Mao has been doing 3A's ever since she started skating competitively. Long before she probably heard about Yuna. She was inspired by Midori Ito and wanted to be a skater like her idol. She first attempted two 3A's at junior worlds back in 2006 long before Yuna's dominance happened. I've heard she wanted to continue with it but Arutunian held her back. TAT was more supportive, so she added another 3A. This choice probably led to her detriment. I don't know why people think her 3A back in 2009-2010 was better in terms of quality. They appeared strained and had almost no flow on the landing. Now, her 3As appear more effortless and light.