2020-21 Japanese Ladies' Figure Skating

Joekaz

On the Ice
Joined
Feb 13, 2018
RIka Kihira: Won Nationals. Won Senior Grand Prix Finals. Won Four Continents. Twice.
Kaori Sakamoto: Won Nationals. Won Four Continents
Satoko Miyahara: Won Four Consecutive Nationals. Won Four Continents. Former #1 Ranked Skater In The World.

Heck, even underarchievers like Mai Mihara and Kanako Murakami have a Four Continents title to their name.

But, Wakaba, with all those chances...no major titles to speak of. Try as she might, she cannot find the will to finish on top.
Is it will or the other girls skated better? She lost to Zagitova in Cup of China by less than 2 points when Zagitova beat everyone. Was that lack of will? And Wakaba has beaten everyone of those skaters in different competitions except Kihira. Where was their will on those nights? Nobody is arguing that Wakaba hasnt under achieved for her talent, but that is part of sports sometime.
 

Joekaz

On the Ice
Joined
Feb 13, 2018
By your wording in the first post, it seemed like you were trying to hint that Wakaba has done better than others under pressure, but if that’s not the case my bad. I do agree that they all have had their fair share of ups and downs though.
It would be impossible to argue she has done BETTER. Lol
 

zanadude

Medalist
Joined
Feb 20, 2016
Is it will or the other girls skated better? She lost to Zagitova in Cup of China by less than 2 points when Zagitova beat everyone. Was that lack of will? And Wakaba has beaten everyone of those skaters in different competitions except Kihira. Where was their will on those nights? Nobody is arguing that Wakaba hasnt under achieved for her talent, but that is part of sports sometime.
Why did Zagitova win? She didn't have any jumps in her arsenal that Higuchi didn't also have.

Nobody is going to win every time. But true talent will eventually find a way to the top at least once against other similar talent. Even Rika Hongo won a Grand Prix event.

Maybe she will one day, but thusfar it is a fact that she has not, despite many opportunities to do so.
 

ali0125

Rinkside
Joined
Nov 3, 2019
Country
Australia
RIka Kihira: Won Nationals. Won Senior Grand Prix Finals. Won Four Continents. Twice.
Kaori Sakamoto: Won Nationals. Won Four Continents
Satoko Miyahara: Won Four Consecutive Nationals. Won Four Continents. Former #1 Ranked Skater In The World.

Heck, even underarchievers like Mai Mihara and Kanako Murakami have a Four Continents title to their name.

But, Wakaba, with all those chances...no major titles to speak of. Try as she might, she cannot find the will to finish on top.
Well, I find this comparison is not very fair tbh, you can't simply write off Wakaba's worlds silver medal when you try to compare their achievements.
 

Joekaz

On the Ice
Joined
Feb 13, 2018
Why did Zagitova win? She didn't have any jumps in her arsenal that Higuchi didn't also have.

Nobody is going to win every time. But true talent will eventually find a way to the top at least once against other similar talent. Even Rika Hongo won a Grand Prix event.

Maybe she will one day, but thusfar it is a fact that she has not, despite many opportunities to do so.
Many people including the BBC announcers didn't think Zagitova won, but thats skating. The thing was she skated well enough to win, which is the point. Skaters cant control the judges. And she would have won against any other skater, but not all GPs are created equal. She didn't choke or have mental issues, she just lost. Thats what we are talking about.
 

yume

Record Breaker
Joined
Mar 11, 2016
Also, I don’t know... but I feel like hate is a strong word in terms of how they score Wakaba. A ton of people were underscored on the PCS end of it during NHK. Bottom line is Wakaba made some mistakes and she’s a strong person/skater who will go back and work on them (for the levels). I just hope the judges score everyone fairly, which imo Kaori was at this particular comp. For all we know it could be a completely different judging panel at nationals as well.
I halso think that hate is a too strong word for Wakaba. Judges and fed are harsher with Mai. Some said that judges rewarded cleaness but she was clean and still finished 35 points below Kaori.

I think it's the fact that Kaori is showered with good scores no matter her previous showings while Wakaba doesn't get the same treatment, that makes some think that fed hate her.

Kaori just have better reputation. Winning 4cc after getting olys spot got her fed's love and the season after was solid despite not getting major intl medals. About doing well under pressure, she could medal at gpf, 4cc and worlds but always popped or fell and ended in 4th and 5th place. The season after was close to disaster. But fed still gave her love by giving her high pcs at nats and 4CC spot instead of Yuhana (who didn't do that bad compared to her in gp series. She got two 5th places while Kaori got two 4th). This season she's doing better and fed is rewarding her with record +18 GOE and almost 74 pcs.

Wakaba isn't hated. Kaori is just scored better than anyone.
 
Last edited:

halulupu

Final Flight
Joined
Oct 21, 2017
I don't understand the outcry here. Wakaba double two jumps, her program involves a lot preparing for jumps. It seems to me they will ad some more transition later when she feels more confident. She is wonderful and all, but Kaori made the free of her life, program is excellently choreographed, quality of jumps is really high with very nice transitions. She was basically flawless. Speed and flow was unmatched (by anyone this year so far). I would even argue that her (f)lutz was a true lutz according to the current judging habits. At the moment of picking its still very slightly outside. Very similar to for example Zagitovas lutzes and many other eteris. Its no way a blatant flutz alla zhenya anymore. congratulations to kaori to a wonderful skate.
 

Joekaz

On the Ice
Joined
Feb 13, 2018
I don't understand the outcry here. Wakaba double two jumps, her program involves a lot preparing for jumps. It seems to me they will ad some more transition later when she feels more confident. She is wonderful and all, but Kaori made the free of her life, program is excellently choreographed, quality of jumps is really high with very nice transitions. She was basically flawless. Speed and flow was unmatched (by anyone this year so far). I would even argue that her (f)lutz was a true lutz according to the current judging habits. At the moment of picking its still very slightly outside. Very similar to for example Zagitovas lutzes and many other eteris. Its no way a blatant flutz alla zhenya anymore. congratulations to kaori to a wonderful skate.
Nobody is arguing that Kaori won easily. The problem was the margin was far too big. Yes she had a much better LP than anyone, but 153? No way. She had a 6 point lead after the SP where Wakaba was better than her except for a fall on a 3A where she got the full 8 pt base value, so it only cost her a couple of points. PCS is supposed to be more a reflection of artistic/presentation, not a rubber stamp of your tech score. Kaori has definite limitations there. Off of the scale everyone else was judged, Kaori should have been in the 215+ range, not 230.
 

Joekaz

On the Ice
Joined
Feb 13, 2018
I halso think that hate is a too strong word for Wakaba. Judges and fed are harsher with Mai. Some said that judges rewarded cleaness but she was clean and still finished 35 points below Kaori.

I think it's the fact that Kaori is showered with good scores no matter her previous showings while Wakaba doesn't get the same treatment, that makes some think that fed hate her.

Kaori just have better reputation. Winning 4cc after getting olys spot got her fed's love and the season after was solid despite not getting major intl medals. About doing well under pressure, she could medal at gpf, 4cc and worlds but always popped or fell and ended in 4th and 5th place. The season after was close to disaster. But fed still gave her love by giving her high pcs at nats and 4CC spot instead of Yuhana (who didn't do that bad compared to her in gp series. She got two 5th places while Kaori got two 4th). This season she's doing better and fed is rewarding her with record +18 GOE and almost 74 pcs.

Wakaba isn't hated. Kaori is just scored better than anyone.
4CC is often weaker than regular GP and one reason she went to Olympics was fed already liked her. Her 2nd at Nats wasn't a automatic selection and many thought Wakaba should have went because she had a better season and qualified for GPF.
 

halulupu

Final Flight
Joined
Oct 21, 2017
Nobody is arguing that Kaori won easily. The problem was the margin was far too big. Yes she had a much better LP than anyone, but 153? No way. She had a 6 point lead after the SP where Wakaba was better than her except for a fall on a 3A where she got the full 8 pt base value, so it only cost her a couple of points. PCS is supposed to be more a reflection of artistic/presentation, not a rubber stamp of your tech score. Kaori has definite limitations there. Off of the scale everyone else was judged, Kaori should have been in the 215+ range, not 230.
She had two perfectly clean programs. So why not go up with the PCS. These days girls with falls gets 9ish pcs. Her matrix performance was really outstanding, the coreo and composition is rather unique with some very cool not so often seen well matched with the music elements. No one can deny her ss and speed and flow. She she has some excellent transition in it. Yes, all in all I think she deserved her pcs. Maybe a little bit to high. Count in the crowed reaction so even that can be forgiven. Wakaby lp is really nothing special in terms of choreo. It really lacks in transitions. She is telegrahing the easiest jumps. Look at the preparation she needs for her salchow, and than she doubles it.I know its her nemesis but its simply not state of the art anymore. Of course she doesn't get credit for it in the pcs. Her ss are very similar to kaori, but she wasn't clean and had an empty programm where she didn't especially show her ss. So even there I understand the gap in pcs.
However I agree with you that they should have been closer after the sp.
AND if you look at the potential of both, I think wakabas has more, but she never really skated up to her potential. Therefore it is just hypothetical.
 

yume

Record Breaker
Joined
Mar 11, 2016
4CC is often weaker than regular GP and one reason she went to Olympics was fed already liked her. Her 2nd at Nats wasn't a automatic selection and many thought Wakaba should have went because she had a better season and qualified for GPF.
Well, it was debatable. 50/50. And fed went with the public's choice. Just see the reaction of the stadium when her name was announced (make me think about the cold reaction that Wakaba would have gotten).
The lesson was that you can bomb in your first competitions but have to well in the lasts, especially nats.
The only thing that was infuriating is that people were comparing Wakaba getting the spot with the 2006 selection. The situation was totally different. Miki getting the spot was just shameful.
 

Joekaz

On the Ice
Joined
Feb 13, 2018
She had two perfectly clean programs. So why not go up with the PCS. These days girls with falls gets 9ish pcs. Her matrix performance was really outstanding, the coreo and composition is rather unique with some very cool not so often seen well matched with the music elements. No one can deny her ss and speed and flow. She she has some excellent transition in it. Yes, all in all I think she deserved her pcs. Maybe a little bit to high. Count in the crowed reaction so even that can be forgiven. Wakaby lp is really nothing special in terms of choreo. It really lacks in transitions. She is telegrahing the easiest jumps. Look at the preparation she needs for her salchow, and than she doubles it.I know its her nemesis but its simply not state of the art anymore. Of course she doesn't get credit for it in the pcs. Her ss are very similar to kaori, but she wasn't clean and had an empty programm where she didn't especially show her ss. So even there I understand the gap in pcs.
However I agree with you that they should have been closer after the sp.
AND if you look at the potential of both, I think wakabas has more, but she never really skated up to her potential. Therefore it is just hypothetical.
[/QUOTE
You say score was a little too high in the long and it should have been closer after the short. Doesn't that mean we don't disagree too much after all?
 

Joekaz

On the Ice
Joined
Feb 13, 2018
Well, it was debatable. 50/50. And fed went with the public's choice. Just see the reaction of the stadium when her name was announced (make me think about the cold reaction that Wakaba would have gotten).
The lesson was that you can bomb in your first competitions but have to well in the lasts, especially nats.
The only thing that was infuriating is that people were comparing Wakaba getting the spot with the 2006 selection. The situation was totally different. Miki getting the spot was just shameful.
I agree the public had alot to do with that and that came from the way Fuji TV covered it in my opinion. With Hanyu out they were all over Sakamoto.
 

Gabby30

On the Ice
Joined
Aug 8, 2019
RIka Kihira: Won Nationals. Won Senior Grand Prix Finals. Won Four Continents. Twice.
Kaori Sakamoto: Won Nationals. Won Four Continents
Satoko Miyahara: Won Four Consecutive Nationals. Won Four Continents. Former #1 Ranked Skater In The World.

Heck, even underarchievers like Mai Mihara and Kanako Murakami have a Four Continents title to their name.

But, Wakaba, with all those chances...no major titles to speak of. Try as she might, she cannot find the will to finish on top.
A World silver medal is worth more than all these titles you mentioned here :cool:
 

silveruskate

On the Ice
Joined
Mar 20, 2019
I know it sucks for others with the judging but PCS rightly or wrongly has always been a reflection of the WHOLE program taken together. Kaori was literally Osmond/Zagitova/Medvedeva Olympics level of flawlessness, and I celebrate it.
 

Joekaz

On the Ice
Joined
Feb 13, 2018
True,We are not that far away😉 I just had the feeling here that kaoris outstanding skate is not appreciate enough or even downplayed.
Not at all. She is doing great this year, which is what I expected. She is very motivated from last year and is well managed. I thought even though she had a bad year she was only a little off. Its just that her high speed style magnifies it when she is off a little. The overscoring issue didnt bother me for this event, it was an easy win for her. It is an issue because it signals the way things will be judged at Nats, and forces the other contenders to take more risks than they might normally, or feel they have to be too perfect.
 

Joekaz

On the Ice
Joined
Feb 13, 2018
I know it sucks for others with the judging but PCS rightly or wrongly has always been a reflection of the WHOLE program taken together. Kaori was literally Osmond/Zagitova/Medvedeva Olympics level of flawlessness, and I celebrate it.
Exactly, the whole program means that artisitic/presentation shortcomings are not ignored, regardless of technical performance.
 
Top