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Thread: Preview of the World Championships: The Ladies

  1. #1

    Default Preview of the World Championships: The Ladies

    Since Nationals, Europeans, and Four Continents are over, we have a pretty good picture of what could happen at worlds. I want to break down the field for each discipline. The Ladies.

    Mao Asada: She is the reigning world champ, but she has had an up an down season. She lost to Joannie Rochette at Paris, won the Grand Prix final, but finished third at Four Continents. Her LP isn't a good match. But even with a so-so LP and inconsistency, she is still better than the rest of the field, except for one skater. Her erstwhile rival Yu Na Kim. These two are so evenly matched. Neither one has skated cleanly this season, both if both women can skate cleanly, it really is a toss-up. They are similiar in style, but each has an edge. Mao is better technically, while Yu-Na is better artistically, but the advantages are slight. The worlds will come down to the battle between these two. If both skate cleanly with no downgrades, and Mao lands both her triple axels, she will win, but it is unlikely that will happen. It will come down to which one skates cleaner.

    Yu Na Kim: She is on fire this season. Both her SP and LP are brillant. Her LP to Schererazade is beautiful and her SP to Danse Macrebe is powerful. She is skating better than Mao this season on the whole. She hasn't skated a clean LP, but her Schereazade is the better program to Mao's Masquerade Waltz. She is the slight favorite, but Worlds will come down to who skates cleaner. It will be another grand battle between Yu Na and Mao, whose rivalry is the best in ladies skating since Michelle vs. Irina. On this season's results Yu Na is in a better position to Mao, but between these two, it is too close to call.

    Carolina Kostner: She is fast, powerful, but very erratic, but her results don't reflect this since she is always near the top. I actually like her, but I have no doubts that she has been held up. If the battle will be between Mao and Yu Na for gold, Carolina should have a lock for bronze, even if she skates erratically. If either Mao or Yu Na make mistakes, she can win the silver like she did last season. It might not be right, but that is the reality of the situation. She is Speedy's girl.

    Miki Ando: I love the 2007 World Champ, but she is stuck between The grand two ladies and the mature skaters of Fumie and Joannie. She is a powerful, elegant skater, but she gets downgrades on her triple/triples and she can be inconsistent. If either Mao or Yu Na falter and Miki skates two clean programs, we could have a repeat of 2007 where she snuck in to win. If she skates cleanly, she should get the bronze medal, but unfortunately she won't if Carolina skates a semi-clean program. Disappointing, but reality.

    Fumie Suguri: The old lady of figure skating has come back to life this season. She has had a strong season, and her Otonal program is beautiful. For her to win or even to medal, she has to skate cleanly, and Yu-Na, Mao, Miki and Carolina must falter. She has a chance at medalling and a long distance chance at winning. But Fumie rarely skates two clean programs, so I don't expect her to medal, but she is such an elegant and mature skater who shows that even in your late 20's, you can be competitive with the teenagers. I hope Michelle is watching Fumie's results.

    Joannie Rochette: She is having her best season to date. She was wonderful in the Grand Prix series and had a impressive Four Continents. She has beaten Mao Asada twice this season, so that is very impressive. She is an elegant skater with beautiful grace and lots of attention to detail. She is such a beautiful skater and I think it is such an anomaly that she hasn't medal at worlds. She has a real shot at a medal. She should battle Miki and Carolina for bronze, and if the top two falter, she could win silver. Carolina has the advantage because she is Speedy's girl. I am rooting for her and want her to get bronze.

    One's to keep an eye on: Laura Lepisto and Susanna Poykio.

    The American ladies don't deserve to even be in the conversation.

    If the ladies skate to the best ability my prediction:

    Gold: Yu Na Kim
    Silver: Mao Asada
    Bronze: Carolina Kostner

  2. #2

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    I think it's Yuna's to win or loose this season. But I've felt that in the past about her...so we'll see...

    I think it comes down to who does what and whose cleaner...I put Joannie as my bronze medal pick
    Michelle, she had me at 6.0!

  3. #3

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    I'd like to see Mao win.
    "When there's nothing left to lose, there's nothing left to fear" ~~~Bryan Adams

  4. #4

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    Of course, the American ladies deserve to be in the conversation since this is a PREVIEW.

    Flatt will be in top ten (hasn't she returned to her lp from last year?) and Alissa will be out of the top ten, but how far down I'm not sure---I would guess 13-15.

  5. #5

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    Speaking of Rachel Flatt...

    From Phil Hersh's latest column: "Some Olympic Food for Thought"

    we learn that she is returning to last season's free skate for Worlds.

    Rachael Flatt, likely to be the top U.S. woman at next month’s World Figure Skating Championships, has decided to go back to last year’s free skate music, a wise choice for her and an indictment of the sport. Flatt was skating this season to two Debussy tone poems, "The Sea" and "In a Boat," and interpreting them was too ambitious an exercise for a 16-year-old. More importantly, international judges lacked the musical sense to grasp what they were hearing, accustomed as they are to the "Boleros" and "Romeos" and "Toscas" and movie scores that are used ad nauseum in the sport.

    So Flatt will recycle "Romantic Rhapsody," the Andre Mathieu music with which she won the 2008 world junior title -- a Gershwin-esque piano-and-orchestra piece that is less intellectually demanding and more easy listening than the Debussy. Thankfully, it still is a sophisticated choice rather than one of the old warhorses skaters favor.
    This is indeed a very smart move on her part.

    Oh... All ladies that will be competing at worlds deserve to be in the conversation... even if their chances of medaling are next to none. What arrogance to state otherwise!
    Pete

    Michelle Kwan: "The best thing on ice since Johnnie Walker!"

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Carrington1985 View Post
    If the ladies skate to the best ability my prediction:

    Gold: Yu Na Kim
    Silver: Mao Asada
    Bronze: Carolina Kostner
    Kostner will melt down in the free skate and finish off the podium!
    Pete

    Michelle Kwan: "The best thing on ice since Johnnie Walker!"

  7. #7

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by visaliakid View Post
    Kostner will melt down in the free skate and finish off the podium!
    Or be given the gold.
    "When there's nothing left to lose, there's nothing left to fear" ~~~Bryan Adams

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sebastian View Post
    I think it's Yuna's to win or loose this season. But I've felt that in the past about her...so we'll see...

    I think it comes down to who does what and whose cleaner...I put Joannie as my bronze medal pick
    I feel the same way but with one difference I put Joannie as my Gold medal
    pick.

  9. #9

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    I think Kostner got the message at Europeans---or she should have.

  10. #10

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    My prediction:
    Gold: YuNa
    Silver: Mao
    Bronze: Joannie

    I want Joannie on that podium so bad. I'd love to see Fumie up there, too. I'd also love to see Alissa and Rachael do well, of course. They both won GP medals, so I don't think it's fair to drop kick them out of the running just yet.

  11. #11
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    I really wanna see Joannie medal and the US ladies to get us 3 spots...and a nice worlds for Fumie.
    It breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart. The game begins in the spring, when everything else begins again, and it blossoms in the summer, filling the afternoons and evenings, and then as soon as the chill rains come, it stops and leaves you to face the fall alone. A.B. Giamatti

  12. #12

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    I think the US ladies definitely deserve to be in the conversation. If Rachael skates two clean programs with all of her planned elements, who knows what could happen? Alissa, too, has had success on the international circuit (GP) when things went right for her. It is just too easy to predict that the top three will be Asada-Kim (1-2 or 2-1) and Kostner. That may well happen, but lots of other results could happen, too, depending on who skates clean and who makes the most mistakes.

  13. #13

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    I think it's Mao's to win or lose gold. If she's on, she will win. YuNa's pretty skating is lovely but if the judges are fair they will give it the one with the hardest program with the most difficulty. I don't see the U.S. ladies on the podium at all, for obvious reasons.

  14. #14
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    Carrington, i disagree that the US ladies don't deserve to be in the conversation. IMO, anyone who can skate clean & place in the top 10 regardless of how everyone else skates is reasonably part of the equation.

    a clean Alissa can break the top 6. a 4 triple Alissa may be able to stay in the top 10.

    a clean Rachel (especially going back to last season's program) can also break top 6. because it's unlikely Rachel won't be clean, i'd expect her to be in the top 10, & probably top 8.

    while i'd bet on Rachel placing higher than Alissa, it's sort of beside the point. much as i doubt we'll see either on the podium, they are still in the running to secure 2 spots for next season fairly easily. solid skates from both could even secure 3 - all relative to what everyone else is doing~
    "forgive me for rude. my english is, .......not so good"

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    I agree with the Mao/Yuna comparison. I posted my thoughts on how well matched they are in another thread. They are both good artistically and technically; however, Yuna holds the edge in artistry while Mao holds the edge technically. Because they are so neck and neck, it basically comes down to being clean. Cleanest skate will win gold. It will be crucial for Mao to skate cleanly in the SP, which is usually where she makes her mistakes. Yuna's SP elements are so strong that she almost always holds the edge in the SP, but Mao's ability to stack jumps and elements in the LP give her the edge there. Mao cannot afford to trip out of the gate again and give Yuna those extra points...

    Yuna is definitely the favorite this year, but if she falters and Mao is clean, it'll go to Mao. What will be tough is if they are both clean...

    It's a too tough a call to make between those two. As for bronze, I'm going with Joannie over Carolina. She has had an awesome season while Carolina has struggled. Joannie has moved up the scale in the international judges eyes so much so that I feel a clean Joannie will be held up over a flawed Carolina. If Carolina wants to medal she's going to have to earn it this year because she's been in a slump too.

    Fifth and sixth place might be between Fumie, Miki, Lepisto and a few others. I think if Miki can get herself together and skate cleanly she could very well sneak up in the standings but a clean Fumie scores well too. We'll have to see how that goes...

    Overall, I say 1st and 2nd are between Mao and Yuna; 3rd and 4th are between Joannie and Carolina; and 5th and 6th are between Fumie, Miki, Lepisto and one wildcard.

    I think it's accurate to discount the US ladies when you're talking about medal contenders simply because Alissa and Rachael's chances of medaling are infinitesimal. In order for one of them to hit the podium you're talking about Mao, Yuna, Joannie, Carolina, Miki and Fumie all having some sort of meltdown. Now in terms of possibly getting 6th-10th is where the discussion can be held for them.

    Using 4CC results as a measure we can come to this conclusion: Rachael finished 7th, Alissa 9th. Drop Caroline from the mix. Rachael moves to 6th, Alissa to 8th. Drop Akiko, not sure if Cynthia stays or drops. Assuming that she stays, Alissa moves to 7th. 6th and 7th, well that's 13 right there...BUT we need to add Carolina, Laura and Miki. All three have scored higher than Rachael and Alissa. You can also add Poykio to that list as a wildcard of either being above or below them in the standings. Rachael's down to 9th or 10th and Alissa to 10th or 11th. That estimation of placement is just going purely by scores. Alissa 159.81 at 4CC was her highest international score all season. Rachael's international season's best was 166.06 as opposed to her 162.83 at 4CC. Compared to the other ladies, I'm not sure if those will hold up...

    I'm glad to hear that Rachael has dropped that boring LP and I can't believe it took her that long to do it. Still, a clean Rachael against flawed veterans with more experience won't get her higher than 5th; assuming that 3 or 4 other skaters screw up. It's no knock at her it's just the truth. I expect Alissa to fall somewhere in the 8th-12th category. Please forgive my pessimism but I just don't see her putting together two clean performances at worlds...I just don't see it. I wish I could but I don't.
    Michelle Kwan

    "The Skater So Great, She Didn't Need Olympic Gold to Make History"
    ~Michelle fan since 1995

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    Since, I feel we have to think positivly, as an American myself, I will post my opinions for the American Ladies. Thank You though for starting this thread!


    Alissa Czisny: Alissa is a beautiful skater. Though she did not have any triple-triples this season, her artistry is without comparable. Even the favorites, don't compare to her. If Alissa can just stay focus on those jumps, she will be one of the wildcards. We all know she has it in her to do perform brilliantly. (See 2007 Nationals Long Program + 2005 Skate Canada) If she keeps her head together on those difficult triples, and perhaps add a triple-triple (she did one at 2005 Skate America), she can finish in the top 8, in my opinion. The international judges love her, but are waiting for her to put two clean programs back to back. She also finished with the bronze medal at Skate Canada (2nd in the free) and a fourth place finish at her other Grand Prix competion, she is in the running to place well. My conclusion is by you saying, "The American ladies don't deserve to even be in the conversation," you are just being arrogant.



    Rachael Flatt: Though I agree that she is very "Flat", I am hoping she can do this. She won a silver medal at Cup of Russia, so this season she had was a positive one. She has triple triples in her repotoir, so she can definitly compete with the others. Her music is kinda boring, yes, but since I believe this competion is going to be a jump competion, Rachael desperatly needs all the triples she can pull off. She goes after those jumps all the time, and she most of the time lands them. With this competion being in American soil, I am sure she'll put forth a great skate securing us 3 spots for the US Olympic Team!


    Come on, ladies. Prove, Carrington1985 and any other doubters wrong! I believe in you!!!
    Last edited by WorldsGreatestMK; February 19th, 2009 at 01:52 PM.

  17. #17

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    irrogant? is that somewhere between arrogant and ignorant? lmao

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by iceman View Post
    irrogant? is that somewhere between arrogant and ignorant? lmao
    Shush. Everyone makes spelling mistakes. And changed...

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by visaliakid View Post
    Speaking of Rachel Flatt...

    From Phil Hersh's latest column: "Some Olympic Food for Thought"

    we learn that she is returning to last season's free skate for Worlds.



    This is indeed a very smart move on her part.

    Oh... All ladies that will be competing at worlds deserve to be in the conversation... even if their chances of medaling are next to none. What arrogance to state otherwise!
    The piece of music is actually Mathieu's Piano Concerto No.4. I have a recording of it. Does anyone want me to make an edit? It's glorious music.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LyraKwangelica View Post
    The piece of music is actually Mathieu's Piano Concerto No.4. I have a recording of it. Does anyone want me to make an edit? It's glorious music.
    Yes and can you also make an edit of Johnny or Alissa's Dr Zhivago
    Last edited by WorldsGreatestMK; February 20th, 2009 at 01:39 PM.

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    Default Get real...

    Quote Originally Posted by WorldsGreatestMK View Post
    Since, I feel we have to think positivly, as an American myself, I will post my opinions for the American Ladies. Thank You though for starting this thread!


    Alissa Czisny: Alissa is a beautiful skater. Though she did not have any triple-triples this season, her artistry is without comparable. Even the favorites, don't compare to her. If Alissa can just stay focus on those jumps, she will be one of the wildcards. We all know she has it in her to do perform brilliantly. (See 2007 Nationals Long Program + 2005 Skate Canada) If she keeps her head together on those difficult triples, and perhaps add a triple-triple (she did one at 2005 Skate America), she can finish in the top 8, in my opinion. The international judges love her, but are waiting for her to put two clean programs back to back. She also finished with the bronze medal at Skate Canada (2nd in the free) and a fourth place finish at her other Grand Prix competion, she is in the running to place well. My conclusion is by you saying, "The American ladies don't deserve to even be in the conversation," you are just being arrogant.



    Rachael Flatt: Though I agree that she is very "Flat", I am hoping she can do this. She won a silver medal at Cup of Russia, so this season she had was a positive one. She has triple triples in her repotoir, so she can definitly compete with the others. Her music is kinda boring, yes, but since I believe this competion is going to be a jump competion, Rachael desperatly needs all the triples she can pull off. She goes after those jumps all the time, and she most of the time lands them. With this competion being in American soil, I am sure she'll put forth a great skate securing us 3 spots for the US Olympic Team!


    Come on, ladies. Prove, Carrington1985 and any other doubters wrong! I believe in you!!!
    I hate to poo-poo your parade but you have to be realistic about this. Realistically speaking, they don't have a snowball's chance in you know where of getting on the podium. I'm sorry. Everyone knows it but no one wants to say it. Alissa's been around since 2005 but this is only her second appearance at worlds, coming off of a 15th place finish the first time if I'm not mistaken. This is Rachael's first time at worlds. As much as we would like to believe that there's a chance you have to be honest with yourself, look at the trends and look at the facts.

    Alissa has nice presentation but I don't get the "her artistry is without comparable (comparison)" comment . I'm sorry but that is just not true, in the least. She's much better than Rachael, but comparing her to Yuna, Mao (who, despite her artistically watered-down program this season, is very artistic) and several other skaters is just silly. I don't really feel her when she skates. She's very pretty to look at and she flows across the ice nicely but that doesn't equal artistry. I've said it before and I'll say it again: the best thing Alissa does is spin. In that category, you can legitimately make the argument that no one compares, but in artistry? Hardly.

    To believe that Alissa will manage to pull off a pristine, 6-7 triple program with a possible 3-3 in the mix when she can't even get through 5 triples without a mistake is just plain wishful thinking. If she manages to land her planned 5 triples I might need a defibrillator! If, by some miracle of a higher being, she pulls off a clean program, she might have a shot at 5th place...possibly even 4th assuming that several other skaters make mistakes. But the top 3 spots are basically locked...top 5 if you think about it. That's the reality of the matter. But you can't expect her to have that life changing skate at the most pressure-filled competition she's ever been in. Alissa, for me, has reached Sasha's status: it's to the point where her inconsistency is almost bankable; put your money on it because, at some point, you know she's going flub up. Yes it's mean, but I dare you to tell me that it's not true...

    If it comes down to a jumping competition Rachael still cannot compete, even with 7 clean triples. The reason is that she is still too new. This is her first year on the senior level and she has not established enough clout with the judges to be held up over seasoned vets like Miki, Fumie, Carolina and others. She'll get credit for the jumps but they'll hold her down in the PCS mark. It's not fair, but those are just the facts. Look at where she placed at 4CC. She had a cleaner, more difficult skate than Cynthia and Fumie and yet they were still placed over her. Hopefully, her return to her LP will help the judges stay awake when she skates but I seriously doubt if it will dramatically change anything.


    I hate to be Miss Doomy-Gloomy on this matter but I refuse to try to see the sun at midnight...it's just not going to happen.
    Michelle Kwan

    "The Skater So Great, She Didn't Need Olympic Gold to Make History"
    ~Michelle fan since 1995

  22. #22

    Default wishes and non-wishes

    My wish:

    1. Yuna
    2. Joannie
    3. Mao
    4. Miki

    and here is what I don't want to see, but I will put it out here so that it wouldn't shock me if it really happens...

    1. Miki
    2. Mao
    3. Yuna
    4. Joannie

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by kwanatic712 View Post
    Alissa has nice presentation but I don't get the "her artistry is without comparable (comparison)" comment . I'm sorry but that is just not true, in the least. She's much better than Rachael, but comparing her to Yuna, Mao (who, despite her artistically watered-down program this season, is very artistic) and several other skaters is just silly. I don't really feel her when she skates. She's very pretty to look at and she flows across the ice nicely but that doesn't equal artistry. I've said it before and I'll say it again: the best thing Alissa does is spin. In that category, you can legitimately make the argument that no one compares, but in artistry? Hardly.
    ITA. while subjective, i had to chuckle at the thought that Alissa is more or even as artistic as YuNa or Mao. IMO, her artistry isn't better than Zhang, Seguri & several others mentioned.

    actually, when i responded to Carrington saying that i didn't agree the US ladies didn't deserve to be in the discussion, i didn't realize he/she was speaking of podium finishers & those just outside of that. in fact, Carrington listed their take on the top 6 men & women. my apologies to Carrington for misunderstanding.

    still, i don't think it's that unlikely that Rachel AND Alissa won't make the top 10 - possibly even 8. that still won't equal 13 or less necessarily, but that doesn't mean they wouldn't have skated their respective bests~
    "forgive me for rude. my english is, .......not so good"

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    I think it'll be Mao, YuNa, Kostner.

    There's no one I'm really pulling for. I'd like to see YuNa win and Rachel Flatt medal, but I don't expect that to happen (the Rachel part, YuNa can win but if they're close I think the judges will give it to Mao).

  25. Default

    Well, I think NBC should be buying lots of vodka in the hopes of getting that magic number 13.

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