2019-20 Japanese ladies' figure skating

icetug

Medalist
Joined
Apr 23, 2017
Rika's best chance was her first senior year, after that, she started to fade away. It's what happens with most skaters. The first senior season they are fresh faces and interesting.
Excuse me, what 'fading' are you talking about? Rika got 230+ last season regularly (minus GPF when she was injured), even without Lz. Her 3A is still better. She won over everybody except to the Russian 3A. But which Japanese lady could win over them?
 

readernick

Medalist
Joined
Dec 5, 2015
Higuchi is the main threat to Kihira, not Sakamoto. If she gets her 3A consistently, and it was looking good leading up to world's, she is a big threat. She is faster, a bigger jumper, has better step sequences and is much more charismatic than Kihira. Rika is more sound with her edges and has better spins, along with a big reputation edge from the last 2 seasons. But if Higuchi can continue improving her 3A, that will put more pressure on Kihira than she has had lately against her own countrywomen.

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I like Wakaba but I don't think she will be a threat to Rika even with a rotated 3A ( which I think she will be able to do if given the chance this year) because she has a 3Fe which always brings down her base value, her spins aren't great, and her step sequences while very energetic are not as well done technically or as well executed as Rika's.Her jumps are bigger (I think her 3Lz gets more height than all other jumps in the ladies field), but they lack transistions and Rika's effortless cloudlike landings.

At this moment, Rika has no real competition in Japan. Even with watered down programs at nationals, she beat Wakaba by 23 points. That was with one less triple than usual. Her only competition is the Russian girls and her personal struggles with nerves and self confidence.

Wakaba could certainly become a strong Japanese number 2.

But, as we really don't know anything about anyone's current condition. Perhaps someone will come out of quarantine and truly challenge both Rika and Wakaba
 

Joekaz

On the Ice
Joined
Feb 13, 2018
I like Wakaba but I don't think she will be a threat to Rika even with a rotated 3A ( which I think she will be able to do if given the chance this year) because she has a 3Fe which always brings down her base value, her spins aren't great, and her step sequences while very energetic are not as well done technically or as well executed as Rika's.Her jumps are bigger (I think her 3Lz gets more height than all other jumps in the ladies field), but they lack transistions and Rika's effortless cloudlike landings.

At this moment, Rika has no real competition in Japan. Even with watered down programs at nationals, she beat Wakaba by 23 points. That was with one less triple than usual. Her only competition is the Russian girls and her personal struggles with nerves and self confidence.

Wakaba could certainly become a strong Japanese number 2.

But, as we really don't know anything about anyone's current condition. Perhaps someone will come out of quarantine and truly challenge both Rika and Wakaba
I pretty much agree. I was just saying that IF anyone would challenge Rika it would most likely be Wakaba and not Kaori, based off of last season.

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gotoschool

Medalist
Joined
Mar 5, 2014
Excuse me, what 'fading' are you talking about? Rika got 230+ last season regularly (minus GPF when she was injured), even without Lz. Her 3A is still better. She won over everybody except to the Russian 3A. But which Japanese lady could win over them?

I agree. The fact is that even with harsh relative underscoring that has turned some competitions and placements against her especially at home, Rika is still ranked number 1 and when facing Alena in the NHK she had more triple axels.
 

readernick

Medalist
Joined
Dec 5, 2015
I agree. The fact is that even with harsh relative underscoring that has turned some competitions and placements against her especially at home, Rika is still ranked number 1 and when facing Alena in the NHK she had more triple axels.

First, yes. No other Japanese lady can compete with Rika at the moment. But, please stop posting about Rika being underscored at NHK. Yes, she had more 3A but that never ensures victory. It is about overall BV and execution of elements. She lost because her BV was 6 points lower than Aliona.(and yes that includes the BV loss from Aliona's UR 3A) Aliona was a overscored on her 3Lz and her i-spin but even with appropriate GOE she would have won the overall competition ( the FS would have been a toss up) due to her BV advantage. The judges like Rika when she goes clean. If she has a totally clean competition, she will score well. If she adds a quad, she will be on every podium. Rika is the Japanese lady to beat now.
 

gotoschool

Medalist
Joined
Mar 5, 2014
First, yes. No other Japanese lady can compete with Rika at the moment. But, please stop posting about Rika being underscored at NHK. Yes, she had more 3A but that never ensures victory. It is about overall BV and execution of elements. She lost because her BV was 6 points lower than Aliona.(and yes that includes the BV loss from Aliona's UR 3A) Aliona was a overscored on her 3Lz and her i-spin but even with appropriate GOE she would have won the overall competition ( the FS would have been a toss up) due to her BV advantage. The judges like Rika when she goes clean. If she has a totally clean competition, she will score well. If she adds a quad, she will be on every podium. Rika is the Japanese lady to beat now.

Alena's score rose by 9 points in the SP alone at the NHK between the SP at the Cup of France and the NHK for a program that looked much the same. The blade on the triple axel touched the ice slightly more than 90 degrees short like it did in France but this was after the tech memo. This alone was the practically the entire difference between their scores in the competition. Scores are likely to be criticized when there is such a big rise immediately after an extraordinary tech memo. The increases were not limited to the overlooked triple lutz unclear edge with much higher GOE in the SP and LP, but also an increase in step sequence GOE, and a big increase in PCS so that Rika a second year veteran went from a PCS advantage of 2 -3 points when comparing the SP at Skate Canada to Elena's Cup of France to a PCS disadvantage skating at home in this SP. In the LP, Alena had spray off the ice indicating a little touch of the free blade on the triple lutz, with a not to so smooth landing in the LP that received high GOE with an unclear edge overlooed as well, and her blade had a hook on the landing of her triple salchow that was overlooked as well with 1.44 GOE. And with a step out on the triple axel, she received basically the same PCS as Rika at home with Japenese women having a history of relative underscoring at home. A Japanese second veteran receives a net PCS deficit skating well at home over the SP and LP and a lower overall step sequence score. The comment was made in response to Rika allegedly being "washed up" on a Japanese thread. I personally think it was enough to make the difference, but either way the scoring maintained a systemic underscoring of Japanese women skaters and over many competitions this results in a lot of points lost. I think Alena is a very good skater, but this comment is addressed at the scores.
 

readernick

Medalist
Joined
Dec 5, 2015
Alena's score rose by 9 points in the SP alone at the NHK between the SP at the Cup of France and the NHK for a program that looked much the same. The blade on the triple axel touched the ice slightly more than 90 degrees short like it did in France but this was after the tech memo. This alone was the practically the entire difference between their scores in the competition. Scores are likely to be criticized when there is such a big rise immediately after an extraordinary tech memo. The increases were not limited to the overlooked triple lutz unclear edge with much higher GOE in the SP and LP, but also an increase in step sequence GOE, and a big increase in PCS so that Rika a second year veteran went from a PCS advantage of 2 -3 points when comparing the SP at Skate Canada to Elena's Cup of France to a PCS disadvantage skating at home in this SP. In the LP, Alena had spray off the ice indicating a little touch of the free blade on the triple lutz, with a not to so smooth landing in the LP that received high GOE with an unclear edge overlooed as well, and her blade had a hook on the landing of her triple salchow that was overlooked as well with 1.44 GOE. And with a step out on the triple axel, she received basically the same PCS as Rika at home with Japenese women having a history of relative underscoring at home. A Japanese second veteran receives a net PCS deficit skating well at home over the SP and LP and a lower overall step sequence score. The comment was made in response to Rika allegedly being "washed up" on a Japanese thread. I personally think it was enough to make the difference, but either way the scoring maintained a systemic underscoring of Japanese women skaters and over many competitions this results in a lot of points lost. I think Alena is a very good skater, but this comment is addressed at the scores.

I am not going to argue about technical calls. I don’t think we can see the same angles as the technical panels. I really didn’t like the letter the Russian federation sent because it felt like manipulation but I don’t agree that Rika was underscored. Aliona was a bit overscored but the determining factor was the BV.
About PCS, I will not complain about the scoring because, in my opinion, in this Rika/Aliona are roughly equal ( as in the two best all around good at everything skaters in the world) and that is what the judging showed. But, anyway I certainly agree that Rika is not declining, she is getting better all the time!
 

Joekaz

On the Ice
Joined
Feb 13, 2018
Alena's score rose by 9 points in the SP alone at the NHK between the SP at the Cup of France and the NHK for a program that looked much the same. The blade on the triple axel touched the ice slightly more than 90 degrees short like it did in France but this was after the tech memo. This alone was the practically the entire difference between their scores in the competition. Scores are likely to be criticized when there is such a big rise immediately after an extraordinary tech memo. The increases were not limited to the overlooked triple lutz unclear edge with much higher GOE in the SP and LP, but also an increase in step sequence GOE, and a big increase in PCS so that Rika a second year veteran went from a PCS advantage of 2 -3 points when comparing the SP at Skate Canada to Elena's Cup of France to a PCS disadvantage skating at home in this SP. In the LP, Alena had spray off the ice indicating a little touch of the free blade on the triple lutz, with a not to so smooth landing in the LP that received high GOE with an unclear edge overlooed as well, and her blade had a hook on the landing of her triple salchow that was overlooked as well with 1.44 GOE. And with a step out on the triple axel, she received basically the same PCS as Rika at home with Japenese women having a history of relative underscoring at home. A Japanese second veteran receives a net PCS deficit skating well at home over the SP and LP and a lower overall step sequence score. The comment was made in response to Rika allegedly being "washed up" on a Japanese thread. I personally think it was enough to make the difference, but either way the scoring maintained a systemic underscoring of Japanese women skaters and over many competitions this results in a lot of points lost. I think Alena is a very good skater, but this comment is addressed at the scores.
"very good"? LOL Kostornaia last season was in a class by herself in skating ability. Rika can out score her if she is really on and Kostornaia is off, no doubt. But as far as effortless speed and grace and pure skating ability on the ice, NO one is close too her. That was generational stuff last season. There is more to skating than scoring, thats the beauty of it. Unfortunately many people dont seem to care anymore as long as the one they like wins. And Im 100% pro Japanese btw, but the truth is the truth. Its fine to want Rika to win, but dont belittle greatness, and Kostornaia was great.

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readernick

Medalist
Joined
Dec 5, 2015
"very good"? LOL Kostornaia last season was in a class by herself in skating ability. Rika can out score her if she is really on and Kostornaia is off, no doubt. But as far as effortless speed and grace and pure skating ability on the ice, NO one is close too her. That was generational stuff last season. There is more to skating than scoring, thats the beauty of it. Unfortunately many people dont seem to care anymore as long as the one they like wins. And Im 100% pro Japanese btw, but the truth is the truth. Its fine to want Rika to win, but dont belittle greatness, and Kostornaia was great.

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On that note, I would like you to urge you to take your own advice. I would never belittle Aliona, but you have made multiple post ( in the past) that I consider belittling of Rika. ( I am not talking about things like saying Rika needs to be faster or needs to project more .. that type of constructive criticism is fine). But, you went beyond that calling Rika boring.. Go to school called a skater “ very good” which is a complement and nothing like what you have said about Rika in the past. Anyway, Aliona does have some technical flaws the 3A is sometimes UR, her 3Lz has a flat edge, she isn’t the most musical skater, and while her SS are stunningly beautiful her edges aren’t always neatly executed. She is also definitely one of my favorite skaters but I don’t believe she is above criticism. ( just as Rika isn’t above criticism)
 

Joekaz

On the Ice
Joined
Feb 13, 2018
On that note, I would like you to urge you to take your own advice. I would never belittle Aliona, but you have made multiple post ( in the past) that I consider belittling of Rika. ( I am not talking about things like saying Rika needs to be faster or needs to project more .. that type of constructive criticism is fine). But, you went beyond that calling Rika boring.. Yume called a skater “ very good” which is a complement and nothing like what you have said about Rika in the past. Anyway, Aliona does have some technical flaws the 3A is sometimes UR, her 3Lz has a flat edge, she isn’t the most musical skater, and while her SS are stunningly beautiful her edges aren’t always neatly executed. She is also definitely one of my favorite skaters but I don’t believe she is above criticism. ( just as Rika isn’t above criticism)
I stand by those comments at the time they were made. Rika has greatly improved since then however, and had some very exciting performances last season. But she is still not a very charismatic skater, certainly not like Kostornaia.

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readernick

Medalist
Joined
Dec 5, 2015
I stand by those comments at the time they were made. Rika has greatly improved since then however, and had some very exciting performances last season. But she is still not a very charismatic skater, certainly not like Kostornaia.

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You can certainly hold that view, but it is certainly a bit hypocritical to then get mad at what could at worst be described as mild criticism from another fan. I personally think constructive criticism of any skater including Rika is fine, but I don’t think calling a skater “boring “ is particularly constructive. ;)
 

Joekaz

On the Ice
Joined
Feb 13, 2018
You can certainly hold that view, but it is certainly a bit hypocritical to then get mad at what could at worst be described as mild criticism from another fan. I personally think constructive criticism of any skater including Rika is fine, but I don’t think calling a skater “boring “ is particularly constructive. ;)
I wasn't mad at all, just amused. Calling Rika boring was not meant to be constructive criticism, it was a statement of my opinion. If any skater reads these blogs looking for constructive criticism for improving their skating, God help them. Lol

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readernick

Medalist
Joined
Dec 5, 2015
If any skater reads these blogs looking for constructive criticism for improving their skating, God help them. Lol

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Oh, I see. :thumbsup: Well, on this second point we can definitely agree. :palmf: Sadly
 

Bluediamonds09

Medalist
Joined
Sep 8, 2016
Genuinely curious to know if there’s any ladies skaters who have both an unquestionable clear edge on the flip AND an unquestionable clear outside edge on the lutz. I honestly cannot tell if a skater is flutzing or lipping, I wait for the commentator to tell me. Can anyone let me know (unbiased list please!)
 

readernick

Medalist
Joined
Dec 5, 2015
Genuinely curious to know if there’s any ladies skaters who have both an unquestionable clear edge on the flip AND an unquestionable clear outside edge on the lutz. I honestly cannot tell if a skater is flutzing or lipping, I wait for the commentator to tell me. Can anyone let me know (unbiased list please!)

The easiest answer to this is Rika Kihira whose lutz and flip are both sound and who we were just discussing.Carolina Kostner also had correct edges for both jumps. Sasha Trusova’s edges are quite decent on both jumps. Yuna Kim fixed her flip so in her later career both jumps were done correctly l. I am sure there are other skaters but I cannot think of them now.
 
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