Just because YOU think Kovtun will win a grand prix event and world medal doesnt mean others think that. Your bias and fanboyism for Kovtun is already well proven with your 200+ posts in the Plushenko-Kovtun thread, but others dont neccessarily share your views on his skating and potential. The current top 3 are all light years ahead of Kovtun in ability so unless he improves drastically over the summer (which he could do given his youth) it would take a splatfest from one of them for him to beat any of them. 4th place at worlds usually indicates something, but in this case much less as the points chasm from 3rd to 4th show, they might as well have been 2 different events. That isnt even considering Ten who had to miss worlds but should be back next year, and on a good day will always beat Kovtun as he is now, up and coming Yan who will have worlds in his home country and is a more talented and stable jumper than Kovtun, Chan who might well come back, and Aaron, Reynolds, and Kozuka who could all come back from rough seasons.
As for Duhamel & Radford earlier, yeah that is what I meant; had D&R skated cleanly at worlds they would have beaten Stolova & Klimov. Granted S&K werent clean in the LP there, but there is no reason V&T would be remotedly afraid of them at this moment. V&T's only real worry for the time being is their own motivation. S&K could become one, but are far from it at this point. I bet V&T do hope S&K improve a ton once again in the next year or two, like they already did in the last year, and become more a threat to them. Since as things are now the most likely reason for them to discontinue is utter boredom with their big rivals S&S retired and nobody knowing yet if this Savchenko & Massot duo will be the great shakes they think they will be or not. V&T arent wimps, they love a big challenger, and they loved their rivalry with S&S the last 3 years. There is nobody to challenge V&T as things are right now, other than their own habits of the occasional meltdown here or there (which might not even cost them victory in a field without S&S).
D/R need to improve their lines first before they can even challenge, those ugly lifts, non existing lines not to mention a terribly mismatched pair, I would bet better on MT/M future, S/H is the onl that can challenge V/T in the future
D&R probably have a cap to their potential due to her lack of extension or ability to make anything look easy. Who knows though, she is one of the most determined skaters I have ever seen and I admire that about her. I could see them winning another world medal or two, but ever being world champions or still being up there in 2018, I dont really see that.
I prefer M-T&M to D&R but I am not sure if they will reach the breakthrough or not. They lack the speed and power of the other top teams, and their tricks needs to be bigger to be taken more seriously by the judges. They especialy need that to pass D&R without D&R having a semi meltdown as D&R have so much more difficulty than them, and get similar or higher PCS (rightly or wrongly).
MT/M are more consistent though, a little push in PCS and they can pass D/R, which getting higher PCS is actually a joke
I think only Javier will be and can be main threat to Yuzuru (if he will not bomb ) next season. I also think that at least once Yuzuru will try to land quad loop instead of salchow if he will have for example gap after short program.
I wouldn't write of Kovtun of medals at GP events and europeans, but I don't think he will get next season close to Javier, Yuzuru.. I just hope he will try to rework his quads technique... I just feel pain in my body when I see how he enters quads
Kovtun should medal in grand prix events, he was even doing that this year. He should atleast medal at Europeans too if he doesnt bomb like this year. He could win a grand prix, but it will be hard since Fernandez, Hanyu, and Machida are all way better skaters than him who would have to crash and burn badly to lose to him even skating well, and he is ensured of meeting atleast one in each of his grand prix outings. Plus all the other possible threats who werent even at worlds (or were in poor shape there).
Other predictions for next year: Ashley continues to stay on her feet, but is not rewarded by the judges. She places third at Nationals, then decides to retire shortly after an 8th place finish at Worlds. Pogo has an artistic breakthrough and overtakes Yulia in the pecking order.[/QUOTE]
I could see Ashley being 3rd at Nats or 8th at Worlds. But I really don't see her retiring end of next season. I think she's smart and knows what she's dealing with nationally and internationally. If she wanted out, I think this year would have been the time to take it- she achieved her Olympic dream finally and came home with a medal and had a moment at Worlds- maybe her best skate ever. It all would have made for a pretty nice ending. If she didn't retire this season, I think she's in until at least 2016 Nationals. She has the opportunity to skate at a home country Worlds- that may be a significant motivator. Its the same reason I doubt C&S will retire even though a second US title at home and a bronze medal would be a storybook ending for them.
And I don't think USFS will throw Wagner down the river at least for 2015 and 2016- they would be dumb to do so. There's no insane junior talent on the rise at least right now and she's a marketable, relatable already known personality and has been a solid international competitor (especially at Worlds) even if she never is US champion again. In the glory years of USFS, we always had 2-3 relevant ladies. They'll want to give the appearance of having a deep bench a la Russia even if its not really the same thing. And Wagner is money. Nike has already reupped with her for four more years and I think her infamous Olympic face may help her get more sponsors on the road to Pyeongchang than her results. There's no real show circuit and she's never expressed any major academic goals away from skating so it may make financial sense for her to stay in.
To be honest i hope we have some skaters who have passed Ashley by 2018 or it means we have no good Ladies coming up. She will be 26 years old and how much better can she get?
I also don't think D/R will start receiving lower scores for being "mismatched." It has not affected them as of yet and I don't believe judges will suddenly take issue.
Duhamel & Radford got together relatively late in their careers. They've only been together for 4 years (since the Spring of 2010). Fortunately for them, after Craig Buntin retired they were able to start moving up together pretty quickly. It does however mean that as some people have said, they have slightly different styles since they haven't been together as long as some of the other pairs they are competing against at the World level. I think some of the comments about Duhamel are probably also the result of her looking a bit different than the average female pairs skater. She's more 'athletic' - tougher and less traditionally softer and fragile, if that's the way of describing it. This may be why she gets criticized as looking a bit too harsh, hard, etc. on the ice.
That could be some of it, but I dont think that is all it. She just isnt polished in either her technical moves or her overall positions, extensions, etc....If I were talking about Caydee Denney though that would apply 3 times as much as Megan, even though Denney does look like a typical female pairs skater. However Denney isnt someone anyone (atleast anyone that I know) expects to ever win a world medal in pairs.
I agree D&R wont start receiving lower scores if they keep skating well. The bigger question at hand is can they receive that much better of scores. I said it before, but I cant envision Megan Duhamel ever being a world champion, but if she proves me wrong good for her. It would be hard to not be happy for someone who is such a hard worker and has such a big heart, but I would be surprised to put it mildly.
That said I wouldnt be surprised if they stay more or less always ahead of M-T&M unfortunately, despite that I far prefer M-T&M. Sadly that also might mean M-T&M never winning a world medal but I hope they can sneak one out sometime before retiring (sometime the number 2 can finish above the number 1 in a competition after all, as happened at the Olympics).
Maybe D&R won't ever be World Champions, but if they stay World medalists that's still very good. I think part of what some people dislike about Megan sometimes is her outspoken personality. I noticed on other threads during Olympics and Worlds that some people disliked her predicting that she and Eric were going to win the World title and that they were good enough to be #1! She's not afraid to be brash.