A Few Thoughts on Four Continents: Men and Ladies

Ok, this is way overdue and someone reminded me that Worlds is 10 days away, so I really should finish this post so I can get on with Worlds predictions in a day or two. So… Four Continents, some thoughts:

Men

Daisuke Takahashi has proven that he’s still pretty important in the international scene despite his defeat at Nationals. Some attribute his poor performance at the GPF and Nationals to injury caused by his collision with Kozuka but as a veteran figure skater, I don’t know if one should cut Daisuke some slack seeing that he should be able to skate through the pain if he were well trained.  *Points to Yuko Kavaguti at the GPF where she dislocated her shoulder, Xue Shen (2003 Worlds), Evan Lysacek (skated 2009 Worlds with an injury on his toe)* In any case, Daisuke has now regained his footing and he should be a veritable threat to P-huge ego-Chan for World gold. Though you never know, Chan could fall on his triple axel but still get rewarded points because he falls so prettily.

Yuzuru Hanyu was definitely a surprise winner for silver. With Daisuke’s imminent retirement, Oda’s role as a perennial bridesmaid for a World medal and Kozuka’s lack of popularity with the international judges, I’d say that this kid is beginning his senior career with a bang and with some polish, he may be a veritable threat to the Sochi podium. He’s like a little Daisuke and I look forward to watching his future performances.

Jeremy Abbott rallied his efforts and managed a bronze, thus preventing a Japanese podium sweep. Jeremy hopes to begin his season a lot better because he started his season with old boots and apparently he’s felt off for the entire season as a result. His loss at Nationals hit him hard but his exclusion from the World team is simply a foolish decision. I don’t see either of the no-name American men going to Worlds capable of doing what Jeremy did in this competition, which is to beat at least one Japanese man. Who knows, maybe the USFSA will come to their senses and send him to compete at the World Team Trophy.

One confuzzling result was Takahiko Kozuka‘s 4th place finish. Kozuka has been strong all season but I don’t think we should completely disregard him as a threat to the World podium. He was 2nd in the LP and would’ve won a medal if he didn’t screw up his SP.

Ladies

Asian sweep! It’s almost a Japanese sweep, except Mirai is Japanese-American.

Miki Ando won the competition over her fellow teammate, Mao Asada. It seems that she might be Yuna Kim’s main challenger at Worlds but overall, I think that Mao will benefit in the long run from reworking her technique. She produced a clean triple axel in her SP and she’s been steadily improving throughout the season. Personally, I feel that’s more important than defending her title. If she gets through this season with a positive mindset, I think we’ll see a more confident and better Mao next season.

One surprising development was that Alissa Czisny, winner of the GPF, came out at the bottom of all three American ladies at 4CC, overall and in both portions of the competition. Alissa may have peaked too early and I fear that she won’t be much of a contender at Worlds. Mirai Nagasu on the other hand, rallied her strength to kick Rachael Flatt’s flabby ass off the podium. Amen. Her exclusion from the World team may have been a good motivator and I hope to see a better Mirai in the future.

Also, if anyone cared, Akiko Suzuki is basically officially dumped in the international scene as well despite her successes last year. *sadface*

Anyways, I need to eat and run. I will ramble about ice dance and pairs in my next post.

What did you think about the results of Four Continents? I’d love to hear your opinion!

~The Rinkside Cafe

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