Kovtun's had his own share of huge bombs. His Worlds skate wasn't great either. He came fourth 'cause no one was there at the post-Olympics Worlds.
I think if both skate clean with similar content, Artur has the artistic edge over Kovtun. Anyway, it's too early to call, especially since they're both prone to inconsistency. Maybe I'm being optimistic because I'd much rather have four years of Artur as the top Russian man over Kovtun.
It's not so much that I dislike his programs. I dislike his movements and his style of skating. He just looks so awkward to me. Imo, it's harder to improve how you sell a program as opposed to simply getting good programs.
But yeah, we'll see. I hope Kovtun becomes more watchable, since he's more likely to stick around than poor Gachinski.
I think predicting the men is always terribly difficult - because they ALL can be so up-and-down. Not just the Russians. I mean, participating in the Prediction Game has really shown me that - I never fancied my predicting skillz, so missing them would be no surprise to me - but even for our best predictors it was virtually impossible to nail them all. Easily the most unpredictable discipline. I honestly doubt that any Russian man (barring whatever Plushy may get up to) will dominate four years - unless someone comes on in leaps & bounds and becomes very much more consistent, and where they live up to their potential. Men is my favourite discipline, and the one that disappoints me most. There is so much potential with so many skaters - and scarcely do we get to see a fraction of it realised. A few good skates, maybe, a few great ones - the occasional brilliant one. But... (shrugs)
The men are crazy with their inconsistency. Who would have ever predicted even the possability of Ten to be on the podium at either last years worlds or this years Olympics, and he was robbed of winning gold at worlds, and won his Olympic bronze with a bad short and unclean long to boot.
^Pretty much agree regarding the men's events. It's almost always a splatfest, with the ones that survive winning. The only difference between Sochi and previous Olympics is that even the top two weren't clean.
I wouldn't mind Gachinski and Kovtun alternating as top skater for the next few years. Will keep them both on their toes, and they'll push each other to be better. Maybe in the process, one--or both--will develop some amount of consistency, but I probably shouldn't get my hopes up.
I would dearly love to see Artur rise again and fulfil that wonderful promise. If the cockroaches have been exterminated from his head, then I believe it can happen
I always thought one of the mistakes they made was they switched to "serious" and "dark" programs too soon. Artur was just 18 when they pulled out "The Demon". He always had better success when the programs were light-hearted and quirky - remember The Bolt? Remember St Louis Blues? That's what he needs to go back to. IMO.
It's probably a gut thing but I really like Voronov's chances. He just seems to really enjoy skating and his character is addictive to someone like me. The group he skates with is so young it may serve to lift him to a higher competitive "skate of mind". (sorry) He is no stranger to that podium. Maybe it is just a sentimental pick but I think that is ok.
I can see Voronov winning the next nationals. I just can't see him suddenly having great international success and/or making it to the next Olympics (and being competitive there). And I suspect because he won't be an Olympics contender, the judges will likely hold him down and prop up Kovtun as their "future."
I personally have no problems with Gachinski's "dark" programs. I think if he skates a program clean, the judges will reward him. The problem is that he seems to have lost the ability to skate clean. I hope he can fix this ASAP, because he's the most enjoyable to watch among the remaining Russian men (when he's on).
Artur seems to lack belief in himself. And that's why it'll be good for him to get away from Plushenko's shadow, especially if Plushenko is staying on another year. He needs to find his own skating identity, rather than just the clone-of-Plushenko. It's my dearest skating wish to see Artur stand on the top step, to see Artur return to the form that made him world bronze medallist at 17 and European silver at 18. He's still so young! Gosh, to think he's actually younger than Max Aaron!
Hmm, well, if the light programs help him stay on his feet I have no problem with him bringing them back!
I don't think being under Plushenko's shadow is the problem (or at least not the major part of it). Being under the shadow of Plushenko of all people shouldn't be enough to bring down Artur. Frankly, the whole of men's figure skating has been under "Plushenko's shadow" for a decade. It's just something you gotta live with.
The expectation is probably the bigger problem--the promise that he'd be the next Plushenko, the future of Russian FS, ect. ect. Definitely shouldn't have hyped him up that way. There's only one Plushenko, there can't be another, and frankly there shouldn't be another. Artur never came across as a Plush-clone to me, anyhow.
Didn't Artur get brought down with a string of injuries, plus a "personal problem" Mishin alluded to? I hope he gets those problems fixed, gets his nerves sorted out, and gets his jumps back. After that, we can talk about stuff like "finding his own identity."
Let it be known, Kovtun's "bomb" was as a junior fast tracked to senior. If people want to pretend like he should be treated as a senior at Worlds 2013, that's on them but there's no denying he was at the JGPF mere months before competing at Worlds and to expect him to do well at Worlds was as delusional as the Russian Fed. And to vilify him for it as is asinine as Plushenko criticizing him for bein unable to be able to cope with being thrown into the senior's lion den, whether Tarasova pushed for it or not.
Artur having an artistic edge over Kovtun? I suppose you think Plushenko is a visionary compared to Curry too?