2020-21 Japanese Ladies' Figure Skating

AshWagsFan

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2020-2021 Japanese Ladies Figure Skating

Big Questions:
1. Will there be a season?
2. Can Rika Kihira medal at GPF and Worlds?
3. Will Satoko Miyahara’s coaching change help her jumps get bigger?
4. Will Mai Mihara make a comeback?
5. Can Wakaba Higuchi continue the upward momentum she had last season?
6. Will Kaori Sakamoto land a clean quad toe and regain her spot on the Japanese world team?

Main Contenders:
Rika Kihira
Wakaba Higuchi
Satoko Miyahara
Kaori Sakamoto
Tomoe Kawataba
Yuhana Yokoi
Mai Mihara
Marin Honda
Mako Yamashita
Mana Kawabe

CHALLENGER SERIES ASSIGNMENTS: tba

GRAND PRIX ASSIGNMENTS: tba

FOUR CONTINENTS TEAM: tba

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS TEAM: tba
 

YuBluByMe

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2020-2021 Japanese Ladies Figure Skating

Big Questions:
2. Can Rika Kihira medal at GPF and Worlds?
5. Can Wakaba Higuchi continue the upward momentum she had last season?
6. Will Kaori Sakamoto land a clean quad toe and regain her spot on the Japanese world team?

2. Absolutely. Kihira was my prediction to win Worlds this year and I also think she’ll win the Olympics in 2022. Her musicality is among the best in the field and she has gorgeous skating skills (those step sequences!) On the technical end, well, there aren’t any planned falls in her layouts and she’s consistent with the 3A (72% land rate this season. Over 80% if you want to include 3As that were not landed cleanly.). She’s only getting to get better. She returned to training last week and her 3A is just fine.

Kihira is the obvious top Japanese lady, but it gets clear as mud from there. Miyahara’s more consistent than Higuchi and Sakamoto. Even if she gets numerous UR calls with clean skates, I think she’ll beat either of them because her skating and spins are stronger and her PCS would be marked higher. Higuchi needs the 3A more than Sakamoto needs the 4T, but I also think she’ll land her jump sooner than Sakamoto lands her own. But they both lack consistency; otherwise, Miyahara would be in a pickle.
 

Greengemmonster

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Rika has been treating fans to big jumps since she started training again.

I'm so so so excited to see her back in action. Normally people freak out over growth/puberty etc but her jumps keep getting bigger!
 

readernick

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Rika has been treating fans to big jumps since she started training again.

I'm so so so excited to see her back in action. Normally people freak out over growth/puberty etc but her jumps keep getting bigger!

It is amazing how quickly she got her 3A back after time off the ice. And, her other jumps ( not necessarily including the 3A which was already impressively high) are , as you mentioned, looking bigger than before! She is so tiny, but so strong!
 

Greengemmonster

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It is amazing how quickly she got her 3A back after time off the ice. And, her other jumps ( not necessarily including the 3A which was already impressively high) are , as you mentioned, looking bigger than before! She is so tiny, but so strong!

I've been reading up on her/watching clips of her as a kid. She was very scary as a kid! Full of beans and energy. Very very strong and tough! She's so elegant now but I think that energetic, ferocious little bundle is in there and busting out the big jumps.

She cooks too and she's pretty good at it! Lots of dishes for one meal. I was mighty impressed!
 

denise3lz

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Team Announcement on April 23
http://skatingjapan.or.jp/common/img/info/2020FS200423.pdf

Team Special

Rika KIHIRA (S1)
Wakaba HIGUCHI (S2)
Tomoe KAWABATA (S3)
Satoko MIYAHARA
Kaori SAKAMOTO

Team A

Yuhana YOKOI (S5)
Rin NITAYA (S7)
Marin HONDA (S8)
Mana KAWABE (J1)
Hana YOSHIDA (J3)

Team B
Yuka NAGAI (S9)
Shiika YOSHIOKA (J5,S10)
Mako YAMASHITA (S11)
Saki MIYAKE (S12)
Momoka HATASAKI (J4)
Mone CHIBA (J6)
Chisato URAMATSU (J7)
Moa IWANO (J8)


Basic criteria is

Special: National 1-3
A: National 4-8, Junior National 1-3
B: National 9-12, Junior National 4-8

GP invitation, JGP selection added later


I am not sure about other factors (WS and SB may be cosidered).


Team selection is not guarantee international assignment.
Last season, Ayaka HOSODA (A), Akari MATSUBARA (B), Rinka WATANABE (B) and Wakana NAGANAWA (B) did not have any international competition (except Aurora game).
 
Last edited:

surimi

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She's not on the team anymore, but I hope Mai mihara continues to skate, even just in shows, if she's able to. She's lovely to watch.
 

AshWagsFan

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She's not on the team anymore, but I hope Mai mihara continues to skate, even just in shows, if she's able to. She's lovely to watch.

What happened to her? Is she injured or ill? I miss her skating and knew she was injured/ill this season, but I don’t know With what exactly.
 

surimi

Shan Ben Cao Tai, keep fighting! ^ ^
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What happened to her? Is she injured or ill? I miss her skating and knew she was injured/ill this season, but I don’t know With what exactly.

I have heard she has juvenile arthritis, and it seems the condition causes a person to lose one's appetite and grow extremely thin. Mai was even hospitalized. Last I heard, she was doing better and maybe even back on the ice, but I doubt she's training for a competitive season. I hope her battle has a victorious ending. Fingers crossed.
 

AshWagsFan

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I have heard she has juvenile artritis, and it seems the condition causes a person to lose one's appetite and grow extremely thin. Mai was even hospitalized. Last I heard, she was doing better and maybe even back on the ice, but I doubt she's training for a competitive season. I hope her battle has a victorious ending. Fingers crossed.

That’s terrible! I wish only the best For her. Hopefully she will return one day.
 

YuBluByMe

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I have heard she has juvenile arthritis, and it seems the condition causes a person to lose one's appetite and grow extremely thin. Mai was even hospitalized.

I wonder if that’s the same as premature arthritis? That’s what my brother has and he was diagnosed with it at 18. Wait, no. He was 22. If so...that’s career-ending. I’m not trying to be a downer. I’m just being honest as I happens to know that arthritis and elite athleticism do not go together. I wish her well anyway.
 

Jeanie19

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I miss Mai. I am still hopeful that she will make a comeback. She is a special skater.
 

cohkaix

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JSF made the announcement that for domestic competitions (main referring to the 6 regional competitions and All Japan Novice) in September and October they will be held without audience. (News in Japanese: https://www.nikkei.com/article/DGXLSSXK60223_T10C20A6000000/)

I wonder if there might be more competitors attending the regional competitions, in case traveling for international competitions will be still impossible.

At the same time, many FS fans on twitter are requesting possibility of online streaming of these competitions.
 

YuBluByMe

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This just in: Kihira will start training with Orser as soon as travel restrictions are lifted in Canada. Hamada remains her primary coach.

I think Orser is the best men’s coach in the world, but ladies....ah. I have no issue with the change, but I’m interested in how he can help her in areas that Hamada cannot. Orser students have great skating skills, musicality, and axel technique but Kihira already has these things. What she doesn’t have, though, is the ability to project outward in a way that’s obvious. Hamada can’t help her with this, but Orser could.

I hope Ghislain gets added to the mix. If so, I fully expect Kihira to have a bomb 4S next season.
 

MiraiFan

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Ohhhhh wow! This could be a game changer... If she gets the quad and improves her expression, she could be unstoppable.
 

mrrice

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Who was the young lady who skated to Skyfall? I've been looking for it online but I can't remember her name.
 

AshWagsFan

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This just in: Kihira will start training with Orser as soon as travel restrictions are lifted in Canada. Hamada remains her primary coach.

I think Orser is the best men’s coach in the world, but ladies....ah. I have no issue with the change, but I’m interested in how he can help her in areas that Hamada cannot. Orser students have great skating skills, musicality, and axel technique but Kihira already has these things. What she doesn’t have, though, is the ability to project outward in a way that’s obvious. Hamada can’t help her with this, but Orser could.

I hope Ghislain gets added to the mix. If so, I fully expect Kihira to have a bomb 4S next season.

Orser and Tracy Wilson are both great with working on overall skating skills, edges, and speed. If they can improve these aspects of Rika’s skating, she’ll have more speed and power to fully rotate the quads. They have also worked with multiple men who have successfully landed quads (Hanyu, Fernandez). I think with Rika’s solid jump base, they can push her to nail those quads!

As for her projection to an audience, I think increased work with David Wilson would work wonders on Rika. He really helped Yuna to come out of her shell and project and perform for an audience, so it will be exciting to see what he does working more closely with Rika!
 

lzxnl

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Hopefully Rika absorbs Yuzuru's 4S and 4T technique quickly. He's probably the best in the world at those jumps, so certainly an excellent role model for her.

She also wants to do new spins. What new spins, do you guys think, she'll want to do?
 
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