2020-21 Team China Updates

surimi

Shan Ben Cao Tai, keep fighting! ^ ^
Record Breaker
Joined
Nov 12, 2013
Messages
2,104
Maybe longer than Yu/Zhang though. I felt bad for Xiaoyu several years ago when the federation split her and Yang Jin, such a promising pair, against her will, to pair her up with aging Zhang. Unsurprisingly, one or the other kept being injured, and barely competed a couple of seasons before their final split. The rumor I heard was that the reason was to give Zhang a better partner than the often falling Peng. Well, look how that ended for poor Yu, now she has to watch Peng/Jin become one of the world's top, where she herself could have been. I have nothing whatsoever against Cheng Peng, and always look forward to creative Peng/Jin programs, but am sad and angry for Xiaoyu. I hope for her to be much luckier with Wang, she deserves it.
 

readernick

Medalist
Joined
Dec 5, 2015
Messages
2,120
Maybe longer than Yu/Zhang though. I felt bad for Xiaoyu several years ago when the federation split her and Yang Jin, such a promising pair, against her will, to pair her up with aging Zhang. Unsurprisingly, one or the other kept being injured, and barely competed a couple of seasons before their final split. The rumor I heard was that the reason was to give Zhang a better partner than the often falling Peng. Well, look how that ended for poor Yu, now she has to watch Peng/Jin become one of the world's top, where she herself could have been. I have nothing whatsoever against Cheng Peng, and always look forward to creative Peng/Jin programs, but am sad and angry for Xiaoyu. I hope for her to be much luckier with Wang, she deserves it.
Yes, I have had these feelings, too. Honestly, I do think that Peng/Jin are well paired. He has great classic lines and she has an incredible playful energy on the ice. It works really well. However, Yu really got the short end of the stick. Zhang was a strong capable partner, but he was obviously not going to be able to skate forever. Unfortunately, I think Wang is also a bit too old for her. But, I hope that he still stay around for a while so Yu has a chance to shine.
 

saturdaysun

On the Ice
Joined
Mar 13, 2018
Messages
236
I feel like people keep waiting for validation that the partner switch was a mistake, but in retrospect it was clearly the right decision. Peng/Jin are obviously a better match and frankly, so were Yu/Zhang. Injuries are pervasive -- look at Sui/Han. I fail to see how Yu/Zhang getting injured is proof they shouldn't have been paired up. Should S/H split because they keep getting injured? It's just unlucky, that's all. If Y/Z didn't have so many injuries in recent months, then China would have 3 stronger teams than they did with the original pairs. Also, the rumors were that Jin Yang also wanted to switch since Yu was getting too tall for him to lift. She was the only one who seemingly had a problem with the switch, which sucks for her, sure, but the way people talk about it you'd think the Fed sold her to be Zhang's child bride or something. And on that topic, I find the way people talk about his age bizarre: he's the same age as Savchenko, and in 2018 he was younger than Zhao Hongbo was when Shen/Zhao won their gold.

The only split I'm still not over is Gao/Xie.
 

yqs100

On the Ice
Joined
May 21, 2009
Messages
350
Maybe longer than Yu/Zhang though. I felt bad for Xiaoyu several years ago when the federation split her and Yang Jin, such a promising pair, against her will, to pair her up with aging Zhang. Unsurprisingly, one or the other kept being injured, and barely competed a couple of seasons before their final split. The rumor I heard was that the reason was to give Zhang a better partner than the often falling Peng. Well, look how that ended for poor Yu, now she has to watch Peng/Jin become one of the world's top, where she herself could have been. I have nothing whatsoever against Cheng Peng, and always look forward to creative Peng/Jin programs, but am sad and angry for Xiaoyu. I hope for her to be much luckier with Wang, she deserves it.
disagree.... i think the switch of partners revealed bigger potential for the two pairs, Yu and Zhang look less like daughter and father... and the package of Yu definitely is a big lift for zhang. don't even want to mention the height and weight of Yu...

anyway there is no "if"... what has done is done,,, hope Yu/wang can make a great debut in the coming months...
 

yqs100

On the Ice
Joined
May 21, 2009
Messages
350
I feel like people keep waiting for validation that the partner switch was a mistake, but in retrospect it was clearly the right decision. Peng/Jin are obviously a better match and frankly, so were Yu/Zhang. Injuries are pervasive -- look at Sui/Han. I fail to see how Yu/Zhang getting injured is proof they shouldn't have been paired up. Should S/H split because they keep getting injured? It's just unlucky, that's all. If Y/Z didn't have so many injuries in recent months, then China would have 3 stronger teams than they did with the original pairs. Also, the rumors were that Jin Yang also wanted to switch since Yu was getting too tall for him to lift. She was the only one who seemingly had a problem with the switch, which sucks for her, sure, but the way people talk about it you'd think the Fed sold her to be Zhang's child bride or something. And on that topic, I find the way people talk about his age bizarre: he's the same age as Savchenko, and in 2018 he was younger than Zhao Hongbo was when Shen/Zhao won their gold.

The only split I'm still not over is Gao/Xie.
Gao couldn't make the triple Toe -- i think that's the main reason for the split
 

Moaray

Rinkside
Joined
Feb 24, 2017
Messages
36
I have a high hope for the possible Yu/Wang team because Lei Wang is actually a very good pair skater but being underestimated throughout his career. Lei Wang is technically very strong, and physically, he won over Jin and Zhang in a fitness test held by Shen/Zhao in 2018 after the Olympic. he used to be a single skater and he had landed triple axles and even a quad when he was a single skater. Changing to be a pair skater, he can do the beautiful throw, and even holds a forward-outside death spiral and catches the triple twist with a hand over the hand beautifully with his previous partner, Xuehan Wang.

Yes, he is a bit old, but at least he doesn't look old and rough just like Hao Zhang. And he is a very nice guy, he has rescued a kid being almost drowned in the water, and he was very loyal to his previous partner. Yang Jin and Hao Zhang had records of not treating their partners well, but Lei Wang is very kind and never misconducts everyone. So happy for Yu, Lei Wang is indeed a good partner with good skills and a good heart to work with.
 
Last edited:

surimi

Shan Ben Cao Tai, keep fighting! ^ ^
Record Breaker
Joined
Nov 12, 2013
Messages
2,104
I feel like people keep waiting for validation that the partner switch was a mistake, but in retrospect it was clearly the right decision. Peng/Jin are obviously a better match and frankly, so were Yu/Zhang. Injuries are pervasive -- look at Sui/Han. I fail to see how Yu/Zhang getting injured is proof they shouldn't have been paired up. Should S/H split because they keep getting injured? It's just unlucky, that's all. If Y/Z didn't have so many injuries in recent months, then China would have 3 stronger teams than they did with the original pairs. Also, the rumors were that Jin Yang also wanted to switch since Yu was getting too tall for him to lift. She was the only one who seemingly had a problem with the switch, which sucks for her, sure, but the way people talk about it you'd think the Fed sold her to be Zhang's child bride or something. And on that topic, I find the way people talk about his age bizarre: he's the same age as Savchenko, and in 2018 he was younger than Zhao Hongbo was when Shen/Zhao won their gold.

The only split I'm still not over is Gao/Xie.
Highlight one: you exaggerate. :rolleyes: The fact remains that Yu opposed the split back then. She probably had her reasons and we might never learn them. Has there ever been an interview where she admitted the Fed did the right thing for her? I honestly don't know so that's a genuine question.
Highlight two: Savchenko is a special case, by no means a norm.
IDK what gave you the impression that 'people are waiting for a validation that the switch was a mistake' when two posters say they like Peng/Jin, but independently on that, they are sad over Yu's situation.
disagree.... i think the switch of partners revealed bigger potential for the two pairs, Yu and Zhang look less like daughter and father... and the package of Yu definitely is a big lift for zhang. don't even want to mention the height and weight of Yu...

anyway there is no "if"... what has done is done,,, hope Yu/wang can make a great debut in the coming months...
IMO we'll never know the full potential of Yu and her partners, they were together too briefly in seniors. Hope she's luckier with Wang, but given his age, it's probably not a long term thing either. At least she will have a chance to compte internationally.
 

saturdaysun

On the Ice
Joined
Mar 13, 2018
Messages
236
Highlight one: you exaggerate. :rolleyes: The fact remains that Yu opposed the split back then. She probably had her reasons and we might never learn them. Has there ever been an interview where she admitted the Fed did the right thing for her? I honestly don't know so that's a genuine question.
Highlight two: Savchenko is a special case, by no means a norm.
IDK what gave you the impression that 'people are waiting for a validation that the switch was a mistake' when two posters say they like Peng/Jin, but independently on that, they are sad over Yu's situation.

IMO we'll never know the full potential of Yu and her partners, they were together too briefly in seniors. Hope she's luckier with Wang, but given his age, it's probably not a long term thing either. At least she will have a chance to compte internationally.
I didn't quote-reply you, because I wasn't talking just about you. The fact is it's been five years and the switch still gets brought up ad nauseam. People - not just you - still take any setback as proof that the switch was the worst thing ever. To me it's clear it was the right decision and it was also far from the most dramatic dumping of a pairs girl we've witnessed in recent years. Look at Kim Kyu-eun, or Lubov. Those are the girls I feel sorry for.

And yes, there have been interviews where Yu has expressed being happy with her new partner and being ok with the switch since it happened, but who knows if it's genuine? Who knows how any of them actually feel? The fact is she and Zhang ended up unlucky with injuries, which happens all the time and has nothing to do with an old partnership from years ago.
 

BlissfulSynergy

On the Ice
Joined
Sep 1, 2020
Messages
177
Country
Mars
^^ For the most part @saturdaysun, what I've seen generally from fan comments regarding the famous Chinese pairs splits and re-partnerings is that many observers were pleasantly surprised about how well the changes worked out, in terms of the great physical match-ups, and especially regarding the wonderful chemistry discovered between Peng/Jin.

Still, the fact that the partnership changes bore fruit physically and strategically doesn't negate the heartbreak for Yu Xiaoyu who was obviously very emotionally attached to her partnership with Jin Yang. Yu was brave and courageous in doing her best to try and put behind what to her seemed to be almost an indescribable spiritual union with Jin. When one's heart breaks for reasons beyond one's own control, it takes time to overcome. While Yu eventually came to terms with her new partnership and she clearly worked hard, she seemed detached emotionally from her skating with Zhang. Her heart did not seem to be in it. Yu and Zhang were good but inconsistent partners together for various reasons. What little I'd seen of some of their recently choreographed programs appeared to be turning an important corner for them. But as someone already stated, Zhang's will may have still been strong and fit as ever, but his body was no longer in peak condition. Athletes and dancers all have to face this point of no return sooner or later.

I agree with @surimi and @Moaray who I think are fair in their assessments and in taking all sides of what happened into consideration. The main motivation for the changes was putting Zhang Hao first, rather than truly making an effort to treat all four skaters with understanding and sympathy, along with firm communication regarding the strategy and ultimate goals. Peng/Jin were not expected to mesh so quickly out of the gate, but they did. Yu/Zhang were supposed to be the immediate stars in tandem with Sui/Han. But Yu/Zhang had no chemistry despite being a good physical match.

The overall lesson should be to involve the skaters more in the decisionmaking. Explain the reasoning in a fair manner without forcing and mistreatment. Yu/Jin were treated unfairly (not given new programs or costumes, so that they would get the message they needed to split up). That is not the right way to go about the partnership switches, and I think that is what most fans remember and are referencing. Yu's heart was broken and that was a sad thing to witness. I realize that figure skating is a tough sport and many situations are cruel, but people within the sport around the world should make an effort toward more kindness and courtesy even when tough decisions have to be made.
 
Last edited:

BlissfulSynergy

On the Ice
Joined
Sep 1, 2020
Messages
177
Country
Mars
I didn't quote-reply you, because I wasn't talking just about you. The fact is it's been five years and the switch still gets brought up ad nauseam. People - not just you - still take any setback as proof that the switch was the worst thing ever. To me it's clear it was the right decision and it was also far from the most dramatic dumping of a pairs girl we've witnessed in recent years. Look at Kim Kyu-eun, or Lubov. Those are the girls I feel sorry for.

And yes, there have been interviews where Yu has expressed being happy with her new partner and being ok with the switch since it happened, but who knows if it's genuine? Who knows how any of them actually feel? The fact is she and Zhang ended up unlucky with injuries, which happens all the time and has nothing to do with an old partnership from years ago.

Yu was not 'dramatically dumped.' Yu was forced to re-partner, and the methods utilized were psychologically and emotionally damaging. I just feel there may have been a better way to effect the changes which actually turned out well for Peng/Jin and not bad in terms of a physical match-up for Yu/Zhang. But Yu's heartbreak might have been eased had kinder communication and greater understanding been fore-fronted. Everyone knows that Zhang was considered the more important of the four. Zhang may be a fine person, I don't know. But his career interest and benefit should not have been the major factor in the switch. Ironically, as we know, it worked out tremendously for Peng/Jin (even though they really have yet to blast through and fully believe in themselves and be consistent, despite showing great promise and being highly regarded internationally). Let's not kid ourselves that Chinese fed were putting much stock in the partnering of Peng/Jin. Their main focus was the partnering of Yu/Zhang. So the way things turned out is ironic with many lessons to be learned, which I'm not sure have been learned.

Every situation is different. In Lubov's case, it was not Skate Canada forcing a partner switch. Her partner (Charlie Bilodeau) simply had motivational problems and self-doubts and he dramatically flubbed dealing up front and directly with Lubov and their coach, which made that a publicly messy and upsetting situation.

A lot of fans remember this:

And however rightly or wrongly, we wonder what might have been had Yu/Jin simply been fully supported and encouraged to flourish. Chinese fed could have tried to locate someone else for Zhang, or urge Zhang to make the tough decision to hang up his skates sooner and turn to coaching and show skating. Peng/Jin are good together and appear to have untapped potential, but Jin was arguably on the cusp of greatness with Yu four years ago. If there are some hidden reasons why Yu/Jin would not have flourished had they been fully supported, I'd love to know more truthful details.

Yet what's done is done, and the skaters have moved on out of necessity more quickly and completely than fans with long memories. LOL!

Good luck to the new partnerships!
 
Last edited:

saturdaysun

On the Ice
Joined
Mar 13, 2018
Messages
236
You are projecting way too much, taking wild speculation ("spiritual union"? what???) and presenting them as fact, so I think we are on two different wavelengths and it's not worth continuing this discussion on my end. Frankly I'm 100000% over the partner switch discourse, it's so beyond irrelevant at this point.

Does anyone know when we might see everyone's new programs? I'm getting antsy with all the other countries presenting their athletes. Last season I got really attached to Hongyi Chen and Tang/Yang, I think they have a lot of promise.
 

BlissfulSynergy

On the Ice
Joined
Sep 1, 2020
Messages
177
Country
Mars
^^ Yes, as I said, what's done is done. And I agree we appear to be on 'different wavelengths' as you say. There are all different kinds of people and different kinds of skaters. That's what makes life interesting and challenging.

On your wavelength, you may not be so interested in the emotional part of skating. What I express is my opinion based on my perceptions, which are different from yours. I also base my comments on Yu's heartbreaking posts about the split as it was happening, which she later deleted as she came to terms with the finality of the decision.
 
Last edited:

Moaray

Rinkside
Joined
Feb 24, 2017
Messages
36
What I have known about the controversy of swapping partners in 2016.

1, Yang Jin had already known that he would swap the partners before they went to Canada for the new programs, and even there were rumours saying that Jin insisted that he wanted to find a new partner coz he was not able to lift Yu anymore. What's more, even Cheng Peng and Hao Zhang had already known they would swap the partners. Therefore, only Xiaoyu Yu didn't know that she had to skate with Hao Zhang before they went to Canada.

2, The decision was made by S/Z purely. After 2015-2016 season, Sui had her surgery on her both feet and for sure She had to skip nearly the whole season. S/Z were afraid that S/H would probably not maintain the momentum and the physical level when they came back, so they had to form a new strong pair among their remaining athletes. Xiaoyu Yu and Hao Zhang were technically stronger than Peng and Jin, and S/Z decided that they should skate together. (I can understand their intentions behind the decision, but the way they treated Yu was totally unacceptable)
 

BlissfulSynergy

On the Ice
Joined
Sep 1, 2020
Messages
177
Country
Mars
^^ Thank you so much @Moaray. I had heard that Yang Jin supposedly said he had problems 'lifting' Yu. Still, I'm leery of believing that is true 100 percent. Possibly it was used as an excuse for why Jin was agreeable to the split, especially when he was faced with not having any support in a career with Yu. Possibly Jin may have in fact felt that a smaller partner might be easier to lift. Or maybe he was convinced that was one of the reasons why he should agree to the split.

Apparently, S/Z felt that Yu was a tougher nut to crack. They just should have tried to be more open about the strategy with all four skaters, and explain why it could benefit everyone and take Yu's emotional feelings into consideration better. It was not great for Yu to be the only one not to know the decision had been made. Some humans are more emotional than others.

So it was not only about Hao Zhang, it was also about the fear of Sui/Han not coming back as strong. Frankly, S/H are like a force of nature. I would not be surprised to see them come back very strong once again after now Han's injury and surgery! Still, they were not so great last season (in their first full season in awhile, aside from Worlds being cancelled).

With both S/H having suffered injuries in recent years, let's see how everything turns out. Predictions are a dime a dozen. And what is planned for can turn out otherwise than expected, as in the case of the strong Peng/Jin partnership. Still, P/J in my book, have yet to break through what seems like an elusive consistency and self-belief barrier, which is the case for many skaters. There are so many factors involved in training and competition in this most difficult of sports.
 

BlissfulSynergy

On the Ice
Joined
Sep 1, 2020
Messages
177
Country
Mars
I so much wonder whether the Olympics are going to take place in Beijing in 2022. There's no way of knowing for sure under the present circumstances. And I have no crystal ball. ;)
 

HoneyBear

On the Ice
Joined
Mar 25, 2018
Messages
158
I do think the Chinese Fed was doing what they think was good for Chinese pairs' standing in the world and for the athletes involved, maybe more so for the former than for the latter, but they did not set out to sabotage anybody's career. That being said, the way they carried out the whole process was plainly disrespectful and unfair, to Xiaoyu in particular. Sadly, this would not be the last time they tried to make decisions for their skaters with little to no input from the skaters themselves.
 

BlissfulSynergy

On the Ice
Joined
Sep 1, 2020
Messages
177
Country
Mars
^^ ITA @HoneyBear.

@Moaray mentioned above though that it was more Shen/Zhao than specifically Chinese Fed who were calling the shots. At least that's what I think @Moaray has indicated.

Everyone is entitled to view what happened as they will, based on what angle they are coming from. I think most fans genuinely sympathize with Yu for the reasons that @HoneyBear, @surimi, @Moaray and myself have outlined. So what's done is done, just not completely forgotten by everyone. Moving forward, I'm happy for Yu and for her new partner, Wang Lei. I hope they are able to make the most of this new opportunity.
 

yqs100

On the Ice
Joined
May 21, 2009
Messages
350
look like we have lots insiders here,, would love to hear more on why Yu/ Zhang left Shen/Zhao's team
 
Top