Postby chuckiem » Mon Jan 01, 2018 12:09 am

I agree that many program choices for the young Russians are questionable. Big Spender for 14-yo Trusova. Celine Dion's Ne me quitte pas for 15-yo Panenkova---she just kept messing up her hair and then smeared her lipstick at the end; it was almost sickening to watch.
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Postby Andy » Tue Jan 02, 2018 2:39 pm

Dragonlady wrote:I like young Russian skaters but their programs are awful. That’s the fault of their coaches and choreographers, not the skaters. Often the themes are beyond their emotional range, like Medvedeva’s 9/11 program, and their ice coverage leaves a lot to be desired - both in terms of using the entire ice surface, and in height and distance on their jumps.

Agreed. And let's not forget the 'good work' of the judges, providing the incorrect feedback both in the PCS AND in the GOE.
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Postby Jonas » Sat Jan 06, 2018 8:35 am

Here's my very general take on the Russian ladies as a whole:

They're a group of tweenies virtually emerging from a conveyor belt and seemingly programmed to be able to execute what the international judges are awarding as the winning formula:
1. 7 triples and 2Axels jammed into 7 passes. Most of these girls, really, lack the height and/or distance and/or speed going in and out of jumps, but make up for this with the abilities to add the Tano and/or Rippon features and backloading most, if not all, the passes within the bonus. Most importantly, these Russian tweenies have been taught to rotate fully and land cleanly on one foot.
2. Spins that aren't particularly fast, but are well centered and include all the contortionist, bendy positions required to earn the added feature points for Level 4 spins.
3. Intentionally or otherwise, most seem to select these monotonous music pieces to kind of pace the jumps and spins. I don't think any of RUS's crop skates particularly fast a-la Irina Slutskaya, but they are able to maintain their speed constant throughout without slowing down in the end from fatigue.

Since most of the Russian ladies can easily execute this package, one miss, however small, can easily mean the difference between 3rd place and 7th place. The marvel of watching Russian ladies at their Nationals nowadays is watching the sheer depth of talent among Russian ladies as opposed to waiting for one or a handful of truly standout performances as is usually the case w/US Nationals. Furthermore, I think it actually makes it easier for the Russian domestic judges to use the current system to prop up GOEs and PCS for whomever their current favorite skaters are. As such, I actually don't find Russian Nationals that exciting to watch, even though the competition among the girls themselves is pretty cutthroat because they're all so equally proficient technically.

Having shared all and w/the ladies event in San Jose over, I gotta say that I'm more inclined to rewatch the Russian Nationals. Why??

1. US ladies, as a whole, are just simply NOT in the same league as the Russian and Japanese ladies are. I actually decided to watch the entire flight of ladies' SPs and, man, was there some slummy skating. I think I now know exactly what many Canadian skating fans felt when watching their ladies compete circa '98-'02. I definitely decided to keep it to the last two flights of FS to spare me the pain -- and even in the penultimate flight this season there was some groanful performances there.
2. I felt that the judging was abominably manipulative this year. Yes, there's always some subtle politicking for the favorites, but they were still justifiable. I'm ok w/Nationals inflation as long as it's consistent across the board and if the inflation differential is not absurd. Well, it wasn't on either count this year. I've seen gross manipulations of PCS and GOE in San Jose PLUS lenient technical calls for the seemingly favored skaters as opposed to others.

Your thoughts...
Last edited by Jonas on Sun Jan 07, 2018 12:00 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby bumphystars » Sat Jan 06, 2018 2:03 pm

Great analysis of the Russian ladies, Jonas, I totally agree.

While they are all impressive, there are none who really stand out to me. It just all feels the same.
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