2020-21 Japanese Ladies' Figure Skating

silveruskate

On the Ice
Joined
Mar 20, 2019
It seems that Kaori has improved her lutz to much more of a flat edge rather than a clear inside edge she had at Worlds. That raises a technical question I had on rule interpretation in general. Should a flat edge be considered wrong or unclear in the lutz? My opinion is that unclear would mean it is between flat and slight outside edge and you can't tell. Therefore, flat should be wrong edge. Is that correct? I used Kaori as an example, but this is a general question. I know judges do whatever they want, but was curious on the definition, if any, in the rules.
I agree with what you said. Judges do whatever they want, but the rulebook clearly states a Lutz must take-off from an outside edge.

And I noticed that about Kaori too! Is this the best it will get? She really leaned into the outside edge a lot but this was the result.
 

Joekaz

On the Ice
Joined
Feb 13, 2018
I agree with what you said. Judges do whatever they want, but the rulebook clearly states a Lutz must take-off from an outside edge.

And I noticed that about Kaori too! Is this the best it will get? She really leaned into the outside edge a lot but this was the result.
It is very hard for most skaters to correct, especially once the judges know you have issues. Look how long Wakaba has had flip issues.
 

Colonel Green

Record Breaker
Joined
Mar 3, 2018
Country
Canada
And I noticed that about Kaori too! Is this the best it will get? She really leaned into the outside edge a lot but this was the result.
Incorrect edges are devilishly hard to correct once the technique is baked (which typically happens before a skater reaches the elite level). It can be done (Mao managed it at the very end of her career, for instance, sadly past the point where it would have mattered), but it usually takes a long time.
 
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rollerblade

Record Breaker
Joined
Jan 12, 2014
She can try a different Lutz entry like how Zagitova swished quickly from inside to outside right before her take off.
 

Joekaz

On the Ice
Joined
Feb 13, 2018
She can try a different Lutz entry like how Zagitova swished quickly from inside to outside right before her take off.
She needs to figure out something quick, because her whole strategy is about maximizing her point total without a 3A or quad. This already puts her at the mercy of the judges and the other top girls making big mistakes, so she can't afford to give any points away at all.
 
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Joekaz

On the Ice
Joined
Feb 13, 2018
Is Kaori the most polarizing skater in the world right now? It seems like fans and judges(depending on the competition) cant decide whether she is a beautiful skater with the best SS ever, or is an awkward speed skater with no musicality. I personally think she is basically great below the waist and poor above the waist, to simplify it. She should be scored in the middle of the 2 extremes. Not have a 20 pt variance on basically the same performance a month apart. How is Kaori and her team supposed to plan strategy for next season with such judging?
 

readernick

Medalist
Joined
Dec 5, 2015
Is Kaori the most polarizing skater in the world right now? It seems like fans and judges(depending on the competition) cant decide whether she is a beautiful skater with the best SS ever, or is an awkward speed skater with no musicality. I personally think she is basically great below the waist and poor above the waist, to simplify it. She should be scored in the middle of the 2 extremes. Not have a 20 pt variance on basically the same performance a month apart. How is Kaori and her team supposed to plan strategy for next season with such judging?
The scoring difference was just about politics. The almost the entire panel at Worlds was European. Her GOEs at Worlds were incredibly low considering the quality of her elements. PCS is where the real controversy is Kaori does deserve high SS marks. Certainly, higher than Anna/ Liza. I would agree with you that below the waist she is incredible. However, I wouldn't give her the marks she got here for musical interpretation. However, considering how overscored Anna/ Liza also were in PCS , I guess this competition was a bit more equitable than Worlds.
 
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Joekaz

On the Ice
Joined
Feb 13, 2018
The scoring difference was just about politics. The almost the entire panel at Worlds was European. Her GOEs at Worlds were incredibly low considering the quality of her elements. PCS is where the real controversy less. Kaori does deserve high SS marks. Certainly, higher than Anna/ Liza. I would agree with you that below the waist she is incredible. However, I wouldn't give her the marks she got here for musical interpretation. However, considering how overscored Anna/ Liza also were in PCS , I guess this competition was a bit more equitable than Worlds.
It must be very difficult for a skater to maintain their focus and enthusiasm for training when they get 20 pts less when it really matters, for basically the same performance, than they do in an exhibition which means nothing. I actually think her score at World's was closer to reality than here, though. I would say the 210-212 range would be more fair. This takes into account correctly called wrong edge calls on the lutz's, acceptable PCS scores, to me, if you exclude the Russians, and a couple of extra points for somewhat low GOE compared to the non Russian skaters. I do think the 5 pt GOE is problematic, however. Just more room for arbitrary score manipulation. For instance, speed is not a bullet point for jumps, and jumping the farthest or highest does not give you bonus points, it just helps to satisfy a bullet point. But people constantly talk about Kaori's speed and length as reasons she should get the highest GOE, which is not necessarily the case.
 

CanadianSkaterGuy

Record Breaker
Joined
Jan 25, 2013
Is Kaori the most polarizing skater in the world right now? It seems like fans and judges(depending on the competition) cant decide whether she is a beautiful skater with the best SS ever, or is an awkward speed skater with no musicality. I personally think she is basically great below the waist and poor above the waist, to simplify it. She should be scored in the middle of the 2 extremes. Not have a 20 pt variance on basically the same performance a month apart. How is Kaori and her team supposed to plan strategy for next season with such judging?

Kaori is an exciting skater to watch and I love how she just blasts through her jumps and aims for maximum flow and speed in and out of them.

The above the waist assessment is on point. She’s still super awkward, lacks expression in her face, and her arms are still very mechanical. You can see she’s trying but finesse doesn’t seem to come natural to her, and it *looks* like she’s trying. I did notice things like her lutz edge have improved so she’s putting in the effort to be more competitive but artistically its not there yet. Kudos for a clean Matrix program and she def deserved 2nd in the FS at WTT but 73 PCS was too high IMO.
 

gotoschool

Medalist
Joined
Mar 5, 2014
If somebody loves a skater's performao f
I feel that their careers overall have too much of a gap for them to be considered to be on the same level. I'm not saying that Mao had a mediocre career by any means. In fact, she had a great career with 3 world golds and 1 Olympic silver. However, that can't exactly be compared to 1 Olympic gold, 1 Olympic silver, and 2 world titles considering Yuna skipped some seasons. Mao had crazy high technical content but the rules during that time would punish HARSHLY for any underrotations. Back then, underrotating a jump meant that it would be downgraded to the base value of the same jump with one less rotation, so Mao and other skaters who struggled with rotations would frequently get disappointed by their scores. I don't remember if it was mandatory for underrotated jumps to get negative GOE because figure skating rules change so often, but it was customary for underrotated jumps to be punished harshly in GOE also. Judges handed out edge calls more freely (and in my opinion, this is the correct way to do things :scratch2:), so that was a huge factor too. These flaws in her jumps really held Mao back, so even before Yuna became dominant, it was generally understood that she WOULD win if she just skated clean (around late 2007- 2008ish?). Best example of this is the 2007 GPF where Yuna won over Mao, I suggest you watch the competition to get a clearer idea of how things stood then if you haven't already. Thing is, she didn't perform her best for two worlds in a row, which delayed the timing of her dominance. So I would not exactly say that Mao was considered to be slightly better than Yuna past their first senior seasons.
There were massive changes to the system that just so happened to coincide with the time when Mao turned professional including full downgrades on jumps with mandatory negative GOE and the potential for high positive GOE, reduction in the relative value of the triple axel, and the introduction of highly selective edge calls and all were. made at the highly biased whims of tech crew that looked at jumps from certain skaters like Mao with an eagle eye under a microscope and turned a blind eye to the mistakes of others. Furthermore, the scoring bias was carried over into PCS deflation, GOE deflation, devaluation of spirals, spins and step sequences and ignoring Mao's graceful and challenging transitions and massive rink coverage skating all the way to the boards.Yet, she still won worlds 3 times, and in my opinion 4 because of her relative underscoring in 2007, and a solid argument could be made that she should have won the Grand Prix Final 5 times including in 2007. Mao's PCS scores alone in the Grand Prxi LP in 2007 were laughably low below 60 and the tech slashing of scores was really extreme.

Other instances of unfavoritism include Maos' disgracefully low scores in the Vancouver SP, which is an unjust way to work on the nerves. Furthermore, Mao was forced to make major readjustment to her blades twice to adapt to horrible training conditions imposed by the JSF before Sochi including being forced to train in a bitterly cold and sandy rink with rust falling from the ceiling, despite the JSF's rejections of urgent requests from Mao's team to train in acceptable conditions in Japan. . This forced Mao to make major readjustment to her blades twice, lose training time and worked on her nerves almost as if it were all designed and yet she still summoned up the guts to deliver her magnificent and severely underscored Sochi LP performance, which she performed even after the ignoble former Prime Minister viciously denounced her publicly. To show other ways in which the number's game is manipulated against her, even the International Olympic Committee posted messages that they had removed videos on youtube of Mao's Sochi LP performance once a number of her videos reached several million views. Many people will not just readily accept a system's judgement, if they see superior qualities that they feel are not rewarded in a performance and if pervasive injustice in the system is perceived, especially when it extends through the generations as is the case with Mao and then Rika. Instead, they often opt to choose for themselves which are the best performances. .
 
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dhjh811

On the Ice
Joined
Apr 23, 2014
If somebody loves a skater's performao f

There were massive changes to the system that just so happened to coincide with the time when Mao turned professional including full downgrades on jumps with mandatory negative GOE and the potential for high positive GOE, reduction in the relative value of the triple axel, and the introduction of highly selective edge calls and all were. made at the highly biased whims of tech crew that looked at jumps from certain skaters like Mao with an eagle eye under a microscope and turned a blind eye to the mistakes of others. Furthermore, the scoring bias was carried over into PCS deflation, GOE deflation, devaluation of spirals, spins and step sequences and ignoring Mao's graceful and challenging transitions and massive rink coverage skating all the way to the boards.Yet, she still won worlds 3 times, and in my opinion 4 because of her relative underscoring in 2007, and a solid argument could be made that she should have won the Grand Prix Final 5 times including in 2007. Mao's PCS scores along in the Grand Prxi LP in 2007 were laughably low below 60 and the tech slashing of scores was really extreme.

Other instances of unfavoritism include Maos' disgracefully low scores in the Vancouver SP, which is an unjust way to work on the nerves. Furthermore, Mao was forced to make major readjustment to her blades twice to adapt to horrible training conditions imposed by the JSF before Sochi including being forced to train in a bitterly cold and sandy rink with rust falling from the ceiling, despite the JSF's rejections of urgent requests from Mao's team to train in acceptable conditions in Japan. . This forced Mao to make major readjustment to her blades twice, lose training time and worked on her nerves almost as if it were all designed and yet she still summoned up the guts to deliver her magnificent and severely underscored Sochi LP performance, which she performed even after the ignoble former Prime Minister viciously denounced her publicly. To show other ways in which the number's game is manipulated, even the International Olympic Committee posted messages that they had removed videos on youtube of Mao's Sochi performances once a number of her videos reached several million views. Many people will not just readily accept a system's judgement, if they see superior qualities that they feel are not rewarded in a performance and if pervasive injustice in the system is perceived, especially when it extends through the generations as is the case with Mao and then Rika. Instead, they often opt to choose for themselves which are the best performances. .
I guess this is one viewpoint 🤔
Thing is, I was just explaining why Mao might not be viewed to be in the same level as Yuna objectively by most people (I say MOST, not all). You, as well as everybody else, is allowed to feel sentimental for Mao (or any skater) and appreciate her more. I just tried to look at it from the perspective of a non-fan of either Mao or Yuna to respond to an earlier comment. If you want to discuss issues with judging, I'm sure there's a lot to be said from both sides. But the main post of my post was clearly discussing their perceived statuses in figure skating, so not I'm not really sure what you're responding to here...

Idk, it kinda seems like you're going off on a tangent 🤷‍♀️
But I love Mao as well, so I can see where your frustrations are coming from.
 
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dhjh811

On the Ice
Joined
Apr 23, 2014
It must be very difficult for a skater to maintain their focus and enthusiasm for training when they get 20 pts less when it really matters, for basically the same performance, than they do in an exhibition which means nothing. I actually think her score at World's was closer to reality than here, though. I would say the 210-212 range would be more fair. This takes into account correctly called wrong edge calls on the lutz's, acceptable PCS scores, to me, if you exclude the Russians, and a couple of extra points for somewhat low GOE compared to the non Russian skaters. I do think the 5 pt GOE is problematic, however. Just more room for arbitrary score manipulation. For instance, speed is not a bullet point for jumps, and jumping the farthest or highest does not give you bonus points, it just helps to satisfy a bullet point. But people constantly talk about Kaori's speed and length as reasons she should get the highest GOE, which is not necessarily the case.
It's frustrating for me because I feel that judges have already set something of a roof for Kaori's scores. I cannot possibly see how she could be a real contender for a podium finish at Worlds or the Olympics unless she gains a triple axel or a quad... By this, I mean her name is always in the mix for a potential bronze, but she always ends up a few placements lower even with good skates. It's a shame bcs she has such good skating skills and jumps, and I personally don't find her artistry particularly lacking either. I might get a lot of flack for this, but if the judges helped Osmond out the way they did during the last Olympic cycle, I don't see why they shouldn't with Kaori 😅

Not saying any skater should be getting special treatment, but I just don't think judges will ever want to help Kaori out in the way they did Katelyn (or some other skaters, for that matter). And I don't know what a skater like Kaori is lacking than some of those other skaters 😕
 

Joekaz

On the Ice
Joined
Feb 13, 2018
It's frustrating for me because I feel that judges have already set something of a roof for Kaori's scores. I cannot possibly see how she could be a real contender for a podium finish at Worlds or the Olympics unless she gains a triple axel or a quad... By this, I mean her name is always in the mix for a potential bronze, but she always ends up a few placements lower even with good skates. It's a shame bcs she has such good skating skills and jumps, and I personally don't find her artistry particularly lacking either. I might get a lot of flack for this, but if the judges helped Osmond out the way they did during the last Olympic cycle, I don't see why they shouldn't with Kaori 😅

Not saying any skater should be getting special treatment, but I just don't think judges will ever want to help Kaori out in the way they did Katelyn (or some other skaters, for that matter). And I don't know what a skater like Kaori is lacking than some of those other skaters 😕
We all know skating is full of corruption and politics. But the national federations are no different. Everything you just complained about for Kaori and against Osmond and the international judges are the same things the other Japanese skaters fans complain about Kaori and the JSF and their judges in domestic competition. The sport has been corrupt for a very long time, internationally and nationally. Whether its the JSF pretending Satoko's jumps are fine or Kaori is graceful and musical, it usually doesn't fly at World's or Olympics. Evidently the JSF does not have enough clout when it matters most.
 
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cohkaix

FS data keeper
Medalist
Joined
Mar 9, 2013
are the same thing the other Japanese skaters complain about Kaori and the JSF and their judges in domestic competition....
As much as I follow the discussion here in the Japanese ladies' thread, I simply canNOT agree with the above statement: I don't think (and can't imagine) any other Jpn skaters 'complain' about Kaori. Figure skating is such an individual sport, and, of course skaters are rivals with each other in the competitions. But no matter what the final result is, I think most skaters would come down to the realization that the only rival is themselves. I just don't get this point about how other skaters complain about one skater (but I can get how dedicated fans complain or over-worrying about any particular skater...).
As for the Jpn skaters, especially for the ladies, I could come up with the example that over the last Oly cycle, how Wakaba made contact with Kaori personally to discussion with Kaori about training and other things. I think Wakaba openly talked about this and how that communication helped her to the media. So in some way I see that it's the case they inspire each other to work toward their goals.
 

cohkaix

FS data keeper
Medalist
Joined
Mar 9, 2013
JSF - 2021 strengthened athletes (FS) announcement: PDF in Japanese


Special Athletes
Ladies: Rika Kihira, Kaori Sakamoto, Satoko Miyahara,

Strengthened A:
Ladies: Matsuike Rino, Mai Mihara, Mana Kawabe, Wakaba Higuchi , Yuhana YOKOI, Hana, Yoshida, Mao Shimada

Strengthened B:
Ladies: Yuna SHIRAIWA, Rin Nitaya, Tomoe Kawabata, Rion Sumiyoshi, Ayumi Shibayama, Ami Nakai, Natsu Suzuki, Mone Chiba

*The list will be further updated following the announcements of international competitions later on in the upcoming new season.
 

Joekaz

On the Ice
Joined
Feb 13, 2018
As much as I follow the discussion here in the Japanese ladies' thread, I simply canNOT agree with the above statement: I don't think (and can't imagine) any other Jpn skaters 'complain' about Kaori. Figure skating is such an individual sport, and, of course skaters are rivals with each other in the competitions. But no matter what the final result is, I think most skaters would come down to the realization that the only rival is themselves. I just don't get this point about how other skaters complain about one skater (but I can get how dedicated fans complain or over-worrying about any particular skater...).
As for the Jpn skaters, especially for the ladies, I could come up with the example that over the last Oly cycle, how Wakaba made contact with Kaori personally to discussion with Kaori about training and other things. I think Wakaba openly talked about this and how that communication helped her to the media. So in some way I see that it's the case they inspire each other to work toward their goals.
You are correct. I should have just said fans. None of the skaters openly complain, even internationally. However, common sense and seeing their reaction to other's scores on occasion would indicate they are not happy with the situation. My point was really just about how national feds play favorites just as much as the isu does in scoring, and I used Kaori in Japan as the counter to Osmond in the Olympic year, as was brought up. I was a little sloppy in my phrasing about complaining, since that wasnt the main thrust of my point.
 

Joekaz

On the Ice
Joined
Feb 13, 2018
JSF - 2021 strengthened athletes (FS) announcement: PDF in Japanese


Special Athletes
Ladies: Rika Kihira, Kaori Sakamoto, Satoko Miyahara,

Strengthened A:
Ladies: Matsuike Rino, Mai Mihara, Mana Kawabe, Wakaba Higuchi , Yuhana YOKOI, Hana, Yoshida, Mao Shimada

Strengthened B:
Ladies: Yuna SHIRAIWA, Rin Nitaya, Tomoe Kawabata, Rion Sumiyoshi, Ayumi Shibayama, Ami Nakai, Natsu Suzuki, Mone Chiba

*The list will be further updated following the announcements of international competitions later on in the upcoming new season.
Should Satoko still be considered special? Im not sure. Not the way she jumped this season. In my opinion if Satoko makes the Olympic team, that means the Japanese women had a very disappointing season overall.
 

readernick

Medalist
Joined
Dec 5, 2015
Should Satoko still be considered special? Im not sure. Not the way she jumped this season. In my opinion if Satoko makes the Olympic team, that means the Japanese women had a very disappointing season overall.
It's based on Nationals' results. So, according to the rules, she should.
 
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