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 Mao's triple Axel

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Iceriver
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PostSubject: Mao's triple Axel   Mon Dec 09, 2013 4:25 pm

Hello!! I'm normally against people watching skaters' jumps hundreds of times in slow motion just to point out how underotated a jump was and feel like an expert. Figure skating is a sport "for the eyes" so, although I think it's right to check some doubtful landings, I can't stand this wicked obsession with replaying every single jump just to hate on that particular skater.

However, since Mao's triple axel is such a popular topic these days, I would like to make a few comments and comparisons. I'm afraid this will be a long post, so forgive me if you get tired of reading so much. It is not my intention to prove anything, just to show images so everyone can get to his/her own conclusions. I'll comment mine, though.

To start with, let's take three men's triple axels. First, a man with not very consistent triple axels but who is able to land some beautiful ones from time to time: Patrick Chan. Then, a man whose triple axels are quite consistent now and pretty well landed: Javier Fernández. Finally, the man with the best triple axels nowadays IMO: Yuzuru Hanyu.

My first question is: where do we start counting rotation in axels? Because the mechanism of the jump somehow requires a little prerotation, which is in fact not so little is many cases. So let's consider two situations for each skater: first considering the preparation direction as the reference direction for rotation counting and, then, starting to count rotation in the exact moment the blade leaves the ice.

Let's see....

Patrick Chan (2013 Worlds SP)

You can see the preparation direction in the first picture. Let's not consider prerotation yet, so if the jump is "clean" we expect him to land on the same red line but backwards. If we froze the image at the exact moment, we can see that he lacks a little less than a quarter of rotation. So it's fine. Not the best jump in terms of air position but rotation looks good. Obviously, no technical judge would have thought it was not clean.

preparation direction (red): http://i58.servimg.com/u/f58/18/64/99/23/p1_tif11.jpg
landing (blue): http://i58.servimg.com/u/f58/18/64/99/23/p2_tif11.jpg

Now, let's ignore the previously mentioned red line and pay attention to the exact moment the blade leaves the ice. Things are different now. We can see a quarter turn prerotation more or less plus a little less than a quarter underotation in the landing (as mentioned before). All in all, Patrick does 3-3.25 revolutions in the air.

blade leaving the ice (red): http://i58.servimg.com/u/f58/18/64/99/23/p3_tif10.jpg
landing (blue): http://i58.servimg.com/u/f58/18/64/99/23/p4_tif10.jpg

So, first question...does jumping a triple axel imply rotating 3.5 turns in the air? Well, let's continue and we'll see.

Javier Fernández (2013 Europeans SP)

Again, let's look at the preparation direction first, ignoring prerotation, and check the landing direction. It's alright, little less than a quarter turn cheated and nothing suspicious at all because the jump has good height, distance and flow in the landing.

preparation direction (red): http://i58.servimg.com/u/f58/18/64/99/23/j1_tif10.jpg
landing (blue): http://i58.servimg.com/u/f58/18/64/99/23/j2_tif10.jpg

Let's account for prerotation now. It's, again, around a quarter, so all in all Javi rotates 3-3.25 revolutions in the air. Similar to Patrick, but with better air position IMO.

blade leaving the ice (red): http://i58.servimg.com/u/f58/18/64/99/23/j3_tif10.jpg
landing (blue): http://i58.servimg.com/u/f58/18/64/99/23/j4_tif10.jpg

Oh! Another triple axel cheated by more than a quarter? Keep reading, it's not over yet...

Yuzuru Hanyu (2013 GPF SP)

Amazing height, distance and incredible entrance. What about rotation? Let's draw the preparation direction once more and check the landing. It's pretty clean, I would say it's almost perfect. Less than a quarter of underotation for sure and perfectly backwards.

preparation (red): http://i58.servimg.com/u/f58/18/64/99/23/y1_tif10.jpg
landing (blue): http://i58.servimg.com/u/f58/18/64/99/23/y2_tif10.jpg

Let's see how much prerotation this axel has. If we froze the image, we can see that prerotation exists, but surprisingly it's much less evident than with the other two men. He prerotates less than a quarter turn and cheats less than a quarter in the landing. I would say that he rotates 3.25-3.5 revolutions in the air.

blade leaving the ice (red): http://i58.servimg.com/u/f58/18/64/99/23/y3_tif10.jpg
landing (blue): http://i58.servimg.com/u/f58/18/64/99/23/y4_tif10.jpg

Now, this is not an average triple axel, but a very well executed one. Good height and distance, good landing position with extended leg, creative entrance, choreography just after the landing...it's worth +3 GOE in my opinion.

Wow I've already written too much. OK, it's Mao's turn now.

Mao Asada (2013 GPF SP)  

First, I want to note the fact that Mao jumps her triple axel very close to the barrier. It's seems irrelevant for what I'm trying to show here but it is not...you'll see.

Let's draw the "preparation red line" once more. She is preparing her take off and is about to jump, so we expect her to land backwards on the same red line, more or less. However, her jump is quite close to the barrier so she is not going to follow that direction once she lands. We all expect her to use her outside edge in the landing to make a curve thus changing her direction. So we all expect her jump to be landed nearly parallel to the barrier but in fact that's not the landing direction we should consider. At least it's not the direction we considered with Patrick, Javi and Yuzu...and rightly so. Now let's see how she lands. It's cheated by a quarter, as you can see, like Patrick and Javi more or less and, obviously, more underrotated than Yuzu's textbook triple axel. So it's close, but not cheated enough to receive a call.

preparation direction (red): http://i58.servimg.com/u/f58/18/64/99/23/m1_tif10.jpg
landing (blue): http://i58.servimg.com/u/f58/18/64/99/23/m2_tif10.jpg

Now for the last time let's account for prerotation. Once she is prepared to take off following the red line direction drawn before, her left foot starts rotating on the ice, prerotating the jump by a quarter turn more or less. That's good, just like Patrick and Javi, although more than Yuzuru. Let's look at the landing position again. If we start counting rotation from the moment Mao's blade leaves the ice and we consider that the jump is landed just when the blade touches the ice again, we can see that she rotates a little bit more than 3 turns in the air. All in all, we could say that she rotates 3-3.25 (maybe closer to 3 than to 3.25) turns in the air.

blade leaving the ice (red): http://i58.servimg.com/u/f58/18/64/99/23/m3_tif10.jpg
landing (blue): http://i58.servimg.com/u/f58/18/64/99/23/m4_tif10.jpg

But...isn't a triple axel supposed to be a 3.5 revolutions jump? Well, it all depends on how you consider prerotation. One think is sure: Mao rotated as many revolutions as Patrick and Javi, and less than Yuzu's "worth +3's" triple axel.

My conclussions

When it comes to axels, establishing the moment from which you start to count rotations is not that easy, since it usually implies one quarter prerotation more or less. You can consider the preparation direction as I painted or you can start counting from the exact moment the blade leaves the ice. If you decide to do the latter, then Mao's 3A is underotated by almost half turn, but so is Patrick's and Javi's, and you can argue that Yuzu's triple axel also lacks a little bit of rotation. Doing so, we get to a laughable conclussion: some of the best man jumpers these days, who are able to land beautiful quads, cheat their axels by almost half turn...oh they are cheaters! They cannot land jumps properly and judges don't punish them with several -1 or -2!!! Corrupt system...

So, my final words will be: Mao's triple axel lacks distance and height to compete with the men's or with Midori Ito and Tonya Harding. However, they are rotated enough if we use the same standards as we use with some of the men's triple axels, except if we make comparisons with the best 3A jumpers such as Yuzuru Hanyu. The fact that the jump is usually slightly cheated and lacks a little bit of ice coverage for such a big jump makes it not worth +2's and +3's, but a GOE of +1 for good air position, good height for a women's jump and good landing is reasonable if executed cleanly enough.

That's all folks. Hope you enjoyed this post and I wish to hear your opinions soon!!  Very Happy


Last edited by Iceriver on Wed Dec 11, 2013 3:33 pm; edited 1 time in total
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aoi88
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PostSubject: Re: Mao's triple Axel   Mon Dec 09, 2013 5:45 pm

Thanks for the analysis. :)Are you a skater? I always felt Mao's 3A was judged pretty strictly in comparative to some of the men. I mean Patrick can still get 3As credited even with falls. Also, Lysacek had a worse 3A than Mao but got credited with more.

Hmm, if there are two approaches to judge jumps, does that mean tech callers might have different ways of looking at how a jump is rotated. Then it makes sense for calls to be inconsistent.


Last edited by aoi88 on Mon Dec 09, 2013 5:59 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Mao's triple Axel   Mon Dec 09, 2013 5:52 pm

Thank you iceriver for your thorough research on the 3A jumps. I, for the most part agree with you, but I do want to add, while Tonya had great distance and height on her 3A, it was always more pre-rotated than Mao's one. I recently watch videos on her 3A, and was surprised at how much she pre-rotated or under-rotated her axel. Midori is and was the best Axel jumper, but Mao beat her in consistency.
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PostSubject: Re: Mao's triple Axel   Mon Dec 09, 2013 7:59 pm

If you make YOUTUBE videos based on this, this will be of great help to beat anti-fans a lot.

I don't know about Mao's triple axel much. Before Vancouver, people on-line used to say her axel is more prerotated than male skaters, so that her trying Triple axel is not just. I don't know whether they are technical specialists or people at least knowleageable in scoring figure-skating elements. Their opinion was Mao and Evan Lysacek had bad triple axel technique.   Shocked  Some forums before Vancouver Olympics even opened a thread Mao's triple axel=2.5 A (axel). I don't really know who start this type of rumors. Then, I never skated on ice-rink in my life, there's no way of explaining this properly.

For me, Youtube videos from gofigureskating and a comparison video of Plushenko-Mao 's triple axel had been of great help.

Under gofigureskating's video, there are arguments on her triple axel : whether she prerotates more or less. Most replies were that Mao preroates more than male skaters, but in terms of rotation it can be considered full-rotation (sometimes a quarter less, but not violation of ISU rules). Some replies from other videos (i think replies were written in Japanese), Mao bend knees too much before actual take-off.

By the way, GS forum of Yuna fans seem to be upset of rule change after Vancuver, which increases the base value of triple axel. They were upset because isu did not increase base value of 3z-3t. What they argue was that female skaters rarely do proper triple lutz except for a few: Yuna, Liza Tuktamisheva, and others. Female skaters usually receive edge-calls, so that what they argue is triple lutz in proper technic should be acknowledged more and better.

From figure-skating history, rivalry between Yamaguchi and Ito. Yamaguchi in Alberville beat Ito by 3-3 combo, so that U.S media is more enthusiastic about 3z-3t, from Yamaguchi's view.

My question is: If Mao has a plan to land 2 triple axels in Sochi (likewise inVancouver), she needed to correct her all jumps? After recorrection of her jumps, her triple axel really improved a lot? Well, Japanese experts seem to say her axel technique gaind more width and speed, but still Mao does not land axel consistently, but we have to see what's come of it in Jpn National and Sochi.

Sometimes I wonder what if Mao had spent her time improving her 3-3 combo technique instead of landing triple axels. But then again, triple axel is her trademark that no any female skaters can imitate. (Tuktamisheva used to practise triple axel though) What I have in mind is that Mao would show more consistency than taking risks. Yagudin was excellent in dramatic expression and steps, but he did not much show consistency in other competitions before he performed gold-medal performance in Salt Lake, while Plushy shows more consistent high technique and power.  I want Asada to make more clean, flawless performances, which do not distract viewers from falling or 2-footed jumps. ( i am sorry if i am rude here at this point) The thing is there's just two months left until Sochi, and it seems Mao will try the same layout she did in Gpf.  Shocked cat 

Iceriver, Can you distinguish long edge and all kinds of triples? Is it possible to train one's eyes to distinguish edge directions and loop category jumps( which somehow requires pre-rotation more or less.) I still cannot, because I did not spend my time in watching jumps in a replaying mode.

Yuna vs Mao rivalry has lead me to dig into figure skating knowledge to this extent. Razz
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PostSubject: Re: Mao's triple Axel   Mon Dec 09, 2013 9:03 pm

Iceriver, thanks for your thorough research. I feel like I've attended a figure skating theory class for free  sunny I think Mao's 3A are often borderline so it's up to the tech specialists to decide whether to give a call or not. I'm sure that Mao'll try to work harder to make it acceptable to everyone's eyes. If only there were more time to prepare for Sochi.  Crying or Very sad I agree that her execution of the 3A deserves to get +1 GOE.

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PostSubject: Re: Mao's triple Axel   Mon Dec 09, 2013 9:53 pm

I just have to say that Mao's 3As have been ratified under a system that scrutinize jumps like crazy. I am pretty sure we can find flaws in a lot of skaters' jumps in the past if we repeatedly try to look for them in slo-mo. I don't feel either Midori or Tonya Harding had great technique on their 3A. Midori had a leg wrap and Harding didn't have good air position on her 3As. What they did have was great power that made their jumps have that 'wow' factor. To me, Mao's 3As have a different kind of appeal. At her best, she makes them appear effortless and elegant. She definitely deserves credit for showing us that a 3A can not only be powerful but also elegant.
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PostSubject: Re: Mao's triple Axel   Mon Dec 09, 2013 11:54 pm

aoi88 wrote:
I just have to say that Mao's 3As have been ratified under a system that scrutinize jumps like crazy. I am pretty sure we can find flaws in a lot of skaters' jumps in the past if we repeatedly try to look for them in slo-mo. I don't feel either Midori or Tonya Harding had great technique on their 3A. Midori had a leg wrap and Harding didn't have good air position on her 3As. What they did have was great power that made their jumps have that 'wow' factor. To me, Mao's 3As have a different kind of appeal. At her best, she makes them appear effortless and elegant. She definitely deserves credit for showing us that a 3A can not only be powerful but also elegant.

So true regarding Midori's leg wrap. It's especially noticeable on ladies 3A comparisons on Youtube. I think if Midori jumped with less leg wrap, she might have been successful at attempting a 3quad because of her speed and height on her jumps.


I felt that Mao had the most beautiful 3A because it was so powerful yet so feminine. All she needs to do now is add just a bit more speed going into her 3A jumps to avoid her slight under-rotations.

Ladies 3A:http://youtu.be/29SMYaEwGyM

Mao & Plushenko's matching 3axel: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FK01mukJJe0 (To be honest, Mao's 3a is more rotated than Plushy)
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PostSubject: Re: Mao's triple Axel   Tue Dec 10, 2013 2:46 am

I can't extend enough my appreciation for Iceriver, Aoi88, Shar, Zarina, Inskate and many other forum members who have helped me gain knowledge of FS. Do you find that the new system takes away from the enjoyment of jumps? I do. Previously, I just admired the height, air position and speed etc of the jumps, but now with the obsessive scrutiny of the new system, I often find myself focusing too much on whether the jumps took off with the right edge or whether they have been fully rotated.

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PostSubject: Re: Mao's triple Axel   Tue Dec 10, 2013 2:59 am

Thank you all for your nice comments. I'm not a skater and I don't consider myself a very knowledgeable person when it comes to technique. My post was not intended to be something like "Hey! I know lots of things, you'll see" because it's not true. In fact, the idea of writing this just came into my mind this last weekend when I noticed that most men had quite a noticeable prerotation in their axels. It was not prepared and I was writing while playing the jumps in slow motion. I chose Patrick and Yuzuru because they were both at the GPF and then decided to pick another axel, and I chose Javier for no particular reason. In the end, I ended up writing a lot and it sounded like I was doing a speech about the axel mechanism but in fact I was just describing what I had seen in the videos. Any criticisms are welcomed, obviously!  Wink
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PostSubject: Re: Mao's triple Axel   Tue Dec 10, 2013 3:08 am

aoi88 wrote:
I just have to say that Mao's 3As have been ratified under a system that scrutinize jumps like crazy. I am pretty sure we can find flaws in a lot of skaters' jumps in the past if we repeatedly try to look for them in slo-mo. I don't feel either Midori or Tonya Harding had great technique on their 3A. Midori had a leg wrap and Harding didn't have good air position on her 3As. What they did have was great power that made their jumps have that 'wow' factor. To me, Mao's 3As have a different kind of appeal. At her best, she makes them appear effortless and elegant. She definitely deserves credit for showing us that a 3A can not only be powerful but also elegant.

I agree that neither Midori's nor Toya's 3 Axels were what we would call beautiful. However, if you watch most skaters' jumps you'll realise that they always underotate them a little bit. The key is to make the jump not look suspicious, if you understand what I mean. A technical specialist would not replay Patrick's or Javier's axel unless something strange happens in the landing because they jump far and high. Instinctively, a jump with height and distance looks cleaner than a jump with less height but faster rotation.
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PostSubject: Re: Mao's triple Axel   Tue Dec 10, 2013 3:25 am

Thank you iceriver for the analysis with easy-to-understand pics!!

aoi88 wrote:
I just have to say that Mao's 3As have been ratified under a system that scrutinize jumps like crazy. I am pretty sure we can find flaws in a lot of skaters' jumps in the past if we repeatedly try to look for them in slo-mo. I don't feel either Midori or Tonya Harding had great technique on their 3A. Midori had a leg wrap and Harding didn't have good air position on her 3As. What they did have was great power that made their jumps have that 'wow' factor. To me, Mao's 3As have a different kind of appeal. At her best, she makes them appear effortless and elegant. She definitely deserves credit for showing us that a 3A can not only be powerful but also elegant.

Couldn't agree more.
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PostSubject: Re: Mao's triple Axel   Tue Dec 10, 2013 6:46 pm

Iceriver wrote:


I agree that neither Midori's nor Toya's 3 Axels were what we would call beautiful. However, if you watch most skaters' jumps you'll realise that they always underotate them a little bit. The key is to make the jump not look suspicious, if you understand what I mean. A technical specialist would not replay Patrick's or Javier's axel unless something strange happens in the landing because they jump far and high. Instinctively, a jump with height and distance looks cleaner than a jump with less height but faster rotation.

Your comment is very eye-opening for me. For a casual Fs follower like me, Midori's 3A looks very impressive, since I can't help comparing the power of the jump with her tiny stature.

Can we talk about skating skills please? Who do you think has the best skating skills, both male and female skaters? I remember Taka said that his father made him skate to the compulsory figures when he was a kid, so that probably accounts for his good edge.

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PostSubject: Re: Mao's triple Axel   Tue Dec 10, 2013 9:39 pm

And somebody made a video comparison of Mao's ratified 3As with the one she did in the SP (along with the spins) and you can see that the 3A in the SP at GPF was definitely better although shitty Amano URed it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jafX6uEYSnM
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PostSubject: Re: Mao's triple Axel   Tue Dec 10, 2013 9:50 pm

roma wrote:
And somebody made a video comparison of Mao's ratified 3As with the one she did in the SP (along with the spins) and you can see that the 3A in the SP at GPF was definitely better although shitty Amano URed it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jafX6uEYSnM


Oh Amano Mad  Evil or Very Mad  Every time I hear his name, my blood pressure goes up.  Faint2 Faint2

And that video breaks my heart. It's so obvious...he hates her. I mean, why else would you give a clean 3-axel a score that the past judges gave your shitty 3A, other than you hate that she's better than you.  Very Mad 
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PostSubject: Re: Mao's triple Axel   Wed Dec 11, 2013 3:42 am

About the axel...I mentioned the fact that Mao jumps it close to the boards. I might be wrong and I know that technical specialists are knowledgeable enough, but I insist. Is there a possibility that, because of Mao's curve in the landing some people tend to take a wrong reference direction when counting revolutions? I don't know how to explain it, but I'll try.

No one pays attention to men's prerotation because they "jump forward" and the direction is very clear. However, as you have seen, there's a quarter turn prerotation.

Let's watch at Javi's axel for instance: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mG0nB-nKgdQ

Go to minute 4:03 at put the speed to 0.25 if you can. Javi is preparing his axel, making the jumping direction very clear. I'm using this "jumping direction" concept which I believe is not very technical but I think we all understand the meaning. He's skating in that direction, so the axel has to be landed in that same direction but backwards. It has to be like that, there's no other option. If you pause at 4:05 you see the prerotation, but still you don't expect him to land after 3.5 revolutions in the air from that point because it would be "antinatural". You know, he's jumping in the other direction. Indeed, if you pause at 4:07 you'll see the landing. Everything's okay and he holds his outside edge in the landing, curving a little bit.

Now Mao's turn: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=brfCY93jgqc

Go to minute 5:03 and put the speed to 0.25. She's clearly going to jump in that direction, approaching the boards so to say. If you pause at 5:05 you see the 1/4 prerotation. I don't know why, but the way she jumps makes me expect her to land parallel to the boards. Maybe the presence of the boards itself or maybe the fact that she doesn't "bounce forward" as much as Javi but I think it makes some people confused, and thus some believe that she's cheating almost half turn. Anyway, now pause at 5:06 and then at 5:07. The latter is in fact the "right" landing direction. If she kept skating backwards, it would be clear. However, she keeps curving because of the boards. It's alright but, somehow, it gives the impression that she's still rotating the jump on the ice if you know what I mean.

I know it was not a very technical explanation but I hope you understood what I was trying to say. It's not a big deal as long as you take into account that a quarter prerotation is allowed. However, I sometimes feel that, unlike the men, the way Mao jumps her triple axel makes it less clear which the takeoff direction is and when prerotation starts.

As for skating skills that perlyriver mentioned, I'm afraid I cannot help much because my knowledge in that department is not that broad. However, I'll write something now giving my opinions but please don't take it as something technical.
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PostSubject: Re: Mao's triple Axel   Wed Dec 11, 2013 4:25 am

Iceriver wrote:



Javier Fernández (2013 Europeans SP)


Let's account for prerotation now. It's, again, around a quarter, so all in all Javi rotates 3-3.25 revolutions in the air. Similar to Patrick, but with better air position IMO.

blade leaving the ice (red): http://i58.servimg.com/u/f58/18/64/99/23/j3_tif10.jpg
landing (blue): http://i58.servimg.com/u/f58/18/64/99/23/j4_tif10.jpg




Mao Asada (2013 GPF SP)  


Now for the last time let's account for prerotation. Once she is prepared to take off following the red line direction drawn before, her left foot starts rotating on the ice, prerotating the jump by a quarter turn more or less. That's good, just like Patrick and Javi, although more than Yuzuru. Let's look at the landing position again. If we start counting rotation from the moment Mao's blade leaves the ice and we consider that the jump is landed just when the blade touches the ice again, we can see that she rotates a little bit more than 3 turns in the air. All in all, we could say that she rotates 3-3.25 (maybe closer to 3 than to 3.25) turns in the air.

blade leaving the ice (red): http://i58.servimg.com/u/f58/18/64/99/23/m3_tif10.jpg
landing (blue): http://i58.servimg.com/u/f58/18/64/99/23/m4_tif10.jpg

But...isn't a triple axel supposed to be a 3.5 revolutions jump? Well, it all depends on how you consider prerotation. One think is sure: Mao rotated as many revolutions as Patrick and Javi, and less than Yuzu's "worth +3's" triple axel.

My conclussions

When it comes to axels, establishing the moment from which you start to count rotations is not that easy, since it usually implies one quarter prerotation more or less. You can consider the take off direction as I painted or you can start counting from the exact moment the blade leaves the ice. If you decide to do the latter, then Mao's 3A is underotated by almost half turn, but so is Patrick's and Javi's, and you can argue that Yuzu's triple axel also lacks a little bit of rotation. Doing so, we get to a laughable conclussion: some of the best man jumpers these days, who are able to land beautiful quads, cheat their axels by almost half turn...oh they are cheaters! They cannot land jumps properly and judges don't punish them with several -1 or -2!!! Corrupt system...

So, my final words will be: Mao's triple axel lacks distance and height to compete with the men's or with Midori Ito and Tonia Harding. However, they are rotated enough if we use the same standards as we use with some of the men's triple axels, except if we make comparisons with the best 3A jumpers such as Yuzuru Hanyu. The fact that the jump is usually slightly cheated and lacks a little bit of ice coverage for such a big jump makes it not worth +2's and +3's, but a GOE of +1 for good air position, good height for a women's jump and good landing is reasonable if executed cleanly enough.

That's all folks. Hope you enjoyed this post and I wish to hear your opinions soon!!  Very Happy

Wow, thanx for this analysis.
I do have one point to add though. I'm not a technical expert, so those who understand the mechanism of jumps better please do correct me, if I'm wrong, but to my knowledge, to jump an axel (of any kind) you "prerotate" the jump for about a quarter. Axel has a forward take off, so you don't really take off "strictly forward", but only prepare for the take off in the forward line (if I'm making any sense). If you look at all the good skaters, they all take off at quarter of a prerotation, so because of that, I've always asumed that this is the norm. It's the same with the loop. You "prerotate" it by a quarter, it's allowed, anything above that, you get dinged for it.

In the past (2009/2010 season) Mao's axel take off was ok, so I never understood all those she's prerotating screams from the haters. If you want to see what a prerotated axel looks like, take a look at Evan's, his take off is almost the same as it is for the salchow.
I haven't yet taken a close look at her axel take off this season, so I can't say whether it's ok or not, however to the naked eye it looks ok.

Even though a triple jump has a three rotations in the air in theory, I don't think I've ever seen a skater who wouldn't "prerotate (in the case of an axel)" or "underrotate" a jump within an allowed quarter limit.

Yuzu has the best 3A in the business, hands down.

IMO, you can't compare ladies to men, because of their body and strength. Ladies will never jump as high or far as men do. I've laways thought, that the jumps should have a different base value for ladies, because for them even a triple toeloop is a lot harder to do than it is for men.
Mao is being judged unbelievavbly harsh on her 3A, yes when there's an obvious UR, she should get punished, but to replay her 3A over and over again, just to find a fault in it, it's stupid. This goes for the technical panel.

Mao's SS have improved so much. Her use of edges is very good, her speed and flow of her skating
has increased. For many, the lady with the best SS is Carolina Kostner, many also think Yuna has great SS, however I personally disagree with that. She does so many crossovers to gain speed which usually means she doesn't have a good edge technicque.

As much as I dislike Patrick, his SS are phenomanel, so are Takahiko Kozuka's. To me and to some commentators Kozuka's SS are better than Patrick's, however for some reason, he doesn't get a recognition for it from judges.

Sorry for my very long post. Embarassed  And like I've said, if I've gotten anything wrong please corect me, I only know about technical stuff from the years of watching skating and reading forums.
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PostSubject: Re: Mao's triple Axel   Wed Dec 11, 2013 7:32 am

Hi Zarina! Thank you for your comments. I agree with you on almost everything you said. Just a few comments:

- I'm afraid I didn't use a correct expression when I said "takeoff direction". It's more like the preparation for the axel. I only mentioned it to have a reference direction when talking about prerotation, otherwise it will be impossible to say how much prerotation the jump has. Also forgive me if I used the word "direction" wrong. In Spanish, when talking in a more mathematical or physical way we use "dirección" for the line and "sentido" to specify one way of the other. So, for me, and axel is expected to be landed in the same direction as the preparation line, but in the opposite "sense" (i.e. backwards on the same line). Anyway, sorry if I didn't make it clear.  

- About Mao's prerotation and haters: this happens because they are only replaying Mao's triple axels and not other skaters. A quarter prerotation is normal, and then something similar to a quarter underotation is still admissible. So, it could be better, but it's not that bad. No one is asking for a +3, but a +1 would be reasonable. And I've seen Evan's triple axel so I know what you are talking about.

-About Caro's skating skills: Nothing to say, they are great. However, I believe they are not as highly rewarded as Patrick's because, despite her speed, she lacks more complexity in her choreographies so as to show her multidirectional skating and the command that Patrick shows with his transitions. She also telegraphs her jumps quite a lot. I don't see the kind of coordination that Mao and Yuna have. She skates very fast and smoothly, but not doing much between her big elements. I know this sounds more like transitions but, according to ISU, skating skills also englobe the "overall skating" so the so-called multidirectional skating, turns and complexity, speed and edges in steps are taken into account here.

From minute 1:15 you can see how well she covers the ice: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yQkzD_-3UV8

-About Mao's skating skills: they have definitely improved. I've always been a fan, but I admit that in Vancouver I was a little worried. She seemed to move slower than she does now, and IMO her skating lacked flow. It's a different story now: edges are cleaner, lightness in her skating is more evident and she has gained speed. Additionally, she generates speed more easily. I would like her to attack jumps a little bit more and skate with even more speed. It's okay to do only 2 crossovers to gain speed before a jump, but let's face it, judges are not counting crossovers. If you do 5 crossovers and you are still slow it's bad, but if you do five crossovers and keep skating with impressive speed, no one's going to complain.

- About Yuna's skating skills: I agree with the number of crossovers. However, I still think that her skating skills are good. The number of crossovers is not distracting and there are many other qualities in her skating, so it's not fair to say that her SS are bad because of the strokes. She has good flow in general. I believe that, although she has (or had) a tendency to look laboured in step sequences, they are not as bad now as some people claim. I say "had" because she has improved, at least in my view. Her step sequence in the kiss of the vampire had good flow, deep edges and nice curves, and this is also an important aspect of them, I think.

See from minute 2:15: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6MfgGsf0cZA.

However, to see great curves with deep edges, see Akiko's SP this year: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=juSIl8fzXAw

As much as I love Mao's step sequences, I would like to see slightly deeper edges, but I'm just being too harsh now, I know.

- I'm not going to say much about the men. Patrick's SS are great. Taka's SS are great too, but his inconsistency and sometimes lack of more interesting choreography doesn't help him (in judges eyes, I mean). And this is how this sport works, sadly. I like Han Yan's skating skills too.

I think this is all I wanted to say. Sorry (again) for my (too?) long post post  Wink
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PostSubject: Re: Mao's triple Axel   Wed Dec 11, 2013 2:42 pm

Iceriver wrote:
Hi Zarina! Thank you for your comments. I agree with you on almost everything you said. Just a few comments:

- I'm afraid I didn't use a correct expression when I said "takeoff direction". It's more like the preparation for the axel. I only mentioned it to have a reference direction when talking about prerotation, otherwise it will be impossible to say how much prerotation the jump has. Also forgive me if I used the word "direction" wrong. In Spanish, when talking in a more mathematical or physical way we use "dirección" for the line and "sentido" to specify one way of the other. So, for me, and axel is expected to be landed in the same direction as the preparation line, but in the opposite "sense" (i.e. backwards on the same line). Anyway, sorry if I didn't make it clear.  

- About Yuna's skating skills: I agree with the number of crossovers. However, I still think that her skating skills are good. The number of crossovers is not distracting and there are many other qualities in her skating, so it's not fair to say that her SS are bad because of the strokes. She has good flow in general. I believe that, although she has (or had) a tendency to look laboured in step sequences, they are not as bad now as some people claim. I say "had" because she has improved, at least in my view. Her step sequence in the kiss of the vampire had good flow, deep edges and nice curves, and this is also an important aspect of them, I think.


Hey! Thanx for exlaining the "take off direction", yeah I did misunderstood you.  Embarassed 

I didn't mean to imply that Yuna's SS are bad, I'm sorry if it came across like that, I was just saying that to me her SS aren't great (like many of her fans claim them to be), but they're certainly not bad.
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PostSubject: Re: Mao's triple Axel   Wed Dec 11, 2013 3:28 pm

zarinaballerina wrote:


Hey! Thanx for exlaining the "take off direction", yeah I did misunderstood you.  Embarassed 

I didn't mean to imply that Yuna's SS are bad, I'm sorry if it came across like that, I was just saying that to me her SS aren't great (like many of her fans claim them to be), but they're certainly not bad.

I think I'm going to edit my first post because I don't like the "take off direction" either...it's confusing so thank you for telling me  Smile 

As for Yuna, I didn't say you meant she had bad skating skills. In fact I agree with you. I was just trying to give my opinion about her skating in general. If I sometimes sound very complimentary about her skating is because as a fan of Mao and Yuna I have a tendency to point out Yuna's qualitites here, because I'm sure that you all know why Mao is such a good skater, so there's no need of keep repeating what you all know  Wink 

Additionally, it's difficult to quantify skating skills with numbers, isn't it? Especially when talking about speed. Obviously, there's the perfect case of an imaginary skater that gains incredible speed with two crossovers. But, then, what is better, one crossover and skate in an average speed or five and skate super fast?...it's not easy to say, at least for me.
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PostSubject: Re: Mao's triple Axel   Thu Dec 12, 2013 7:03 am

Iceriver, thanks for demystifying skating skills for me  Many Hearts 
I still wonder what exactly do the judges look for when they mark skating skills? Based on your explanation, Carol deserves to get highest scores for skating skills, doesn't she? I watched her Mozart LP over and over again and her skating skills in that program never ceases to amaze me. I think that's the best program of her career, as it's very well-choreographed and it brings out many of her good qualities.
If it doesn't take you much time, may I know your opinion on Shizuka, Irina and Sasha's skating skills? while ago, I read to thread on GS or FS which discussed who would have won OGM had Sasha and Irina both skated clean. Interestingly, the concensus is that Shiz would still win, or she could come close to Irina, but Sasha would never win since her technical layout was inferior than the other two and her skating skills were also inferior and she didn't have any advantage over Shiz and Irina PCS-wise.

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PostSubject: Re: Mao's triple Axel   Thu Dec 12, 2013 7:51 am

Speaking of Caro, she's out of nationals due to an injury. I hope she's ok by Sochi.
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PostSubject: Re: Mao's triple Axel   Thu Dec 12, 2013 8:12 am

shar wrote:
Speaking of Caro, she's out of nationals due to an injury.  I hope she's ok by Sochi.

 Sad  Lots of injuries and illnesses so far this season...
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PostSubject: Re: Mao's triple Axel   Thu Dec 12, 2013 10:02 am

shar wrote:
Speaking of Caro, she's out of nationals due to an injury.  I hope she's ok by Sochi.

Poor Carol, she had a fantastic 2012 season and now she's not in a good condition to prepare for the final Olympics of her career. I really hope to see her on the podium at Sochi Faint2 

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PostSubject: Re: Mao's triple Axel   Thu Dec 12, 2013 4:06 pm

pearlyriver wrote:
Iceriver, thanks for demystifying skating skills for me  Many Hearts 
I still wonder what exactly do the judges look for when they mark skating skills? Based on your explanation, Carol deserves to get highest scores for skating skills, doesn't she? I watched her Mozart LP over and over again and her skating skills in that program never ceases to amaze me. I think that's the best program of her career, as it's very well-choreographed and it brings out many of her good qualities.
If it doesn't take you much time, may I know your opinion on Shizuka, Irina and Sasha's skating skills?  while ago, I read to thread on GS or FS which discussed who would have won OGM had Sasha and Irina both skated clean. Interestingly, the concensus is that Shiz would still win, or she could come close to Irina, but Sasha would never win since her technical layout was inferior than the other two and her skating skills were also inferior and she didn't have any advantage over Shiz and Irina PCS-wise.

I would give her the highest scores for skating skills, yes. She is amazing in that aspect. Sadly, it seems that judges are not able to reward each PCS category properly. I mean, it's sometimes sad to see Caro scoring higher than others in PCS (nothing wrong with this), go to the protocols and notice that she has won because of interpretation or even transitions instead of skating skills. The same with Patrick, how can judges give him a 9 in skating skills and transitions (his programs are full of them, and very difficult IMO) and then 9.75 in interpretation over, for example, Dai? It makes me sad (and sometimes angry) to see that judges are not rewarding what they should reward. It's good to see great skaters receiving high PCS, but I would like to see every skater strongest points rewarded properly, otherwise everything would be reduced to "great skaters", "average skaters" and "bad skaters", without accounting for each one's strengths and weaknesses.

As for the skaters in Torino, I will re-watch their performances a write something when I have more time. Again, I'm just going to give my opinion, don't take my comments too seriously  Wink
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PostSubject: Re: Mao's triple Axel   Fri Dec 13, 2013 12:39 am

shar wrote:
Speaking of Caro, she's out of nationals due to an injury.  I hope she's ok by Sochi.

Sad to read this  Sad  . Get well soon Caro.
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