Wednesday, March 24 Maybe you're the wrong person to ask, because it seems you love him as much as I do, but what is it going to take for Kozuka to get higher scores in skating skills/transitions? How the hell did he get beat by Joubert in both?

I cheer for a lot of the men but Kozuka is indeed my favorite right now, and I think there are a few things to consider..

This is without any basis, but a possible reason could be that he is technically the Japanese third-ranked skater. Oda had his disaster right AFTER Kozuka skated. After that, Takahashi skated well, and I'm sure that they wanted Joubert to be right up there after he skated clean too, with a quad/triple. They knew the scores they gave to then-leader Takakashi.. and you get the idea.

Second, Kozuka is very quietly strong. He doesn't do anything flashy, and he doesn't do much of anything with his face while he skates. In my opinion, he is more of the type that uses his whole body to showcase his skating, while not making any one area stand out. He is much like Matt Savoie in that sense, and Savoie's free skate from the 2006 US Nationals remains one of my favorite performances ever.

So you have Joubert busting out of the gates with everything very in your face, and that works for him. But at the same time, it also might influence some (many..) of the judges to mark the components based on how much the audience got into the performance, or how much intensity there was, etc. This all goes back to the interview I did with one of the judges and how he talks about not all of them knowing what to do with the components scores.. I think it definitely showed in a lot of cases today.

Hope that answered your question, I always ramble on with these..

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ah, thank you!

I was really impressed by how he used his whole body this time around vs how he usually does (idk, it seemed more fluid to me) and thought he really brought another element of freeness which he usually doesn't have, so I was disappointed to see him not rewarded.

Your answer makes sense! Looking at the scores, I see that he was basically scored the same as Oda was relative to the top contenders at the Olympics. Let's hope none of the same happens to him! Hopefully when he rises to the top, the judges are more receptive to his style. It's heavenly!