Friday, March 26 Ok Tony is it me or has there been a there a huge power shift in the world of figure skating?? with the Russian fed at the wrong end of it. 10 even 5 years ago you could look at the Europeans and at least 3 of the 4 world champs were there. Not now.

That started to happen for the ladies in 2004, but Slutskaya came back for a few years to keep the spots. Sokolova was becoming too hit-or-miss to keep the team strong on her own. But just recently has that strength built up again. Long gone are the days where Russia would sweep the podium at Europeans (1999-2002), that's for sure. Give it a few years, though, and I think that they will be right near the top again. Obviously they'd like to be with Sochi coming up.

As far as the men go, I think the biggest thing is that the Russian style of skating, as far as the choppy and bouncy crossovers go, just doesn't fit in with the judging system. In 6.0 it was okay, but now it just isn't working. The presentation with really flamboyant arm movements and all that doesn't work for the components. Besides Plushenko, none of the men are really well-rounded and the only time they place in the top 10 (Voronov) is when they are completely spot-on. I actually find Voronov to be one of the most overmarked men. I saw the junior worlds bronze medalist, who is from Russia, and saw much of the same in his skating that I think is holding them back.

Pairs are in pretty good shape now and for 2014, where they will definitely want to get back on the podium, or even win gold.

Dance.. with Domnina/Shabalin out, I think we are going to see pushing of teams up the standings, especially with the team that just won the Junior World Championships. They are down to two spots next year, and I suspect they will easily get one of them and already find themselves in the top 10 at senior Worlds.

So yeah, they got off track a bit but I think in all disciplines except men they have a lot of potential for top skaters. But if Plushenko comes back in 2014 like he did this year, then I'm sure that's all Russia is really worried about.


Anonymous said...

Plushenko is well rounded? Why do you say that?

Tony said...

I don't think Plushenko is well-rounded. Within the specifics of his components, he's one of those that is really imbalanced rather than consistently average or good, etc. with all of them. The thing that kept Plushenko up near the top, in my opinion, is not only his obvious technical ability, but that he was dominating and winning things for 5 or 6 years before all of the things like transitions and intricate choreography became important.

In the time that he was at the top, he developed the ability to really draw in an audience and have them believe in it because he was in fact the best. You see so many of the younger Russian men, and even skaters from other countries, trying to skate with the same flair to get a crowd going and it doesn't obviously come across with the effect that is does with him, and I think, in part, it really helps him keep the components up because of the way the crowd always gets into it.

I'd mark his components with a much wider spread than what he received this year, but then that takes him right out of the running for the top placements. That's the way the system goes, though, and it comes back down to talk about just how difficult the quad is and whether the scale of values needs to be edited.

I'll try not to ramble on as much next time :-P

Anonymous said...

no, that was interesting! thanks!