Sunday, March 14

2010 World Junior Championships Ladies Short Program Thoughts

Video from day 4 from wcjunior.com.

Kanako Murakami from Japan - Triple toe/triple toe combo, low knee landing and body forwards on both jumps (the second jump was downgraded), triple flip with minimal steps and a break before the jump, double Axel with a nice quick change of edge on the landing, flying sit spin done well, spirals are okay, on the change of edge spiral she really leans forwards and down with the upper body rather than having it right in line with the ice, layback spin, straight-line footwork with some flair in the choreography but she's just skating to it-- not really selling it. Her posture in general seems a bit hunched forwards. Final combo spin might be the strongest element of the program- it was well done. In my opinion, choreography is the strongest component for her. All of the other areas are just average, but she has the jumps and quality in the spins. Does any lady have the strongest basic skating that takes from Machiko Yamada, though?

Polina Agafonova from Russia - Korobushko and she's tiny. Circular footwork sequence to start- that's different. Deep edges within it but it seems like she's doing it very carefully. Triple Lutz/triple toe.. not the longest run-out edge on the toe loop but it looks clean. Triple flip- again done but not the best run-out. Flying sit spin.. Layback which is held forever up into a really nice Biellmann- excellent! Spiral sequence with good positions and edges, right into a double Axel. Landed on the toe and it was tiny, but done. Fast final combination spin, especially on the first half. Better posture than Murakami but skates quite a bit slower and with much less power. However, I really liked her!

Anna Ovcharova from Russia - Looks like she would tower over her teammate. steps and a stag jump into a triple flip, with a hop afterwards that made me think it was a combination jump... everything is really frantic so far in the program.. some steps into a triple Lutz/double loop, good layback spin which also ends in a Biellmann spin, flair throughout the spiral sequence which includes the spiral Shizuka Arakawa did where she holds her free leg up in a Y-position and without assistance from her hand on the change edge.. and she holds it a long while. Double Axel okay.. footwork is good, flying sit spin is low to the ice and right into two interesting variations, and right into her final combination spin.. nice positions on all of her spins but traveling quite a bit after the change foot. It's difficult for me to analyze a skaters skating skills in a program like this because through a lot of her crossovers she was pumping her arms back and forth matching the upbeat music, but it also could be a way to mask some troubles she has within the basics. She was okay, but I'm surprised such a program scored as high as it did. I liked her teammate much better-- not that she was bad, I just don't ever really prefer programs with this kind of upbeat jazz. It just always makes things look sloppy to me.

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