Sota Yamamoto | Page 71 | Golden Skate

Sota Yamamoto

rRainbow

On the Ice
Joined
Oct 22, 2018
Country
Japan
Guys, don't worry so much. Sota seems to be having second thoughts about adding a 4F, after the Chubu FS.

"I am pursuing perfection in my performance."

"Going into this competition, I wanted to challenge myself, so it was a good thing that I was able to try the (quadruple) flip.

After that, for the first time, I was able to put together four quad jumps except for the flip. The quad toeloop in the second half was not terrible, either.

It was a good thing that I could try four quads. From here on, I will go on to the Grand Prix Series, so I will try to pursue the perfection, re-evaluating my technical content so that I can make a performance that I can complete.

(As for the quadruple flip), if the success rate goes up, I will include it (in the layout), but this time I feel I didn't have to force it, because I think the spins and steps would have been evaluated higher if I had given a more solid performance with 3 quads. I think I can aim for a high score even with 3 quads, so I want to perfect the program without pushing too much.

First of all, my goal is to be on the podium of GP series. I hope to challenge firmly, and eventually, I have set my goal for All-Japan podium as well, so I hope to polish my program well."
 

KiraraChin

Medalist
Joined
May 5, 2018
Thank you, rRainbow! That's a relief. I mean I get it - he's had a couple of frustrating seasons and he wants to show commitment and ambition by upgrading his technical content. But training 4F + 4lz + 4 quads in the free while nursing an injury, however small, is A LOT. So I'm really glad to know he intends to go back to his 3 quad-layout, hope he ditches the 4lz practice too, it's not worth it at this point.

There is still more than a month before his first GP, so I hope he takes some time to heal nicely now🤞
 

surimi

Congrats to Sota, #10 in World Standings!
Record Breaker
Joined
Nov 12, 2013
Thanks for putting my mind more at ease, rRainbow!
Yeah, going for 'as clean as possible' sounds much better than risking those 4 quads. International judges don't like splats and stepouts, especially from skaters who have yet to earn their big medals. I mean, I just saw another skater's fanfest today, which was eerily similar - guy with previously broken ankle, now jumping 4 quads, I wonder if Sota got inspired. But it's not a good strategy IMO.

I'd say Sota's biggest task should be turning the tide and replicating that magical 270 point number he had in Minato Trophy. The 270-260-250 succession had better revert while there's still time... That should give him a SB high enough to grant him a GP next season no matter what happens afterwards - even if he messes up Nationals, even if JSF are total d-bags about assigning events next season, if he has a 260+, or even better, a 270+ SB, that could entitle him to a GP next year.

Lastly, I came here to share this photo. I'm totally unused to seeing Sota looking so tiny! 😯

FdgNOq6WIAI903L
 

rRainbow

On the Ice
Joined
Oct 22, 2018
Country
Japan
Fuji TV interview with Sota. It was recorded on Aug. 31, before Chubu. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jdsareN79nY

I've made a lot of failures over the various seasons, but I've learned a lot from those failures, and I'm gradually becoming more aware that I'm getting better, and I'm gradually gaining self-awareness and confidence. This season is just starting, so I hope I can show what I've been practicing since the beginning of the season.

How do I feel about things? I just enjoy skating, I don't think too much about competitions or results, I just enjoy skating now, so I'm purely enjoying my daily practice.

--You also did 4 Lutz in today's practice.
Yes, I did. I hadn't done it since I was in high school, and I was still in the first year or so of high school, so I didn't get it to rotate well at all. Today is the first time in a long time since then, or rather, the first time in a long time, that I have tried quad Lutz, and I have got a good feel for it, even though it has been a long time. I hope to try not only the flip but also Lutz from here on.

--Please look back on last season's Olympic year.
Last year, of course, I thought I had made some progress in the All-Japan last season, but in the free skate, although I was able to improve my level of consistency in the short program last year, I ended the season with a less-than-complete free skate. So, I would like to make the most of my mistakes and experiences, and this season, of course, the short program is important, but I will focus on the free skate, and I will practice hard on the free skate. I think all my past failures have become good lessons for me. I had a very good ranking in the short, but I realized once again that my performance in FS changed a lot, so I wanted to be stronger in FS after the All-Japan. So this year, I continue to skate the short, "Yesterday" but got a new FS, so I have worked hard on that FS this off-season, and I have practiced it since the beginning of the season, too, without stopping, and I would like to evolve further with new jumps such as the flip.

--Do you feel like you have to "just do it" beyond the feelings of frustration?
Hahaha, yes, there may be times when it is important to psyche myself up, but I felt through the season that the practice itself comes out in the performance, so this season, I am more focused on doing my best in practice rather than just trying to give it my all in competition.

--You have such a bone in your body, huh?
(Smiles and scratches his head) Hahaha!

--You were not the "diligent" type, but not in a bad way.
That's right (smiles and nods). There were times when I was able to do well in the competition, but that didn't happen consistently over the course of the season. After experiencing various seasons, I finally felt stable and felt that I performed in competition as I had practiced. So this season, in every competition, I have been able to perform as I practiced, without any kind of fluke. If anything, my competition performances are lower than in practice, so sometimes I make no mistakes in practice, but my actual performances are 70% to 80%. Therefore, I have practiced with the determination of giving it my 120% in practice, and I just wanted to show what I’ve got in competition, then this season I have been able to perform with no nervousness and relaxed as usual in the competition. I hope I can keep practicing with that kind of feeling throughout the season.

--What are your goals for the Chubu Regionals?
For now, I plan to do a quadruple flip in the regional competition, so I hope I can get a good feel for it. Well, I hope to get a good feeling about my program as the season starts, so that I can keep my mistakes to a minimum after doing the flip.

--So, you are not going to replace the Salchow with a flip, but rather, you are going to do four quadruples in three different types?
That's right, I have never done a quad in the second half, and by adding a flip, my Axel will be the last jump, so I think the second half of my performance will be more important than the first half with a flip. So I will have to strengthen my physical endurance, as well, to make sure that my performance will be good for 4 minutes.

--I feel that Sota Yamamoto's figure skating has become denser than ever before.
Well, (tilts his head) What is it? If you subtract figure skating from me, I really have nothing. I don't have many other hobbies, and I don't have many things I want to do. I really love skating so much that I can say skating is my hobby, so I really feel like it's my life, or I just do it because I love it. Now I am very fulfilled, I am practicing with great enthusiasm, so I hope this season will be the season to show something different about Sota Yamamoto.

--Cicadas are buzzing at the right time.
Hahaha, isn't it nice and typical of summer?
 

surimi

Congrats to Sota, #10 in World Standings!
Record Breaker
Joined
Nov 12, 2013
Thank you, Rainbow! ^ ^ I'm very happy to hear Sota enjoys skating again. He's born for it. Glad to hear he's looking for consistency, too. The hard jumps are not rewarded well if they're not super clean or the skater isn't established/famous already. Better play it safe to get points...

Sota's Unlim talkshow took place yesterday. He seems to have talked about his memories of the junior training camp in Nobeyama, about his new boots (I think they're still Jacksons), and may have mentioned he has to limit his sweets intake now that the season has started. (that was just my guess based on a vague Tweet)

One funny thing I observed while watching Chubu regionals video (linked in the OP): Has anyone else noticed how Sota starts moving towards his former coaches when he finishes his bows after the SP? He was skating in Howa, there were 'his' Howa coaches by the boards (they were there with Kimichika), so it looks like he had a momentary awareness blackout. He started spontaneously moving towards them, although the exit gate was open quite a distance away from them. Then he realized they're not his coaches anymore, nodded at them, and skated off in the correct direction. That scene cracked me up. It wouldn't be Sota without a funny or embarrassing moment each season. Last year, he was standing backwards on the podium, now this 😄

ETA, there is apparently a new Q&A segment on Sota (and one for Rika) by Hochi News? https://twitter.com/figure_hochi/status/1577195353631207424
 
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rRainbow

On the Ice
Joined
Oct 22, 2018
Country
Japan
Nagoya TV coverage on Sota's FS at Chubu: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ya9qToKPqvQ

-Highlights of free skate
I wanted to bring a program that really suited me rather than a new side of myself, so I listened to a lot of music and found this song, and of course there are some parts that build up, but they are rather few and the music is steady in rhythm and melody, flowing through to the end of the song. I hope I can perform it fluidly and without interruption until the very end.
0:34 [music & FS starts]
5:09 [score announcement]
5:38
–Looking back on your performance
In terms of challenge, it was good that I managed to rotate my 4F, and I am glad I challenged myself this time, as I kept my mistakes to a minimum.

--Challenging four quadruples
It was so demanding, and I think there were many things that I missed, such as my upper body and edge work were not deep enough, and these issues probably kept me from getting higher levels, so in that sense, my score didn't go high enough. I would like to review my performance more and more, to improve my perfection.
6:15
–Your enthusiasm for the Grand Prix Series
I would like to reduce my mistakes as much as possible in the next competition, so I would like to challenge myself to perfect my performance.
 
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rRainbow

On the Ice
Joined
Oct 22, 2018
Country
Japan
Nagoya TV report on Sota's SP at Chubu:

--Your goal for this season
I had the desire to compete in the Olympics last season, of course, but I also felt that my level at that time was not quite up to it. From this season, having experienced the frustrations of the past, I have been training to become stronger and stronger, so I hope to continue to improve more and more, rather than just in the first year after the Olympic season.
(Music & SP starts)
4:22
--After the performance
I had some jumps that I didn't have a good feel for in the 6 minutes warmup, so I was wondering how to adjust them in the 6 minutes, and I think I was able to make good adjustments for the competition, so I think I was able to show what I had practiced so hard.
4:43
--About the song you listen before the competition
Right before the competition, I always listen to Aimyon-san's "Marigold" before 6 minutes warmup or before the performance. I feel like it brightens up my mood or makes me feel like I'm going to break through when I listen to it, so I play Marigold right before the competition.
 

surimi

Congrats to Sota, #10 in World Standings!
Record Breaker
Joined
Nov 12, 2013

rRainbow

On the Ice
Joined
Oct 22, 2018
Country
Japan
No idea what Sota said, the video seemed geoblocked when I went to NHK website.
YouTube video of NHK Trophy press conference. Sota's part starts at 14:24.

Narumi: Sota-senshu, you have a lot of momentum, especially this year, but did something happen to trigger your momentum? You've always been great, but I feel as if you've blossomed into a rose even more than before. Please tell us.

Sota: Well, I had a very stable off-season, with stable mind and stable environment, and I had been able to practice a lot in the off-season, and it's still the beginning of the season, but I think it has helped me in those competitions. So, I hope I can do my best from this point on with the feeling that the Grand Prix Series starts and the season begins from now.

Narumi: Thank you very much. I have high expectations for you from now on. And Sota Yamamoto senshu's profile is so nice, the height of his nose, I think it's perfect. Oops, sorry.
 

rRainbow

On the Ice
Joined
Oct 22, 2018
Country
Japan
Tweet on Sota by Sakagami reporter, Asahi Newspaper: https://twitter.com/sakagamitak/status/1585065056248946688
Translation:
I have received a message from Yamamoto senshu.
This is a trivia, but Yamamoto senshu himself is wondering how to pronounce 草民 (t/n: Sota fans' self-proclaimed nickname). Is it "so-min," or "kusa-tami"? Is it "so-min" or "kusatami"? If you know, please let us know.

In response, a Sota fan shared the result of her poll taken in Nov. 2021.
くさみん(kusamin)........34%
くさたみ(kusatami)......25.2%
そうみん(So-min)..........38.8%
そうたみ(So-tami)...........1.9%

Translation of Sota's video message:
"My name is Sota Yamamoto. Thank you for your continued support. I will do my best to achieve a podium finish this season. Please continue to cheer for me this season."
 

rRainbow

On the Ice
Joined
Oct 22, 2018
Country
Japan
The article Sakagami referred to in his tweet is a paid article:

Translation of the part of the article not behind paywall:

He placed first in all of them: Minato AQULS Trophy in July, Gensan Summer Cup in August, and Chubu Regionals in September. Although it cannot be said that he has made no mistakes at all, it is safe to say that Sota Yamamoto (22) of Chukyo University is on a roll this figure skating season.

He has incorporated two types of quadruple, Salchow and toeloop, into his short program (SP), and he is equipped to compete with the world's top skaters.

His toeloop has been more stable than last season. The reason for this, he says, lies before he gets on the ice.

"Last season, I had not fully recovered from the injury on my left foot, and my quad toeloop was not stable. From this season, I have been training hard on the ground, first to build up my body to prevent injury, and then to further improve my skills, with a trainer at Chukyo University, who takes care of me 2 or 3 times a week. It has really led to my skating, and I think it is one of the keys to my growth."

He is also working on his third type of quadruple, flip. He attempted it at the Chubu Regionals, and though he didn't succeed, it was a challenge he took up because he was doing well.

If he can jump quadruple flip, he might be able to compete in FS with three kinds of quadruple, which would be a high-level content.
 

surimi

Congrats to Sota, #10 in World Standings!
Record Breaker
Joined
Nov 12, 2013
"Last season, I had not fully recovered from the injury on my left foot, and my quad toeloop was not stable. From this season, I have been training hard on the ground, first to build up my body to prevent injury, and then to further improve my skills, with a trainer at Chukyo University, who takes care of me 2 or 3 times a week. It has really led to my skating, and I think it is one of the keys to my growth."

He is also working on his third type of quadruple, flip. He attempted it at the Chubu Regionals, and though he didn't succeed, it was a challenge he took up because he was doing well.

If he can jump quadruple flip, he might be able to compete in FS with three kinds of quadruple, which would be a high-level content.

Thank you for translating the Sota contents!
Oh goodness, so we only learn of Sota's injury a year later... This boy is unbelievably secretive. :palmf: It makes one freak out inwardly, imagining what else might be going on, seeing as he actually *confessed* to having an instep injury this September?

And naturally, he's still obsessing over the 4F. No, it's not the type of content *all* top skaters use, dammit. Looking at skaters as tall as Sota (or taller), I have a hard time thinking of a skater who benefits from harder quads instead of clean and nice 4T, 4S, and all the rest. Grassl doesn't score all that high with his super hard content because they always dock GOE points from him, and he even lost with his layout to Sota with one quad last year. As for how to win medals with easier quads when clean, just ask Camden or JunHwan or Sadovsky...
 

surimi

Congrats to Sota, #10 in World Standings!
Record Breaker
Joined
Nov 12, 2013
Like Kazuki, Sota is also on his way to France: https://twitter.com/Aka08104963/status/1587276687154126848 My, does he look sleepy! I hope he can share the room with his buddy Kazuki.
No need to hide beneath caps and oversized jackets this time, boy, as myself and many other fans can't be in Angers... ;_; And I'm still guilt-ridden from that.

I ventured into the Predictions thread, to see some people place him on the podium, others disregarding him from the top 5 altogether... I have to say that place is very anxiety-inducing when Sota is competing. Precisely because I know he can end up literally anywhere between 1st and 12th :drama: I'm going to abstain from competition talk threads I think, to preserve my sanity.

Sota himself is doing his best to undermine my sanity by giving interviews like this one - https://twitter.com/junjunjun0024/status/1587224828423311361 It's Yahoo Japan and I'm in Europe, so I cannot access the article itself without VPN because of GDPR, but the message from the tweet sounds clear enough - he must practice quad flips and focus on stability to compete with the top. Good grief, I thought this kid was avidly following the sport enough to know that unless you're Malinin/Shoma/Kagiyama/Nathan himself, it's one or the other. He can't have both because quad flips bring about mistakes, for, like, 90% of those who jump them, and those lost points are costly. Sota, with his competition nerves, is especially vulnerable to costly mistakes, all the more so because he's not established as a reliable, GP-medaling skater. He needs to deal with that handicap first before even thinking of starting his FS with another epic splat on a 4F. 😖

Well, wishing Sota a safe flight for both himself and his luggage! :pray:
 

surimi

Congrats to Sota, #10 in World Standings!
Record Breaker
Joined
Nov 12, 2013
Sota's practice photos:



And his practice report: https://twitter.com/sno_owbal/status/1588464961126535168 It doesn't mention falls and SO, so not sure if he did so well or if the report just doesn't list the execution.
Here's also a FS practice video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zgGIjmgYl7I One splat, but otherwise very good! Still not a fan of the music, but Sota's skills are always such a delight to watch ❤️

Most people are excited over Kazuki and Fa, GS itself even praised Lee more than Sota in their practice reports, and I say let them. I hope Sota establishes his worth here. I wish I could finally see more posts from the general fans appreciate Sota's beautiful skating instead of just his looks.

Go, Sota, ganbatte! 🍀 :pray: :cheer2:
 

surimi

Congrats to Sota, #10 in World Standings!
Record Breaker
Joined
Nov 12, 2013
Really well done, Soochan! :clap: That's how you fight for medals. Now, if you can only remain iron-willed tomorrow, we'll be looking at a new personal best, which I would love! But he'll need to skate as clean as possible tomorrow. The PCS marks from the judges were clearly showing he's not yet established as a podium contender, but if he medals tomorrow, they'll finally notice him :pray: Praying on and cheering on for Sota to fight for, and grab, a medal 📿
I hope he can get a good night's rest now, and won't toss & turn all night, or start cleaning, or whatever it is he does when nervous. If nervous, I recommend doing whatever did the trick in Kokutai 2021 - a hot drink and a talk with a friend. :coffee:
 
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