Sota Yamamoto | Page 70 | Golden Skate

Sota Yamamoto

rRainbow

On the Ice
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Oct 22, 2018
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Japan
2nd Installment of Sota's interview: https://mi-mollet.com/articles/-/37778?per_page=1

1 of 4

Sota Yamamoto senshu, who climbed up from the bottom, has arrived at a new state of mind: "I want to cherish my love for skating more than pushing myself to the limit."

Sota Yamamoto senshu made a fresh start for the Milan-Cortina d'Ampezzo Olympics. His face was radiant. However, just a few seasons ago, he had a period of time when he did not know if he could make it as an athlete.

He told us about his journey from the bottom, as he said, "I was pushing myself too hard," to the point where he came to place his love for skating above everything else.

This is the only place where I can express myself.

--So, please tell us again about your competitions. Yamamoto senshu returned to competition in the 2017-18 season after taking a break due to injury. And you had been competing toward the Beijing Olympics in the four years leading up to the games. I think that these four years were probably a period of fighting through a different kind of pain and suffering than the injury.

That's right. While I was injured, I had the feeling that as long as I could recover from this injury, I would definitely be able to get back to the top again. Although there were still some bolts in my body, I returned to competition with a healed condition, but I became fully aware that the one and a half year blank period during which I was off the ice was a big one.

During that time, other skaters had gained competition experiences, having gone through a lot of pains and hardships that I had not been able to experience. It was hard to make up the difference, and to be honest, I still feel that I am at a disadvantage. But at the same time, I have a strong conviction that this is the only place where I can express who I am. That is why I am determined to do my best and not give up.

It was my skating friends who supported me when I was at rock bottom.

--From what I saw, it was especially in the 2020-21 season that you seemed to be suffering the most. You finished 9th in All-Japan, and at the following year's Kokutai (National Athletics Championships), you revealed your distress, saying, "I have fallen to such a low level," and "I wonder if I can make it as an athlete.”

That season was the one in which I pushed myself so hard that there was nothing more I could do. But the results didn't follow, and I was really frustrated. Looking back on it now, I realize that I practiced too much for failure.

--Practice for failure?

I was practicing to push myself until I couldn't move anymore, even if I failed. But that inevitably messed up my mentality. So now, I don't put so much emphasis on pushing myself. I decided to concentrate on each and every jump so as not to make mistakes as much as possible.

Of course, there are many mistakes during this process, but I don't want to get too mentally dragged down by them. I am now able to analyze calmly why I made mistakes and practice without losing focus.

- to be cont'd -
 

rRainbow

On the Ice
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Oct 22, 2018
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Japan
2 of 4 https://mi-mollet.com/articles/-/37778?page=2&per_page=1

--What was the thing that supported you in overcoming the period of suffering?

It was my skating friends. To be honest, I couldn't get out of the depression I was in until the end of the season. Normally I have more confidence on the ice than on the ground, but at that time I didn't have any confidence on the ice. I usually have a good time on the ice, but when I went to the rink, I felt down.

Then came the off-season. I spent six months before I joined Machiko sensei's team, during which time I was unable to find a team. In the midst of my agony, I was able to have a good time only with the members of Chukyo (University) team, or with my skating friends whom I spent time together at ice shows or at training camp.

Even though we don't usually practice together, we all get along well when we see each other. Just by being together, I feel at home. For me, all the skaters who are competing together in the competitive skating world are almost like comrades.

--Even though they are supposed to be rivals in the competition, they all really wish each other to give their best performances. I feel that such a strong bond between skaters is one of the most appealing aspects of figure skating.

Figure skating is an individual sport, so if you want to do it alone, you can do it. There was a time when I thought like that myself. But when I hit bottom like that, I realized how important the support of those around me is. I am truly blessed to have such good friends.

--After the difficult season, is there anything that you have come to think about again?

I think, "Don't push yourself too hard.” In figure skating, it is really difficult to have a flawless SP and a flawless FS. In my case, it is only one time, if any, in a season that I have a clean performance in both. At one time, I was pushing myself to make absolutely no mistakes in every competition, but I have come to realize that it is difficult to do so. Now I have come to think that if I can just give my best in each match, even if I make some mistakes, I can make it to the next round.

What is more important is to remember that I am skating because I want to skate. As long as you compete, there will be times when you feel frustrated. But I have finally come to realize that I should keep my love for skating above all else, no matter what happens.

I now feel the power of support more strongly than ever.

--As for your activities this off-season, I was impressed by your appearance in "Skaters' Collection" and the opening of a membership community on the sports gifting service "Unlim." I feel that all of these initiatives are designed to keep you competing for the next four years leading up to the next Olympics.

To be honest, I would say that my current position is very financially burdensome. When I compete overseas, I have to spend a lot of money for accommodation and travel. But even if I was invited to the Grand Prix Series, I have not been able to earn prize money, so, frankly, it is a tough situation.

--Figure skating is well known as an expensive sport, isn't it?

In order to manage that, results are important. If you get good results, you can get prize money and more opportunities to be invited to ice shows, so you can get funding for your competitions. I am very eager to break through this barrier in order to go one step further.

Right now, I am in the stage of asking for people' s help in order to do so. I am truly grateful for their support, and by having their support in this way, I feel the power of their support more strongly than ever before. That is why I want to turn this gratitude into my own growth. By improving myself even more, I hope to someday reach a position where I can continue to compete without such efforts, and I think that reaching that point will be the best way to repay those who are currently supporting me.

- to be cont'd -
 

rRainbow

On the Ice
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Japan
3 of 4 https://mi-mollet.com/articles/-/37778?page=3&per_page=1

I want to get a result that can lead to the Championships.

--The first season towards the Milan Cortina d'Ampezzo Olympics has finally begun. Yamamoto senshu's first competition was the Minato AQULS Trophy in July, where he scored a high 181.73 points in FS, although it is not an ISU-recognized record.

Of course, I was interested in what kind of score I could get, since I was competing under the new rules. But I didn't think too much about the score, I just wanted to show what I had done in practice, so I was genuinely happy to get a good score, but I also found some issues to work on, so I have to practice more for the next competition.

--Do you set some goals for your scores throughout the season?

At the Minato AQULS Trophy, I made a mistake in SP, scored 89 points, so I had a good feeling that if I could jump two quads with good quality, I could see 100 points.

--The music was the same as last year, "Yesterday," but last season, you had only one quad, but this season, you have two quads, so the technical level of your performance has been raised a lot.

Last season, I couldn't quite execute two clean quads in FS. In order to jump properly without any mistakes, I had to practice with two quads in the SP, to get to the point where it is a matter of course to land two types of quads.

Because of the increased difficulty level, there is a risk of losing points if you make one mistake. But I think the important thing now is not to have a safe performance, but to work on a higher level of technical content with an eye to the future. Nowadays, it is common for top skaters to jump two different types of jumps in the short program. I want to keep up with them.

--What is your goal for the season?

I have always wanted to give a good performance at All-Japan. If I perform well at All-Japan, I think I will be able to see a different world, so I would like to break through to that point.

--As for All-Japan, you have experienced disappointment more often since you became a senior skater, haven't you?

That's right. I haven't been able to take part in any championships since I became a senior. So, it is important for me to perform well in All-Japan, in order to lead to the future competitions. Besides, I simply want to finish All-Japan with a good feeling.

--In that case, you have to be in contention for the podium after all. I have a feeling that 290 points in total is the borderline.

I think that is what it will come down to. I think the 181 points at the Minato AQULS Trophy is nothing more than the score when the top skaters make some jump mistakes. I am satisfied with my performance at that point, and I think I got a good score, but I would like to improve more and more, not to stop there.

- to be cont'd -
 

rRainbow

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Japan
4 of 4 https://mi-mollet.com/articles/-/37778?page=4&per_page=1

As long as I am an athlete, the Olympics is my ultimate goal.

--This is my personal impression, but your graceful skating has always been attractive to me, but recently, in addition to that, I feel that your emotional expression has become much richer.

I can feel it in myself, and I certainly think that I am becoming a different type of skater from the one I was when I was a child.

--Is that simply because you have gained more life experience, or is there some kind of change in your state of mind?

As I get older, I feel like I want to do more in my skating. I am still not satisfied with my performance. In every competition, there has always been something that I wanted to skate differently. I have come to be able to put those feelings into my skating, and my will to convey them to the audience through skating has become clearer than before. Maybe that is the difference.

--Your ultimate goal as an athlete is Milan.

That's right. As long as I am an athlete, the Olympics is definitely my ultimate goal.

--You have always had the goal of competing in the Olympics since you were a small child.

In the past, to be honest, there was a part of me that used to say that the Olympics was my goal, thinking that since I had been saying it was my dream since I was a little kid, if I didn't say so, I must have been wrong or my goal must have been too low. However, I couldn't see that goal. I was working hard, and it is true that I wanted to go higher, but I felt frustrated that my feelings and results didn't match my goal.

But now I feel that I am firmly grounded. It takes time, but I feel I'm growing little by little, so I hope I can go forward toward my goal again, in my own way.

-- As a 15-year old, who was jumping the 4T without hesitation, did you ever imagine that your skating life would be filled with so many twists and turns?

I certainly thought it would be easier (laughs). Back then, I was a boy who was like, "What is a setback? (laugh). But then I had my first setback, and I was handicapped by injuries, which I honestly believe will follow me for the rest of my life. But I also want to praise myself for having worked so hard to this point. I am grateful to be able to skate like this, and I would like to enjoy my skating life while savoring the happiness of being back here and the joy of being able to skate.

--Do you think you can say that Sota Yamamoto's skating life is now uniquely your own?

Yes, I would say so. I don't force myself to compare myself with the past. I don't want to try to get closer to myself in the good old days, or try to do the same things I did in the past. I want to express the current Sota Yamamoto through skating. That's how I feel about skating now.
-----
"I want to express the current Sota Yamamoto." In his words, there was strength and radiance that only those who have overcome setbacks and struggles and accepted themselves can possess.

The Japanese men's team is full of talented skaters. It is not an easy task to make it to the national team. Only those who keep challenging will be able to open the passage to the national team. That is why Yamamoto senshu continues to tackle this challenge.

Beyond that challenge, the stage he dreamed of as a child is waiting for him. Yamamoto's "Road to Milano-Cortina" has finally begun.

In the final installment of our interview, we will take a candid close-up look at Yamamoto senshu, away from competitive skating. We hope you enjoy it!

- End of 2nd installment -
 

surimi

Congrats to Sota, #10 in World Standings!
Record Breaker
Joined
Nov 12, 2013
Thank you so much for this extensive interview! 💐 I'm glad to hear Sota is enjoying skating again. It's sad to hear about his struggles to pay for his skating, and it's dispiriting I cannot help out at this point. Why him and Kazuki don't have sponsors is beyond me... if I were one I'd want them instantly ;)

- 'I don't want to try to get closer to myself in the good old days, or try to do the same things I did in the past.'
I don't get this part. I mean, I understand the translation, but not what Sota is trying to say. It's the same to me if he skates to a new Dragon, and if he now returns to Rachmaninov. It is revisiting the past, eventhough only a part of the composition is the same. I wish he'd let the past be, including his old programs. Maybe not to Sota himself, but to others like JSF officials, it may look unsure about where to go from here, and trying to go back to the past glory, so I'd avoid music repeats if I were him.

- 'Of course, there are many mistakes during this process, but I don't want to get too mentally dragged down by them.'
This is a very healthy strategy, and I'm so pleased to hear Sota speak like that. I'm glad he is now taking the 'well, mistakes happen' approach. It sure looks like those mistakes would get under his skin in 2020/21, and also at Nationals 2021 and Challenge Cup 2022. Sota himself is saying in this interview he got too relaxed and unfocused for the Nationals FS so that balance is something to work on, but I wish the interview had tapped into the CC failure and why it happened. Was he too tired? Too relaxed again? Or maybe it was shortly after Higuchi told the Tokai students she was leaving the coaching team? Combined with no fans to cheer for him there? (my eternal regret) My personal impression is that Sota is a sensitive soul, and easily rattled, so I wouldn't be surprised.

- 'When I compete overseas, I have to spend a lot of money for accommodation and travel.'
This is very sad to hear. So JSF has the authority to send or not send skaters to overseas competitions (probably with the exception of GP), eventhough the skaters themselves pay for it, or most of it, out of their own pocket...

- I have my fingers crossed for Sota for Japanese Nationals, good to hear he considers them the key point of his season. He shouldn't stress too much over it though. Sometimes what we desperately want slips through our fingers, and the harder we try, the more it gets away.

- I wish JSF wasn't making it so cruel and difficult for their skaters this season though. Sota only has one event abroad at the moment - one chance to get a new SB. Pretty much any other nationality gets more chances. It's really disgusting of JSF to be making his life so difficult and stressing him out needlessly (and not just him, but other boys and girls with only 1 GP and nohing more). It's not like they'd go bankrupt if they sent their top 10 to CS.

- ETA, Chukyo Uni Skating department reports Sota gave an interview for Asahi Shinbun - https://twitter.com/SKATE_chukyo/status/1564618351875616796 I think this is a major newspaper along with Mainichi, right? Well, so many interviews, so much interest, and no CS? Come on JSF :pray:
 
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rRainbow

On the Ice
Joined
Oct 22, 2018
Country
Japan
So JSF has the authority to send or not send skaters to overseas competitions (probably with the exception of GP), eventhough the skaters themselves pay for it, or most of it, out of their own pocket...
I'm only guessing but it appears JSF pays for their skaters' travel and accommodation expenses when they send them overseas as they represent Japan, but each skater has to pay for the accompanying coach's expenses.
 

rRainbow

On the Ice
Joined
Oct 22, 2018
Country
Japan
The last installment of the Sota interview series by Mi-molle is 20 Questions for Sota.
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20 Questions to Get to Know Figure Figure Sota Yamamoto "The first thing I do when I wake up is sleep the second time (laughs)."

Sota Yamamoto has told us a lot about where he is now as an athlete. In the final installment, we asked him to show us the face of "Sota Yamamoto," not as an athlete, but as an ordinary university student.

He likes Häagen-Dazs and "Terrace House" (t/n: a Japanese reality TV show) and is a big fan of Aimyon. He has a different side to him than the graceful skating he shows on the ice, which makes me want to root for him even more!

Eating Häagen-Dazs before going to bed is a blissful time for me!

--What is the first thing you do when you wake up?

Fall asleep again. I close my eyes thinking I have 10 minutes left, and then an hour passes in a second. By the way, I went back to sleep again today (laughs).

--What do you love to buy at convenience stores?

Hmmm. I wonder. I really like eating sweets, so I often buy ice cream. You can buy it at convenience stores or anywhere, like Haagen-Dazs. I like their not-too-large portions and heavy, rich taste. I often buy Cookies & Cream flavor.

--Do you like to accumulate points?

I don't earn points very often. When I shop, I have some QUO cards that I received as a gift, so I usually just use one. If I'm told that the balance on the first card has been used up, I just take out another QUO card (laughs).

--What do you do right before going to bed?

I eat Haagen-Dazs. Eating Haagen-Dazs in my room is my most favorite time of the day. After I get out of the bath and dry my hair, I go to the freezer to get a Häagen-Dazs. I'm into aromatherapy right now, and when I turn on the aroma diffuser in my room, the lights come on. I turn off the room lights, and the light from the aroma diffuser creates a nice atmosphere. Eating Haagen-Dazs while watching a drama or movie on my computer is a very blissful moment for me.

-What is your favorite aroma scent?

I don't know much about it since it was given to me, but I use an aroma brand called "Aesop. There are many different scents, so I enjoy being able to change it up depending on my mood.

-- to be cont'd --
 
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rRainbow

On the Ice
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Oct 22, 2018
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Japan
2 of 3 https://mi-mollet.com/articles/-/37779?page=2

The song I listen to right before competition is "Marigold" by Aimyon.

--What LINE stamps do you use most often?

I don't use many stamps. Basically, I don't end conversations with stamps. I end a conversation with a complete sentence. So, if I do use a stamp, I prefer one that is funny. There are some funny stamps, like a caterpillar rolling around, that I like and use often.

--Do you tend to leave LINE messages as read without replying to them?

No, not at all. On the contrary, I don't want to leave any messages without replying to them. I read the message when it comes in, reply to it as soon as possible, and when I feel that I've done what I need to do, I end the message quickly.

--What is the entertainment content that you are addicted to?

Terrace House! I got into it about five or six years ago. The show had been on before that, so I was a little late, but I was hooked all at once. There are up to the 5th series, and after I watch all of them, I start re-watching from the 1st series again, which has been an eternal loop for the past 6 years now (laughs).

I like the atmosphere of the show. It's not like a movie where you have to watch the whole thing in a concentrated way. It's nice to just relax and watch the life of each person.

Personally, I really like the Hawaii episodes. I especially liked Guy-kun (Guy Sato). He is a professional surfer, but I liked the gap between his usual relaxed attitude and when he was surfing!

--What are your favorite songs to listen to before competition?

I think they are the songs by Aimyon. "Marigold" is definitely a must for brightening up my mood before a competition. Before going out there to perform or the 6-minute warmup, I listen to "Marigold" to lift my spirits.

At Starbucks, I order a Green Tea Cream Frappuccino with Chocolate Chips!

--What is your favorite Starbucks drink?

Matcha (green tea) Cream Frappuccino with Chocolate Chip! About 10 years ago, Kazuki (Tomono) and I went to Starbucks for the first time, and I ordered a Matcha Cream Frappuccino with Chocolate Chip added, which is still my favorite drink. There are many other drinks that I have never tried, and once a new one comes out, I drink it, but in the end I keep coming back to this drink, or rather, it has always been my absolute favorite.

--What is your favorite sushi item?

It's a typical popular one, chutoro (medium fatty tuna).

--What is your favorite flavor of ramen?

Tonkotsu ramen, I guess. When I want to eat ramen, I want to eat junk food. So I tend to order ramen with a lot of pork fat and garlic, rather than light soy sauce or salt.

--What kind of dressing do you put on your salad?

I tend to go for Caesar. I also like Cobb salad.

--To what extent are you able to eat out alone?

I often go out alone, or rather, I go out alone 80% to 90% of the time, so I can go to yakiniku by myself without any problem.

--What do you always have in your refrigerator?

Yogurt. I definitely eat yogurt in the morning. I put raisins in yogurt, and I also like bananas, so sometimes I put bananas in yogurt. After mixing them together, I pour honey on it and eat it as my morning routine. I like to drink hot tea with it.

--What is the last dish you want to eat before you die?

I want something junky. So I guess MacDonald's. Recently, my favorite is Samurai Mac. I am an athlete, but sometimes I have a craving for it. Of course, I am trying to keep my diet under control, but I believe that if you hold back too much, you will explode. When I feel the urge to eat something, I let my intuition guide me and eat as if it is nourishment for my mind rather than nourishment for my body (laughs).

- to be cont'd -
 

rRainbow

On the Ice
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Oct 22, 2018
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Japan
3 of 3 https://mi-mollet.com/articles/-/37779?page=3&per_page=1

I want to be a skater all the way.

--Who would you like to meet most right now?

Not so much one person, but my skating buddies. They are my big emotional support.

--So it is not Aimyon (laughs).

(Startled) That's it! I'll go with that one. I went to her concert for the first time the other day, and as an ordinary college student, I can say that she was really cute (embarrassed), so I would like to go see her perform again.

--If you could switch places for one day, who would it be?

Ummm. That would also be Aimyon-san (laugh). I am not a very good singer, so I would like to have a nice singing voice like Aimyon-san's. I also want to find a hobby, and I wish I could play the guitar, but I haven't been able to get into it yet. So, I would love to be Aimyon-san and play the guitar like she does.

--If you received 1 million yen out of the blue, what would you spend it on?

I would like to travel alone to a nice bed and breakfast inn with a sauna. A place with rich nature would be nice. I would ask sauna expert Kazuki to recommend a sauna for me. I heard that Finland is the birthplace of saunas. I have been to Finland for a competition, but I was not comfortable with the sauna at that time. I would like to experience the authentic sauna next time I visit Finland.

-- So, here's my last question. If you weren't a skater, what would you want to do?

Hmmm. I really don't have a specific one. I would like to be a skater. I want to keep being on the ice. Even if I were reborn, I would like to be involved in skating. I can't imagine myself not being a skater. I want to be a skater all the way.

-- END --
 

surimi

Congrats to Sota, #10 in World Standings!
Record Breaker
Joined
Nov 12, 2013
Congrats to Sota! 💐 He gets to be with his buddy Kazuki in both GP! :D (Sota can hardly do an interview without mentioning Kazuki, I see - how very like me whenever I talk of skating, and usually bring up Sota somehow :LOL: )

I'm pleased to see that the test skates in July were not just for show, and that it really looks like they chose the one who was in the best shape, which was Sota. Heaven knows he's had enough time to prepare meticulously, not having had any shows. -_-
So, Sota's NHK streak continues! I hope he can capitalize on his skills this time, and get into the top 6! :pray:

I also hope he doesn't get hate from some hypothetical disappointed Kao fans. It's not his fault he was picked for NHK. It's rather JSF's fault for not assigning Kao to a GP straight away, either to the UK or to Finland. I'm quite sure JSF would have picked Kao for NHK if he skated better than Sota in the summer, as Sota has an unfortunate history of never being higher than 6th at NHK. (a curse I hope he manages to break this year)

Now, Austria and Warsaw are out of the question for Sota. If he's not at Nepela or Finlandia, my chances of seeing him this year are zero. 😱 :oops: 📿 The anxiety is killing me... :dbana:
 

rRainbow

On the Ice
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Oct 22, 2018
Country
Japan
If he's not at Nepela or Finlandia, my chances of seeing him this year are zero.
Sorry, I hate to disappoint you, but Nepela is not on the JSF's event schedule and Finlandia is listed as backup/tentative (予備試合). So it appears that for whatever reason JSF isn't sending any skaters to Nepela and so far hasn't decided on Finlandia yet.

I hope this video of his 4F lifts your spirit, or does it make you more nervous? https://twitter.com/i/status/1565254218193444864
 
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surimi

Congrats to Sota, #10 in World Standings!
Record Breaker
Joined
Nov 12, 2013
Sorry, I hate to disappoint you, but Nepela is not on the JSF's event schedule and Finlandia is listed as backup/tentative (予備試合). So it appears that for whatever reason JSF isn't sending any skaters to Nepela and so far hasn't decided on Finlandia yet.

I hope this video of his 4F lifts your spirit, or does it make you more nervous? https://twitter.com/i/status/1565254218193444864

I know Nepela's not on their list, I'm just hoping against hope that someone in JSF shows some mercy towards their skaters, and assign last minute without prior indication.
Anyhow, I'd agree the chance of Sota at Finlandia is quite slim (and I'm super dejected), considering JSF had done Kao dirty by not giving him a GP, and might want to appease him by something he might win easily (though JunHwan and Deniss haven't been assigned yet, and they're a force to be reckoned with). Plus Sena only has one GP, and he was 4th at 4CC, so I wouldn't be surprised if it was these two at Finlandia. And either Rino or Mai. Yuck, I hate JSF's cherrypicking of their skaters... some go, some cannot...

Sota will have to really get his act together for the GP. The Russians are absent and so is the strongest USA trio, but NHK and IDF are no walk in the park for a skater without big medals and reputation. Shoma, Yuma, Kazuki, JunHwan, Matteo, Aymoz, twice Fa... plus Gogolev and Boyang may be in great shape. It's a double-edged sword, these two GP for Sota. Which is why I wasn't as jubilant as I might have been if he'd also had a Challenger under his belt. The likelihood of getting great points in the strong fields of GP is lesser than of getting great points in the well spread out, and thereby weaker, Challenger fields, so skaters with 1 GP + 1 Challenger could well get more points overall than those with 2 GP and no Challenger. I still hate JSF.

Re. 4F, knowing me, what do you think? :biggrin: I am praying that the titanium in his foot is strong enough to handle this. Sota's like Yuzuru in this, if he sets his mind on something, I doubt there's anyone out there who could make him change his mind.
 

surimi

Congrats to Sota, #10 in World Standings!
Record Breaker
Joined
Nov 12, 2013
So, it's official, no Japanese at Finlandia. I knew that deep down. All countries except China and Japan were sending to CS. Japan only sent a handful of random names. No other CS will be coming Sota's way, due to GP overlap.

All of 2022 is ruined now for me, first covid restrictions so no Challenge Cup, and now JSF and their shameful conduct. And for the rest of the season, I'm doomed to read Japanese fans' happy squealing on Twitter about how lovely NHK, Nationals, Chubu regionals was, and how they cheered for Sota. Yay, yay, good for them. In the meantime, I'll be drowning here in helpless fury.

Sota will have to work double hard. There'll be no other chance for him to get a new season's best than the bloodbath that's GP.
I have said it many times, and I'll just reiterate it: I. Hate. JSF.
 

rRainbow

On the Ice
Joined
Oct 22, 2018
Country
Japan
JSF has announced that all regionals and East/West sectionals will be held without audience. So, no cheers from the audience. Let me join the "I. Hate. JSF" club.

Only 3 male senior skaters will be at the Chubu, while up to 6 can pass, so all Chubu senior boys will move on to the West Sectionals.
Sota's SP planned layout: https://www.jsfresults.com/National/2022-2023/fs_j/block4/data0103.htm
Click the name of the skater to see the planned content.
1 4T+3T Quad. Toeloop+Triple Toeloop
2 4S Quad. Salchow
3 FCSp Flying Camel Spin
4 3A Triple Axel
5 CSSp Change Foot Sit Spin
6 StSq Step Sequence
7 CCoSp Change Foot Combo Spin
 

surimi

Congrats to Sota, #10 in World Standings!
Record Breaker
Joined
Nov 12, 2013
There's a Nagoya TV (it's the same as 'Metere', right?) segment on Sota in the Dou Desu ka show, a clip can be seen here: https://twitter.com/MIZUHARU9/status/1572338158523809792 It seems to feature Yuzuru as well, and Sota reassured us that he admires Yuzuru. Good boy ☺️

Also, there's a Sota interview here from the training camp, though it seems the content is the same as what's been featured in this thread after the camp: https://twitter.com/MIZUHARU9/status/1572338158523809792 It starts at 7:02.
 

surimi

Congrats to Sota, #10 in World Standings!
Record Breaker
Joined
Nov 12, 2013
Sota scored 94.12 in his SP in Chuubu regionals today. He landed all of 4T3T, 4S and 3A. All levels 4 but the final lv2 spin. Well done! 🌹 Some are saying that he was criminally underscored on PCS, and frankly, I'm not surprised. How hopeless it must feel for him, to skate so well at this point, and be deprived of both international competitions until November, and now of fans' live support as well.

I wish him the best in the FS tomorrow. Sota is going for the 4F, which only makes me worried. Apparently, Sota said in an interview he has injured his right leg or foot while practicing the 4Lz or 4F. That's what I was afraid of, that he'll desperately try to please the unrateful JSF, and get injured in the process. He should just give up a part of those planned quads to protect his leg/foot. Chubu points mean nothing, especially not to biased JSF. It's the GP scores that will matter, and he needs to stay healthy till November to score well there. I know he's stubborn and go for that blasted 4F because he's spoken for a good while about it... but I really wish he wouldn't. Save him somehow, Coach Yamada! :pray: 📿 🦶

Btw, here's Sota's video: https://drive.google.com/file/d/11OBFM5il8aZrS9fw6q7rk0qYbXE-3ZiY/view
It's very satisfying to see how nicely Yamada treats him. And it's super ironic to watch him sit in the KnC waiting for a low result while 'Winner Takes It All' is playing. Oh the irony... 🤡

And protocols: https://www.jsfresults.com/National/2022-2023/fs_j/block4/data0103.pdf
 

rRainbow

On the Ice
Joined
Oct 22, 2018
Country
Japan
Sota's interviews after SP, Chubu:
In the Men's Short Program (SP) Sota Yamamoto who had won the Gensan Summer Cup in August, came out on top with 9.4.12 points. He made a spectacular 4T3T at the beginning of the program, followed by a 4S and a 3A. Both quadruple jumps were given two points range of GOE.

After the performance, he commented, "In terms of points, I am a little short of my goal of 100 points. Personally I feel disappointed," he said, not satisfied with his clean performance. This season, "I have been able to consistently give a mistake-free performance (in SP) in competitions. I want to aim for 100 points from now, and to perform perfectly in jumps, spins, and steps," he expressed his ambition to make it to the 100-point mark.

In the Free Skate on the 25th, he plans to try a quadruple flip, which he has learned for this season. At last month's Gensan Summer Cup, he won the FS with two types of quadruple, a toeloop and a salchow. This time, he intends to try a new quadruple jump, saying, "I hope I can grasp something by trying a flip."

In addition, he has been trying the quadruple Lutz in practice since last month. He revealed that he has a slight right foot injury from practicing the difficult jumps, but "I have been taking good care of it and training and practicing well. I would like to spend the season trying to improve myself as much as possible rather than focusing on recovery," said Yamamoto. He is determined to make his first appearance at the Olympics in Milan-Cortina d'Ampezzo in 2026, which is his long-cherished dream.

This program "Yesterday" was performed for the second season in a row. He landed all jumps from the opening 4T3T, to the following 4S, to the final 3A.

But he was not satisfied. "I was able to put it all together, but I didn't quite reach my goal of 100 points. I feel frustrated. I will keep my eyes on the target score and practice hard for the next competition," he reflected.

At the Gensan Summer Cup in August, which he won, he scored 95.15 points. Although his score was high, he regretted that he did not reach the big mark, and said, "I went for a safe performance. I think the cluster of steps (combination of three turns on one foot) was a bit shallow, or the spins were not rotated enough to score points. I want to look at the protocol and reflect on the details," he said.

As he said, her last spin was level 2, but that is where he has room to improve. "I hope to get closer to 100 points as the season progresses. I will aim for a perfect performance in jumps, spins, steps, everything. But last season, I was targeting 90 points in SP with one quad, and now I'm aiming for 100 points with two. Compared to last season, I feel my level has improved," he also said.

On the other hand, he also revealed that he had been suffering from an injury.

I hurt my right metatarsal (bones connecting the ankle with the toes) while practicing flips and Lutz," he said. "But I will continue to take care of it and to practice, and I hope this season will lead to my growth rather than just healing."

As for Lutz, he said, "I started practicing in August. I had tried it once when I was in high school, but at that time, I could not fully rotate at all. But after a long time since then, I tried it seriously, and I had the feeling that I could jump on a straight up axis. While practicing it (4Lutz), I will focus on the flip this season for now. In the future, I would like to jump a variety of jumps."

Challenges are enriching his body and mind. "I really enjoy skating now. Practice is tough, but I want to give a good performance in competition, so I practice. Recently, I don't have a feeling of suffering, but just want to improve myself. Having an injury on my right foot, which I land on in practice for technically more difficult jumps, is also a path that I have to go through. I think it is my destiny to have a little injury, so tomorrow (FS), I would like to challenge the flips well," he added, feeling fulfilled.
 

KiraraChin

Medalist
Joined
May 5, 2018
Thank you, rRainbow! However... He's practising quad flips and lutzes while injured? Sota, what are you doing? 😱
He hasn't even landed a quad flip in competition yet, I think he should focus on this first, instead of adding the quad lutz to it...
 

surimi

Congrats to Sota, #10 in World Standings!
Record Breaker
Joined
Nov 12, 2013
Good luck in the free, Sota! :pray: Don't get those instep bones hurt further. I don't care about the score anymore, it's just Chubu, noone abroad will learn about it, that's guaranteed. But I do want Sota to be healthy, and to skate well at those comps (GP) that DO matter.
 
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