2020 NHK Trophy: Thoughts on Men

readernick

Medalist
Joined
Dec 5, 2015
Honestly, I think Shun's struggles are his own and really can't be blamed on the federation and I say this as someone who loves him. Because honestly he isn't always scored that harshly. In Japanese sectionals, his 4t+3t was given perfect +5 marks by the judges. (it deserved that score, but if JF hated him that much they wouldn't score him like that). Despite not having their backing, he was able to put together two great performances last year at JGPF and win over Yuma, Mozalev, and other strong international competitors. This year he tried to include a fourth quad in his free skate the 4S earlier in the season. I also think he is making some changes to his lutz technique because even his 3Lzs look a bit wacky this year. He took a lot of risks for one season. As a result, he got injured and everything has suffered. His skating skills were very competent last year, and his posture was better. His spins were at least a bit faster. And, his programs last year were at least serviceable. But, this year everything looks weaker. I think Shun looked at the situation in the world. Realized it was highly unlikely that he would be going to junior or senior worlds this year, and decided to try some risky changes. It hasn't paid off in his results this far, all he has received is an injury but he is only 16 years old. It is a year for growth and risks. He decided to take them, JF can't be blamed for that.
 

readernick

Medalist
Joined
Dec 5, 2015
Blaming Yuma's existence and/or JFed for Shun's injury and the mistakes made by Shun and the rest of the field is unfair and sounds like bitter grapes. If Shun wants to get similar PCS and GOE to what Yuma is getting, maybe he should work on his skating skills, spins and jump landings some more.

Yuma certainly needs to work on his performance ability and facial expression, but there is a reason his PCS was several points higher than the rest of the field. He only made one minor mistake while the others made tons of mistakes, his skating skills are already some of the best in the world, and the choreography and transitions were quite complex. There were lots of changes in direction and pattern (multidirectional skating), and his body went through a lot of changes in plane, especially during the choreographic sequence of his lp (which it's obvious he's still getting used to as there was a slight loss of balance at the end of it). Also, I'm not really a fan of either music choice this season, but the transitions and choreography are not random. Several of his jumps were choreographed to land right on the musical accents (the 3F near the beginning of the lp immediately comes to mind). Lori Nichol knows what's she's doing. She doesn't just randomly place things in programs. I will agree that the lp costume could be better, though. I think it looks like green silk pajamas.
While I do agree that Yuma basically deserves the marks he received, I don't think the other skaters deserved to be scored as harshly as they were. It happened in the ladies, too. Kaori is good but she isn't actually that much better than the other ladies. Yuma is good, but he isn't actually that much better than other men's skaters in terms of PCS.

About the Yuma vs Rika comparison, I have to say that Yuma is a completely different performer than Rika. You can see that Rika feels the music with her whole body and expresses it with her body even when her face isn't that expressive. I really don't get that same commitment from Yuma. However, I do agree that he performs his choreography well and, in general, he deserves the marks he received. I don't, however, think the difference should be as great as it was. As with ladies, the Japanese federation isn't encouraging skaters to take risks, because if they make mistakes they will not only be marked down in TES but their PCS will be reduced (not just by a little, it should be reduced a little) greatly. Far more than their actual performance called for. I understand what the Japanese fed is doing, but I don't think it is a good idea.
 

yume

Record Breaker
Joined
Mar 11, 2016
Honestly, I think Shun's struggles are his own and really can't be blamed on the federation and I say this as someone who loves him. Because honestly he isn't always scored that harshly. In Japanese sectionals, his 4t+3t was given perfect +5 marks by the judges. (it deserved that score, but if JF hated him that much they wouldn't score him like that).
I agree that he isn't scored that harshly, now. If he puts two clean performances, he will get nice scores.
When he bombs like that he can't expect much.

Despite not having their backing, he was able to put together two great performances last year at JGPF and win over Yuma, Mozalev, and other strong international competitors.
To be fair, international judges were giving him more love than japanese judges. He wouldn't have gotten the jgpf scores in Japan. He was always getting lower scores. And it isn't the same for everyone. The chosen ones get higher scores in Japan (eg: Yuma, Koshiro when he was junior).

Even in ladies. They were rude with Nana when she was junior (i'm still not over the fact that they refused her a jwc spot twice). Unfortunately she's proving them right by declining and not qualifying for nats.
I hope Shun will come back strong and continue to improve.
 

surimi

Happy 21st, Sota!
Record Breaker
Joined
Nov 12, 2013
For me the message the boys got here is clear. They can skate an easier layout, but they need to be clean. Unsuccessful risk takers won't be coddled or helped. They need to help themselves by developing nerves of steel :[
 
Top