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Thread: Chinese Dominance

  1. #1
    All Hail Queen Yu-Na!!!!!! SailorGalaxia518's Avatar
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    Chinese Dominance

    I have really paid close attention to the Chinese pairs, especially Xue Shen and Hongbo Zhao and Qing Pang and Jian Tong. I think they really know how to skate as one. This year both of them are performing to Chinese Music in the free skates. Pang and Tong are performing to "The Butterfly Lovers" and Shen and Zhao are performing to "The Soong Sisters". I think that after Shen and Zhao contend for the Olympic Title in 2006, Pang and Tong will do the same in 2010.

    But I question Pang and Tong's consistency. Last season, I think they were really lucky they did so well. They ended the season with a bronze medal win at worlds. Right now, they are doing fine in terms of results but so far they have not skated a good free skate. I also questioned about Pang's weight, how she is so thin and how easy it is for Tong to throw her in the air. I hope they get better and maybe they will start winning world titles in the next quadrennium.

    Remember, there are only five pairs teams in China and it will most likely be that Shen and Zhao will retire after the 2006 Olympics which will make the pairs number in China go down to four. I do think that Pang and Tong will be the next Shen and Zhao in the next quadrennium.

    I really hope that Pang and Tong stay in for the nxt quadrennium so that they can keep the Chinese dominance alive.

    Does anybody else feel this way?????

  2. #2
    In my heart, I'm actually Canadian....
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    What I find interesting about the top 3 Chinese pairs is how similar they are in their development. Pang & Tong's skating, despite their miscues this season so far, is at the level Shen & Zhao's was 2 years ago, and Zhang & Zhang are at the level Pang & Tong were 2 years ago.

    As for Pang & Tong staying around till 2010, I'm sure they will whether they want to or not. The Chinese federation pretty much calls the shots in that area.

    Between 2006 and 2010, I can see Pang & Tong and Zhang & Zhang battling it out for the World title and the OGM.

  3. #3
    Forum translator Ptichka's Avatar
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    I wouldn't make such long term predictions. Pang & Tong almost lost to the much less established Obertas & Slavnov at SA, so we just don't know how it will play out.

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    All Hail Queen Yu-Na!!!!!! SailorGalaxia518's Avatar
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    Pang and Tong didn't even compete in SA that was Zhang and Zhang

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    I would say Obertas & Slavnov has the potential to be in the mixing. They've improved so much. The gap between O&S between Pan/Tong and Zhang/Zhang this season is noticeable smaller.

  6. #6
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    I wouldn't personnally call it a dominance but I agree that besides Shen and Zhao there's a huge depth of talent in pairs coming from China. As much as the athletism is there also (big throws, sbs jumps and twists) I think that they are not quite artistic and intricate in their choreography yet. And.. Remember when Michelle Kwan called the spin doctor to fix her layback spin after 1999 worlds... Maybe they could take a class or two with him? I do like all pair teams from China thought.

    Other than the chineses, this season, we are seeing a nice comeback from Sagorska and Siudek, Inoue and Baldwin are trying sbs 3lutzes, Marcoux and Buntin are very refreshing etc... So, I would say that other than the big powerhouses, we are seeing things (jumps, style) that are not there in teams from this country. Welcome difference!

  7. #7
    Forum translator Ptichka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SailorGalaxia518
    Pang and Tong didn't even compete in SA that was Zhang and Zhang
    Ooooops :o That's what happens when you go on line from work...

  8. #8
    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    Shen and Zhao are special. Like their predecessors, B&S and S&P, S&Z had two roll model sets of Pairs to look up to. They did. IMO, S&Z's Nessum Dorme would have beaten the other two if the Olys had been one year later. But that's JMO.

    I think the two Chinese Pairs look up to S&Z and as such have an advantage over other Pairs coming up the ranks.

    T&M are an excellent Pairs team breathing down S&Z's back and should give them a run for their money if S&Z falter.

    Other Pairs are far behind, imo. They need meltdowns. However, one of them will get bronze.

    Joe
    Last edited by Joesitz; 11-09-2004 at 05:44 PM.

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    Right now S&Z are the strongest pair, and there are two podium quality pairs from China but I would not call it Chinese dominance. I don't see depth beyond the top 3, and even the 3rd pair is not exactly podium quality, IMHO, but can medal if others falter. My model of dominance would be the USSR in the 1980's and later Russia in the 90's, where pairs and ice dance was concerned, and the USA ladies most of the time (until the recent rise of the Japanese ladies).

    I would call it dominance when the top 5-6 pairs/skaters from a country can medal at worlds, and just 1 or 2 pairs/skaters from other countries can compete for the gold. When the USSR was at the top, I think anybody in their top 10 could have challenged for a medal. It was similar for the US ladies in 1990-1994. In 1990 worlds, Jill Trenary won the gold, and an unknown Holly Cook took the bronze, with Kristi Yamaguchi the next world champ being left off the podium.

    I would call it dominance when a country is capable of sweeping the podium, and often wins 2 out of 3 medals, including the gold. It is dominance when an injury to a top pair does not affect the medal count for that country. Example: In 1989, Russia's top 2 pairs had to withdraw. G&G had not competed in a year due to Katia's injury, and had not competed at the Euro's either that year. Enter Bechke & Petrov- a relatively new pair that no one had heard of. G&G won the gold - it was no contest. B&P won the bronze.

    The Russian dominance in pairs and ice dance ended after the 1998 Olympics. They were winning 2 out of 3 medals nearly every time, with different teams. Still, they had a second championship caliber pair as late as 2000 when Petrova-Tikhonov won the worlds. Even now they have 3 pairs that can medal (T&M, Pet-Tik, O&S) at worlds, and one of them can challenge for gold. If one of these gets injured, however, there is no Russian pair that can stand on the podium. So there is no dominance anymore. When a Russian pair won in the past, it was to be expected. Now a Russian pair that wins is viewed as 'lucky'.

    Now let us look at the Chinese pairs.

    S&Z is the only pair that is considered the pair to beat.Pang & Tong won their first world medal last year.

    So far Z&Z have not even medaled, but they can be counted among 'Can medal' just like O&S who have not yet medaled at worlds. The Chinese pairs have plenty of challengers- T&M, O&S (will be ready in a year), Zagorska-Siudek, at least one pair from Canada, Inoue-Baldwin (will be ready in a year). I expect Don & Hunt to be in the mix in a year. None of these pairs can challenge S&Z right now, except T&M, but their recent accident makes it a question mark in my mind. So right now S&Z are really the only sure shot at a medal. All others have to battle it out, mostly for the silver (or get 'lucky' and win the gold). Pang & Tong and Z&Z are in the mix for the medal, along with 5 other pairs. That is hardly a sign of dominance.

    Can the Chinese pairs sweep? Yes, if a lot of things come together, such as injuries or major mistakes by all 3 top Russian pairs, top 2 Canadian pairs, Z&S, and the US pairs faltering. It can happen but the probability of it is low. The probability of a Russian sweep was much higher when they were dominating. Not many pairs from other countries were capable of beating them, although the Canadian pairs usually were good enough to win one medal.

    By the same token, the Russian pairs could sweep with a similar, highly improbable scenario.

    Conclusion: I don't see this as Chinese dominance, but rather a very strong Chinese team that will be challenged by others at worlds 2005 and Olympics 2006.

    Vash

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    All Hail Queen Yu-Na!!!!!! SailorGalaxia518's Avatar
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    Well I think they are on their way. They just started dominating shortly after the 2002 Olympics. Your right, The Russians have been dominating since the beginning of time . It is no doubt that Totmianina and Marinin are going to try and continue the Russian dominance

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    I don't think the Russian dominance exists anymore (even if T&M win the OGM), but neither does the Chinese one, for the reasons I gave in my earlier posts.

  12. #12
    All Hail Queen Yu-Na!!!!!! SailorGalaxia518's Avatar
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    Well, I guess you are right. That kind of ended since the scandal in 2002 where Sale and Pelletier should one gold. It is nice that there is no dominance in pairs skating anymore. Although, I think the Chinese have the upper hand over the Russians. But that is just my opinion

  13. #13
    ~ Figure Skating Is My Passion ~ Ladskater's Avatar
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    "I really hope that Pang and Tong stay in for the nxt quadrennium so that they can keep the Chinese dominance alive."

    Does anybody else feel this way?????

    I think the pairs are open to anyone who can step-up-to the plate. Canada's skating strength has traditionally been in the pairs discipline. From the time of Frances Dafoe and Norris Bowden and Robert Paul and Barbara Wagner (The first non-European pair to win gold at the Olympics) to today, Canada has produced many fine pair teams.

    It's always great to see a variety of pair teams from around the world.

  14. #14
    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    I don't believe in 'dominance'! I believe in good skating which comes from a roll model for younger skaters to look up to and imitate until they find their own style. Pong and Tang do not quite have that yet, and Zhang and Zhang are far from a style. A skater or team does not need a countryman to look up to. The skaters can find one by watching the top teams of the day and try to emulate them.

    The Russians were on a roll with just plain good skating for many years, and each generation had roll models to emulate. It may be that T&M are the last of that breed, but I see some spark in O&S.

    The Chinese have S&Z but so do all other Pairs from any country. Whereas the Russians brought 19th century balletic style to Pairs, S&Z have indeed made stupendous lifts a must in Pairs. All pair teams, imo, are copying the Pomarenkos and S&Z - those with good coaches, natural ability and motivation will succeed to the podium. While nationality is helpful in recent times, I don't believe it is the only way to the top tier. JMO.

    I could go on about Ladies figure skating and dominance too but that is another thread.

    Joe
    Last edited by Joesitz; 11-10-2004 at 09:27 AM.

  15. #15
    Forum translator Ptichka's Avatar
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    Joe, I couldn't disagree more strongly. USSR had the dominance in pair skating because of how skaters were prepared. I know you refuse to read Gordeeva's "My Sergei", but it is indeed very interesting how she describes the training the skaters went through. This gave Soviet pairs an advantage. China largely emulated the system, making it even tougher in many respects.

    Also, both China today and USSR in the 1960's-80's had much more to offer skaters than any democratic country ever could. In a nation where going abroad was next to impossible, skating offered in incredible opportunity -- not just financial, but to see the world. Financially, too -- a few pairs of jeans bought at a flee market could be sold for an equivalent of a decent month wages at the black market.

    Pair skating requires perhaps more patience than any other discipline -- it certainly helps when an incentive is so great. It also helps a pair stay together when they have no other choice.

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