Did you guys see this article in today's Golden Skate Newsletter? (If you don't get the newsletter, click on Golden Skate at the bottom of this page, then Newsletter and Subscribe.)
"Japanese figure skaters told not to put on a one-country show in Moscow
TOKYO: Japan’s figure skating chief is warning her disciples not to dominate the pre-Olympic world championships in Moscow this month. She wants them to save victory for the big one."
The article (from the Pakistan Daily Times) goes on to quote Noriko Shirata, technical director of the Japanese skating federation, as apparently admonishing Shizuka, Miki and Fumie to hold back and not sweep the podium at Moscow. The point being, that this would create a backlash with the ISU that would hurt their chances at Torino.
I have always wondered if it worked that way. Chait and Sahknovsky are a good example. They seem like the ISU's political ping pong balls. Give them a bronze this year, throw them to the wolves the next. Fusar-Poli and Margaglio were another.
My prediction for Worlds: The ISU is on to Japan's clever tricks. Even though Arakawa tries her best to lose, she is not able to fall as many times as Sasha, and Speedy fiendishly gives Arakawa the silver medal, with Sasha third. That nixes Japan's chances at Torino. The gold at Moscow goes to Slutskaya in exchange for her promise not to show up at the Olympics at all. Thus clearing the way ... for.....(dare I breathe it?).....