Sota Yamamoto | Page 73 | Golden Skate

Sota Yamamoto

surimi

Congrats to Sota, #10 in World Standings!
Record Breaker
Joined
Nov 12, 2013
Brief update through an article about Sota at NHK, as it features a snippet of what he was saying after the FS (no idea if it was at the press conference, or in the KnC interviews): https://mainichi.jp/articles/20221120/k00/00m/050/004000c
Unsurprisingly, he says he's found mistakes to work on, and he also adds a reason for those mistakes - 緊張していたし、結果を考えながらの演技になってしまった . Looks like he was nervous and started thinking about results during his performance. Which is a bad thing to do for any skater. I guess the success with the opening 4S made him too hopeful and made him calculate if he could maybe beat Shoma and get in the GPF. You can see little mistakes creeping in both subsequent jump passes, and then there were the axels and the miscalculated combo (wouldn't a 2F or 2Lo have worked better?) It seemed to me he got his nerves under control when the 3-jump-combo came up, but by then, it was too late. Oh well, it turned out for the better this time, but it's a valuable lesson for Sota. To avoid overthinking and just do the jumping passes mechanically, with just enough focus for the timing and keeping his body and feet tightly wrapped.
He also says he needs to practice 3A constantly to avoid mistakes on them. Well, I just hope he doesn't overdo it with the frequency. They work just fine in the SP, so maybe it's more about his mindset for the FS than about the jump as such.

Also, Sota will do his next Unlim talkshow tomorrow. I hope he enjoys it.
 

yesterday

Record Breaker
Joined
Jul 8, 2022
Nothing really new, but some quotes from Shoma and Sota regarding each other from NHK:

Uno praised the work ethic of Sota Yamamoto after his second-place finish here. Yamamoto attends Chukyo University outside Nagoya like Uno once did.

"I have seen Sota train every day, and during training he puts on a very good performance," Uno remarked. "Because he trains so well, he is able to put on a good performance in the competition. And although he made some mistakes in the jumps, he had two quads today and I just know that his potential is growing more and more."

Uno went on to say that he was happy that he, Kao Miura and Yamamoto would all be going to the Grand Prix Final together next month in Turin, Italy.

"I am encouraged that Kao, Sota and myself will all go to the Final together. Because I am the eldest, I would like to be a good role model as well."Shoma Uno
The 22-year-old Yamamoto confessed that he was just trying to stay close to Uno in the final standings here.

"During juniors I had the pleasure to go to the Grand Prix with Shoma, and also competed with him in the [JGP] Final. But since being in seniors, I have not been able to put out any track record in the Grand Prix series," Yamamoto said Saturday.

"Of course, I am really happy that we get to compete together and will be at the Final. This time around my goal was to finish as close as possible to Shoma and I was able to do that. I also got the ticket to the Final, so that makes me happy."
Source: https://featured.japan-forward.com/...oma-uno-shows-why-he-is-a-cut-above-the-rest/
 

surimi

Congrats to Sota, #10 in World Standings!
Record Breaker
Joined
Nov 12, 2013
Nice to hear Shoma's assessment of Sota.
Here's one more article, free but only available to people who log in (which doesn't include me): https://hochi.news/articles/20221123-OHT1T51202.html?page=1 According to their preview on Twitter, Sota says he's relieved rather than happy at his NHK result. Just guessing, but I would say he's still very tense in competitions, feeling that he only has limited chances for SB and points (unlike European skaters, who can choose from so many events). That could well contribute to stress-related mistakes, and not just for him.

Sota's Unlim talk with fans went well, and he mostly focused on NHK and France GP, speaking about moments with Kazuki and Shoma, and about his competition mindset. (man, I'd love to hear that!)

ETA, I've just realized that at this moment, Sota still holds the highest SP score of this season! :drama: :love:
 
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surimi

Congrats to Sota, #10 in World Standings!
Record Breaker
Joined
Nov 12, 2013
Not much going on in Sota-land at the moment, except he apparently gave an interview in Chukyo a week or so ago, but the contents haven't been published yet, AFAIK:

I suppose Sota is on his way to Torino now, as the men's SP is on Thursday. I don't expect him to podium there, but I really hope he skates carefully to prepare for Nationals, and gets a new SB. A score of over 260 should be enough to keep him in GP contention next season.

It really is a disgrace that he's not guaranteed a GP next season, despite having qualified for GPF and medaling twice. The ISU should really work on this. What if the GP medalist's federation is as mean as JSF is now, and doesn't send him to any other events to get points for WS? What if the skater gets injured and is out for the rest of the season? IMO, GP medalists should automatically get at least one GP spot in the upcoming season. As it is, lower performing European/US skaters are rewarded for attending many events if they get points, while Japanese skaters like Sota are at a huge disadvantage.

I want Sota's main concern to be Nationals, not GPF. He can afford to be last at GPF, but he cannot afford to make many mistakes at Nationals, hence he needs to preserve enough energy for Nationals and not go all out in Torino. Just enough to be as clean as possible, but no 4F and such please. There are some points for GPF to substitute one of his earlier GP points, but the 2 'other international events' columns still remain woefully empty, thanks to JSF's unfair ways. He really needs a new SB, over 260 this time, to get a head start on the Europeans and Americans who will no doubt get several more chances. Sota has this one last chance, and getting the new SB should be his only goal for GPF. GPF only matters from the SB perspective, but JNats matter so much more, and opens the door to more assignments. Fingers crossed for him to be clean-ish but not exhausted 🤞
 

surimi

Congrats to Sota, #10 in World Standings!
Record Breaker
Joined
Nov 12, 2013
It looks like Sota was practising his FS today:


Well done, Sota, but please don't overdo it and keep your energy+strength for Nationals :pray:

I'm sorry I can't be there to cheer for Sota in person. -_-

This seems to be Sota's mottos - 'I live to skate'?

Sota on his way to GPF, a couple of days ago:
 

surimi

Congrats to Sota, #10 in World Standings!
Record Breaker
Joined
Nov 12, 2013
Well done once more, Sota! I watched live and didn't regret it... well I never do, anyways. Now I hope he can rest thoroughly and try to skate as clean as possible on Saturday. At this point, it's just a fun game for points. A score of 260+ would be really good for him, heading into Nationals. He was able to get it, and even 270+, in the summer, so I wonder if he can refresh himself and reach that score again. The competitions are coming up fast for him, but he'll have to pace his stamina well for Nationals. I want him to go 100% in Torino, just to test if he can skate the FS clean, but not even half a percent more. He shouldn't try to match the multi-quad jumpers, as the time is not right for that yet.
 

surimi

Congrats to Sota, #10 in World Standings!
Record Breaker
Joined
Nov 12, 2013
Good luck to Sota today! My wishlist:
- combined score over 260 if possible, please.
- healthy satisfied Sota, no painful insteps or ankles.
- axels with legs a bit tighter, they were a bit bent again in the SP slow-mo, maybe that's what he's struggling with, like Ted said at NHK.
- Sota not giving more than 100%, and preserving his stamina for Nationals.

Sota's 3A from FS practice:

It looks good here, but practice and competition are two different things, so my :pray: for Sota's competition axels now.

Sota's FS runthrough today:

His axels seem fine, but some quad issues to compensate ;) But as competition can be radically different, I don't think Sota should be perturbed over it. At all.
 

yesterday

Record Breaker
Joined
Jul 8, 2022
Good luck to Sota today! My wishlist:
- combined score over 260 if possible, please.
- healthy satisfied Sota, no painful insteps or ankles.
- axels with legs a bit tighter, they were a bit bent again in the SP slow-mo, maybe that's what he's struggling with, like Ted said at NHK.
- Sota not giving more than 100%, and preserving his stamina for Nationals.

Sota's 3A from FS practice:

It looks good here, but practice and competition are two different things, so my :pray: for Sota's competition axels now.

Sota's FS runthrough today:

His axels seem fine, but some quad issues to compensate ;) But as competition can be radically different, I don't think Sota should be perturbed over it. At all.

all points ✅ , right? 🙂
 

surimi

Congrats to Sota, #10 in World Standings!
Record Breaker
Joined
Nov 12, 2013
Late to the party, but big congrats to Sota on his silver! I think it's a fantastic achievement. I was just hoping Sota would finally get a GP podium result this year as he wanted, and here he walks off with not one, but three medals. I'm happy for him.

I am hoping his result will grant him a GP or two next season, no matter what happens from now on. I looked at the SB list, and he's 3rd, after Shoma and Ilia! I suppose he may not stay there long as there are other high-scoring men like Kao, Kazuki, Shun, JunHwan, Aymoz and others who can overtake Sota's score at either EC/4CC and WC, but with 274, he can still land in the top 12 SB score. 🤞

I loved Sota's gala. I'd say he's testing his expression for possibly a new program next season. He was already considering Spanish-themed music this season. Perhaps next year.

May Sota rest well and get the excitement out of his system before Nationals in less than two weeks. He'll need confidence and focus there, but I'm hoping the recent results have boosted his confidence enough for him to trust himself from now on. If he skated the FS clean now, he can do it again if healthy and with a good mindset.

A brief video with some commentary on his FS, and a bit of his post-FS interview: https://twitter.com/southhill110/status/1602061841101860864
He says he might have fistpumped a tad too much (gritting my teeth at the tactless folks who made it a point to trumpet their complaints online). He also says he'll aim for raising his level further. I trust his team to convince him that the best way to raise his scores is simply going clean for a while, as 4F and the like do *not* pay off until you land them consistently and clean. Just look at Grassl's FS and how it was received by the judges. The same scoring would happen to Sota if he included 4F now. Better play it safe, and an increase in points is sure to come, to bring him closer to the 100-point SP he dreams of.
 

surimi

Congrats to Sota, #10 in World Standings!
Record Breaker
Joined
Nov 12, 2013
An article about Sota and Kazuki and their strategies for Japanese Championships: https://www.fnn.jp/articles/-/458474
Nice quotes from both boys!
Sota's highlights-
- "If one took figure skating away from me, there would really be nothing left"... yes, he's already said he lives to skate. ;)
- "So far, I can't honestly say it's going well, and I still have to live every day thinking about my leg." - at Chubu regionals 2017 as he was returning to competition with single jumps.
- he enjoys daily practice now, and attributes his recent success mostly to training hard
- he wants to 'revenge' and fix his results from last year at Nationals. He'd like to skate both SP and FS well there, like he did in GPF.
- Kazuki says Sota's presence motivates him to get better
 
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rRainbow

On the Ice
Joined
Oct 22, 2018
Country
Japan
Number Web article on Sota: https://number.bunshun.jp/articles/-/855789

Sota Yamamoto clenched his right fist many times during his performance. From "one rotation jumps" in his fresh start to the silver at the GP Finals: "I was so happy to have made it through each and every one of them and it just came out."

Many times, he clenched his right fist. During the performance, after each jump, and after finishing the performance.

After the finishing pose, he also tapped the ice several times.

View all photos (91 photos)
[Photos] He repeatedly tapped the ice with his right fist... The result of his hard work on the big stage, and the emotional performance


It was no wonder that his emotions were undeniably bared. It was a moment of overcoming challenges, and more than anything, considering his athletic career up to this point, his behavior gave even deeper meaning to the moment.

The 3A Wall That He Challenged in His First Finals

At the Grand Prix Finals held in Turin, Italy, from December 8 to 10, Sota Yamamoto won the silver medal.

In the Grand Prix Series, he was 2nd in both France and NHK Trophy, and this was the first time for him to advance to the Finals.

In the short program "Yesterdays", he made all the jumps and came in 2nd place going into the free skate. In contrast to the short program, where he had shown a stable performance, in the free program, he had made mistakes in jumps both in France and at the NHK Trophy. In particular, his triple axel was a wall for him.

His free skate was Rachmaninov's "Piano Concerto No. 2". After the first successful 4S, he followed with a 4T-3T, then a 4T, making three quadruple jumps. So far, it was no different from the NHK Trophy.

But the difference was from here: at the NHK Trophy, he had failed both the triple Axel combination which was the last jump pass of the first half, and the first triple Axel of the second half. On this day, however, he succeeded in the first triple Axel combo. He landed the next triple Axel as well, although it was marked with a "q", indicating a quarter of a revolution short. He clenched his right fist.

The Reason Why He Clenched His Right Fist Again and Again

After the last jump, he shook his right fist. He seemed happy to show his best performance of the season on this stage, with no falls or other big mistakes.

His 179.49 points in free skate and 274.35 points in total were both his best scores.

-- to be cont'd to page 2 --
 

rRainbow

On the Ice
Joined
Oct 22, 2018
Country
Japan
page 2 of 3 https://number.bunshun.jp/articles/-/855789?page=2

“I have not been able to perform well in FS this season, so I was so happy that I could finally show what I have been practicing for this competition. I had set a podium finish as one of my goals, so I am very happy about it.

As for his right fist, which he clenched many times, he said,

"Each jump is very important, so I think my joy of overcoming the challenge of each jump came out during the competition.

His right fist, clenched tightly as if feeling the positive response after overcoming each jump, seemed to symbolize the fruition of Yamamoto's progress to date, not limited to the jumps of this day.

Seven Years Ago He Told Us of His Dream: “To Win a Gold Medal” at the Beijing Olympics

Yamamoto has been a figure skating sensation from early on.

In the 2014-2015 season, when he was a junior high school student, he won a silver medal at the Junior Grand Prix Finals and a bronze medal at the World Junior Championships. In a competition the following season, he already succeeded in a quadruple toeloop. With his skating skills, he had a promising future ahead of him.

When he was in his first year of high school, he said of his aspirations:

"I want to win a gold medal at the Olympics. That is the reason I started skating, and it is also my dream. My first goal is to compete in Pyeongchang in 2018, and then I would like to fulfill my dream at the Beijing Olympics in 2022.

Considering the results he achieved in the competitions and the potential his performances showed, this was not an exaggerated dream.

However, an accident occurred toward the end of his freshman year in high school. In March 2016, he broke his right ankle while practicing a triple Axel.

For the First Time His Heart Was Broken: “A Series of Injuries” and a “Long Recovery”

In May, he returned to the ice, but in July and October, he suffered two fatigue fractures of the ankle on the inside of his right ankle during a triple axel practice. He was forced to take a long rest. "My heart broke off for the first time," he said. "It was painful to walk, and I was on crutches, so I thought about not going to college and getting a job."

-- to be cont'd to the last page --
 

rRainbow

On the Ice
Joined
Oct 22, 2018
Country
Japan
Last page: https://number.bunshun.jp/articles/-/855789?page=3

But his desire to skate didn't break, and he started over at the 2017 Chubu Regional Championships with a single jump-only composition. From there, he took time to regain her jumps and skating.

“Can I Still Improve?” “Is There a Future for Me?”

It was not an easy road for him. After finishing 9th at the 2020 National Championships, he said,

"In terms of my skating age, I am in the latter half of my career, and I'm thinking that I can only perform like this, and I wonder if I can still improve, and if there is a future for me."

Still, he managed to speak up.

"But I still want to continue. If that is the case, I have to work hard.

He has been moving forward, even though he sometimes stopped.

[photo] The exhibition "Poeta en el Mar" that he performed at the GP Finals. It means "Poet of the Sea" in Spanish.

"I hope I can get a little closer to the point where I can say that Shoma-kun's level is my goal.

Yamamoto's silver medal came in the free skate at the Grand Prix Finals, where Yamamoto overcame a problematic triple Axel to win the silver medal.

Uno Shoma, the winner, also did not hide his joy over Yamamoto's silver medal. They were on the podium at the 2014 Junior Grand Prix Finals, with Uno in first place and Yamamoto in second. They continue to train together in friendly competition.

"Shoma-kun has been getting stronger and stronger, and he has become my goal and inspiration. It took me a long time, but I think I got a little closer to the point where I can say I want to reach where he is, or something like that. I hope to work hard to improve myself with Shoma-kun as my target.

Then, he said,

"In this Final, I was really a challenger. I was not so nervous, and I was able to perform with all my heart. There are many great skaters at the National Championships, so I think I will forget about this result, and just do my best for the Nationals again."

As he has done in the past, overcoming hardships, Sota Yamamoto will continue to walk forward, one step at a time.
 
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