some high technical marks her presentation marks were much lower and her ordinals were not ridiculously high. How do you know the judges didn't have to give her a high tech mark and a lower pres mark in order to get the ordinal they wanted? Yes she had a fall on the second 3lutz (which isn't a deduction - it just counts as not doing it, and affects the pres mark), but when you take into account her speed and edges, her difficult and completely clean 3-3-2, the other jumps she landed cleanly, her good spins etc, maybe that's why the tech mark was high and the pres mark was lower. And the marks are not *that* ridiculous when you remember that Kwan and Cohen also got 5.8s and 5.9s (IIRC) for technical merit, even with a mistake each, little in the way of in betweens (especially from Kwan, who had little in the way of content at all), and no 3-3s. JMO. If you give Kwan's LP a tech mark of 5.8 or 5.9, Kostner's similar mark is not that way off IMO. Her presenation mark, however, was lower, which gave her a lower ordinal.

  14. #44
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    Originally posted by thvudragon
    jesslily, I don't see how you can say that most of the Japanese Ladies have great jumping technique. The best is Arakawa and Ando, but besides them, almost all the Japanese ladies have very questionable technique. Fumie has poor jump quality in almost all her jumps (except the flip). Yoshie lands on the flat of her blade. Nakano has horrible technique in her edge jumps. Asada has a horrid toe-axel. Ota's jumps are loads better than last season, much higher, but she still has poor runout and cheated jumps.
    I'm not sure it matters, one way or the other. At Dortmund, attempts among the Ladies seem to count more than execution. While her presentation was smoother and lighter in the qualis compared to the heaviness in her legs in the LP, I believe that Ando's attempts at the 4Sal (fall) and 3/3 (underrotated) were what landed her in 2nd in the qualis. (I would have had her in 5th in her round.) Both Ando's and Arakawa's 3/3 in the SP had errors. Kostner's 3/3 in the SP was executed very well once she launched it, but she has an awful telegraph into her lutz and flip, in which she holds her arms stiffly to the sides and clenches her fists. In the SP this wasn't as jarring as in the LP, because her jump from steps was turning 3's into 3R, and it only happened once, but repeated over and over again in the long takes away from her program as much as Liashenko's telegraph does. Kostner landed the 3/3/2 in both the qualis and LP; to the judges this seemed to outweigh the numerous mistakes she made in the rest of her program in both phases.

    Suguri was downright weak in the qualis, landing almost no clean jumps. Although she improved in the SP and LP, in comparison to the other women in her competition, to me she looked like she had found her natural level in the second-to-last group.

  15. #45
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    Originally posted by icenut84
    Jeez, she wasn't that bad. Costume and music is subjective (I liked them) and her layback is quite good. Yes she did have errors, but even though she had some high technical marks her presentation marks were much lower and her ordinals were not ridiculously high. How do you know the judges didn't have to give her a high tech mark and a lower pres mark in order to get the ordinal they wanted? Yes she had a fall on the second 3lutz (which isn't a deduction - it just counts as not doing it, and affects the pres mark), but when you take into account her speed and edges, her difficult and completely clean 3-3-2, the other jumps she landed cleanly, her good spins etc, maybe that's why the tech mark was high and the pres mark was lower. And the marks are not *that* ridiculous when you remember that Kwan and Cohen also got 5.8s and 5.9s (IIRC) for technical merit, even with a mistake each, little in the way of in betweens (especially from Kwan, who had little in the way of content at all), and no 3-3s. JMO. If you give Kwan's LP a tech mark of 5.8 or 5.9, Kostner's similar mark is not that way off IMO. Her presenation mark, however, was lower, which gave her a lower ordinal.
    If you take into account the whole program- not just the first 45 seconds- Kostner had numerous mistakes. It was not just the case of falling, then getting up quickly to continue. Her falls were jarring, and should have brought down her presentation marks substantially. True, there are no deductions, but apart from that first 3-3-2 she had nothing in that program, other than raw speed. You really cannot compare her with Michelle and Sasha's programs, even though they did not have a 3-3. Michelle's technique was superb throughout and Sasha held her own, even though it was not one of her better performances. Her stiff arms made her look like a robot- not an indication of good presentation. She could have gotten away with it had she not mopped the ice so many times. Carolina' high marks - tech & presentation- were shockingly high, considering what a mature skate of Julia S. received. Carolina has a lot of talent, but she is still like a junior level skater.

    Vash
    Last edited by Vash01; 04-05-2004 at 12:26 PM.

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