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 Japanese Nationals 2013

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linglang
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PostSubject: Re: Japanese Nationals 2013   Tue Dec 24, 2013 3:16 am

The broadcasting of ex gala started. So far Satoko and Nobu skated.  Nobu was in tears and big smiles at the end of his performance.  Bawling

Typically, he burst into tears ..... when Akiko won the championship.  lol! 
https://twitter.com/hasupooh/status/415317375420866560/photo/1
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PostSubject: Re: Japanese Nationals 2013   Tue Dec 24, 2013 4:11 am

Thanks to the poster.  This channel has clips of MOI.  Very Happy 
http://www.youtube.com/user/icechannel2011/videos

Tatsuki's ex performance was skipped.  scratch
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PostSubject: Re: Japanese Nationals 2013   Tue Dec 24, 2013 4:56 am

Nobu announced his retirement ... he's not going to 4CC.  His competitive skating career ended tonight ...  Neutral  so sad ...  Sad, Lonely  But, I will be looking forward to seeing his happy marry performances at the shows.  Yep!
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PostSubject: Re: Japanese Nationals 2013   Tue Dec 24, 2013 5:04 am

linglang wrote:
Nobu announced his retirement ... he's not going to 4CC.  His competitive skating career ended tonight ...  Neutral  so sad ...  Sad, Lonely  But, I will be looking forward to seeing his happy marry performances at the shows.  Yep!

Who will replace Nobu at 4CC? He must be very upset at not being sent to the Olympics Crying or Very sad 

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PostSubject: Re: Japanese Nationals 2013   Tue Dec 24, 2013 5:44 am

pearlyriver wrote:
linglang wrote:
Nobu announced his retirement ... he's not going to 4CC.  His competitive skating career ended tonight ...  Neutral  so sad ...  Sad, Lonely  But, I will be looking forward to seeing his happy marry performances at the shows.  Yep!

Who will replace Nobu at 4CC? He must be very upset at not being sent to the Olympics Crying or Very sad 

This article says Mura will be sent instead. http://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/hl?a=20131224-00000034-asahi-spo

It must be difficult for him to maintain the motivation. If he had been chosen for the worlds, he might have stayed a little longer ...  Crying or Very sad 
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PostSubject: Re: Japanese Nationals 2013   Tue Dec 24, 2013 5:46 am

I'm so sad to hear that Nobu retires, without getting a World medal.
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PostSubject: Re: Japanese Nationals 2013   Tue Dec 24, 2013 6:47 am

Depressed Crying Depressed Crying Depressed Crying 


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PostSubject: Re: Japanese Nationals 2013   Tue Dec 24, 2013 6:57 am

It was quite obvious that Oda wouldn't be sent to the Olympics. However, not sending him to Worlds is, IMO, a foolish decision and I would dare say that it's even cruel. He's not as charismatic or has accomplished as much in his career as Daisuke, but he's also a veteran who has been skating for a very long time and belongs to the group of Japanese skaters which have raised the sport in his country. Additionally, he's not been scoring that bad in the Grand Prix series. In fact, he's been quite good and even great if we compare him to most men competing for other countries. You don't have to be Einstein to imagine that he was going to end his competitive career this season or, maybe, in one or two so, why not allowing him to retire at worlds, held in his country? I'm sure Machida is more than happy going to the Olympics so, why sending him to worlds too? I think that sending Oda instead of him would have been the best decision.

Well, I don't know...I'm sad and angry right now. It was impossible to please every skater, but this was an opportunity to make a wise decision and reward the veterans for their efforts. Seriously, JSF, you could have done much better  Sad
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PostSubject: Re: Japanese Nationals 2013   Tue Dec 24, 2013 7:18 am

BTW I'm very sad for Taka too. However, I don't now why but I feel even sadder for Oda. He's been fighting and improving and has proved to be quite competitive this season.
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PostSubject: Re: Japanese Nationals 2013   Tue Dec 24, 2013 11:46 am

Great performances from everyone at MOI!

I love the team interactions. It was such a touching moment for Nobu, so sad...but I wish him the best! It's nice that he has a supportive family and 2 adorable children to return home to.

So sad to hear about Mao's back pain. Unfortunately, chronic back pain is usually from wear and tear, the only way for it to get better is with more rest...which I doubt Mao will do. The only supportive measure is pain medications, and anti-inflammatory medications. I don't know if Mao is taking enough of those though, knowing her personality. But complete rest will also make things stiffer sometimes, so it may be harder for Mao to do spins when she doesn't practice them- I'm sure Mao's trainer is knowledgeable enough to deal with this though. I just hope that it will be largely in control before Sochi.
I remember Mao's performance at WTT 2013, she seemed to have such difficulty with every move, not just the elements but even skating and moving around- it was highly suspicious she had a flare-up of back pain then. Even Dai seemed so concerned when she fought through her program. I hope it won't be that bad again.
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PostSubject: Re: Japanese Nationals 2013   Tue Dec 24, 2013 12:42 pm

Wow, I'm way from internet for 5 days and I miss all this?! Unconscious 

I'm shocked at Mao's performance, but on the other hand, it's better that it happened now, than later in Sochi. She's been doing relly well troughout GP's series so she can't keep at such a high level all the time. I am worried about her back pain though, and also about her 3A mentality. It looks like her obsession with this jump is back in full force.  pale 

Since she isn't going to 4CC, I hope she'll take a break until New Year to rest and try to heal her back a bit.

I'm really  confused  Suspect about Akiko's score (she'll never get this at Intl event), but I'm happy for her win.

I don't understand why Dai (considering his Nat's placement) is being send to Worlds. I get that he's a huge star in Japan, but come on, it's unfair towards the others. He already gets to go to Sochi, so send those to Tokyo, who placed ABOVE him at Nationals.

I hope Yuzu will fix whatever is bodering him with his 4S, I'm worried to be honest.

Congratulations to those who got selected for Sochi!





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PostSubject: Re: Japanese Nationals 2013   Tue Dec 24, 2013 5:39 pm

Love Hearts this post-Jpn national interview video is really cute:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4w46dlr6Yd0&feature=youtu.be

Adding: more post national interview news:
http://hochi.yomiuri.co.jp/sports/winter/news/20131224-OHT1T00111.htm

It explains a little about Mao's back pain. It's chronic since her junior year. But the good thing is that she'll have some time to rest from now on until after the new year. Mao's new year's wish is to:
'このお正月は、ゆっくりしたいです。もう、こたつで横になりたいです' Laughing (rough translation: (I) want to take things slowly. Also, I want to be by the side of 'kotatsu'...someone has to explain what kotatsu is....)

BTW, I wonder if Mao will have the usual Aichi new year charity performance this year Question 
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PostSubject: Re: Japanese Nationals 2013   Tue Dec 24, 2013 7:58 pm

Kotatsu!!   Too sweet!  It's a table with a warmer and quilt.
https://www.google.co.jp/search?q=%E3%81%93%E3%81%9F%E3%81%A4&client=firefox-a&hs=V2f&rls=org.mozilla:ja:official&hl=ja&channel=fflb&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=A0a6UtzIItCgkgXbrIHwAw&ved=0CAkQ_AUoAQ&biw=1252&bih=578

So, she says she wants to lie down under the Kotatsu.

It's really difficult to get out of it since it's so warm and so comfortable.

Thanks COHK for the clip.

Akiko said she didn't remember so much about the Vancouver Olympics because everything passed so quickly, and asked Mao if she remembered anything.  Mao said she remembered food at the athletes village.  lol!

I hope she will skip Nagoya figure skating festival if her back pain didn't improve.  Yep, Sadly
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PostSubject: Re: Japanese Nationals 2013   Tue Dec 24, 2013 8:58 pm

with Akiko & Yuzu, with Cahty & Lambiel
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kot7Vkpy8og

Pyonpyon with Nobu
http://uploda.cc/img/img52b9825b4bee7.gif





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PostSubject: Re: Japanese Nationals 2013   Tue Dec 24, 2013 9:12 pm

COHK wrote:
Love Hearts this post-Jpn national interview video is really cute:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4w46dlr6Yd0&feature=youtu.be

Adding: more post national interview news:
http://hochi.yomiuri.co.jp/sports/winter/news/20131224-OHT1T00111.htm

It explains a little about Mao's back pain. It's chronic since her junior year. But the good thing is that she'll have some time to rest from now on until after the new year. Mao's new year's wish is to:
'このお正月は、ゆっくりしたいです。もう、こたつで横になりたいです' Laughing (rough translation: (I) want to take things slowly. Also, I want to be by the side of 'kotatsu'...someone has to explain what kotatsu is....)

BTW, I wonder if Mao will have the usual Aichi new year charity performance this year Question 

Thanks for the update, COHK. Lol kotatsu  Laugh. I have a mixed feeling about things like kotatsu or electric blanket. They dull my mind and weakend my already wimpy determination  Hell, no! 

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PostSubject: Re: Japanese Nationals 2013   Tue Dec 24, 2013 11:15 pm

I see Mao having a great holiday with family and friends while resting through the new year. Then getting back to her training sometimes in January, and she will succeed in getting her mind and body ready for Sochi, where she will be successful and achieve her dreams of performing her best at the Olympics.

I hope all of Mao's fans stops worrying about Nationals and her 3a, and look forward to her success in the future. We must remember that words and thoughts have power. And when we put thoughts out in the universe, we could see them materialize. So if we want Mao to be successful with her SP and FS at the Olympics, we have to start sending positive energy to her and visualizing her succeeding and achieving her ultimate goal.

You bet there are haters out there constantly sending negative energy to Mao so she can fail, and our worrying and nervousness are not blocking those negativity from affecting her, but it could be assisting those negative thoughts. Fight back with positivity. Keep praying and visualizing Mao getting stronger and going clean in Sochi, and that energy will help and assist her to do just that.  Very Happy 

I wish you all a Happy Holiday and a wonderful New Year. Lets end this year and begin the New Year by send Mao good vibes. Trust me, it will work!
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PostSubject: Re: Japanese Nationals 2013   Wed Dec 25, 2013 12:19 am

shar wrote:
I see Mao having a great holiday with family and friends while resting through the new year. Then getting back to her training sometimes in January, and she will succeed in getting her mind and body ready for Sochi, where she will be successful and achieve her dreams of performing her best at the Olympics.

I hope all of Mao's fans stops worrying about Nationals and her 3a, and look forward to her success in the  future. We must remember that words and thoughts have power. And when we put thoughts out in the universe, we could see them materialize. So if we want Mao to be successful with her SP and FS at the Olympics, we have to start sending positive energy to her and visualizing her succeeding and achieving her ultimate goal.

You bet there are haters out there constantly sending negative energy to Mao so she can fail, and our worrying and nervousness are not blocking those negativity from affecting her, but it could be assisting those negative thoughts. Fight back with positivity. Keep praying and visualizing Mao getting stronger and going clean in Sochi, and that energy will help and assist her to do just that.  Very Happy 

I wish you all a Happy Holiday and a wonderful New Year. Lets end this year and begin the New Year by send Mao good vibes. Trust me, it will work!
Great post! This is what I'm trying to say everythime people start to worry about Mao.  sunny Mao is not the same girl she was at 2010 Olympics. And I don't think it's fair to compare her physical and psychological condition then and now. Even with back pain she is confident, she learned to take her mistakes and work on them. Everything will be fine.  flower 
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PostSubject: Re: Japanese Nationals 2013   Wed Dec 25, 2013 12:50 am

linglang wrote:
with Akiko & Yuzu, with Cahty & Lambiel
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kot7Vkpy8og

OMG did you guys look at Akiko's and Mao's reaction to Yuzuru landing that 3A?? And the way Mao was staring at and listening to Cathy Reed speaking English. I cracked up hahaha.

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PostSubject: Re: Japanese Nationals 2013   Wed Dec 25, 2013 1:15 am

shar wrote:
I see Mao having a great holiday with family and friends while resting through the new year. Then getting back to her training sometimes in January, and she will succeed in getting her mind and body ready for Sochi, where she will be successful and achieve her dreams of performing her best at the Olympics.

I hope all of Mao's fans stops worrying about Nationals and her 3a, and look forward to her success in the  future. We must remember that words and thoughts have power. And when we put thoughts out in the universe, we could see them materialize. So if we want Mao to be successful with her SP and FS at the Olympics, we have to start sending positive energy to her and visualizing her succeeding and achieving her ultimate goal.

You bet there are haters out there constantly sending negative energy to Mao so she can fail, and our worrying and nervousness are not blocking those negativity from affecting her, but it could be assisting those negative thoughts. Fight back with positivity. Keep praying and visualizing Mao getting stronger and going clean in Sochi, and that energy will help and assist her to do just that.  Very Happy 

I wish you all a Happy Holiday and a wonderful New Year. Lets end this year and begin the New Year by send Mao good vibes. Trust me, it will work!

PREACH.   Worship  Worship  Worship  Worship  Worship  Worship 

I will harness this universe power you speak of and send positive-as-hell vibes to our beloved Mao.

I will ALSO now use this universe power .................. to make Yuna do this beautiful new spiral called the SLIDE-ON-HER-@$$ Spiral for the rest of the season.

JUST KIDDINGGGGGG... (Please don't spam meeee)

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PostSubject: Re: Japanese Nationals 2013   Wed Dec 25, 2013 3:18 am

I know I'm late on this subject, but I think you kind of got the meaning of this article a bit wrong:
http://mainichi.jp/sports/news/20131224k0000m050116000c.html

I translated it as below, and I had to add some parts which aren't written in it so you can understand what it actually means cause this article is sort of written in a vague way in which only native Jpnse speakers can get it right. Auto translation isn't going to work well on this article.

Quote :
On the 23rd of Nats we weren't able to see Asada at her usual level on the ice. Followed by the 3A she missed some jumps too. Managed to make the podium, but she lost for the first time this season in a very important competition. She showed disappointment after finishing her skate and also seemed out of breath. She has said "There is a feeling inside me of relief that I failed this time (not in Olys)".

Her 3As had not been successful since the morning official practice (of the 23rd during Nats). However, she discussed the matter with coach Sato, decided not to change the layout (for Nats) as she considers it "Not a challenge but a basis". The first 3A was URd. She has said that if she succeeded the first 3A, Asada was planning to choose to leave out the second 3A, but she went for it anyway which resulted in jumping off with bad timing and was only scored as a 1.5 rotated jump. "I'm wondering where I lost it" (she said). She seems to be losing the sense of succeeding (the 3A).

During Vancouver Olys season she did not do well in GP series (in a rather similar way). "There were many times when I couldn't perform my best. I want to turn my vexation into doing better next time. I want to give a powered up performance". Japan's ace has not given up.

So you see, when Mao said that having a second 3A in the FP being 'a basis' and not 'a challenge', she was basically talking about how she was considering it for Nats only. She did not mention Olys here. She's already said after GPF that she's not totally sure yet about including a second 3A in Sochi, she said she'll see how it goes and discuss it over with Sato before she reaches a final decision. To my knowledge she has been saying she 'wants to' include a second 3A, but I don't think she's ever said she's definitely going with two 3As in Olys. From this article, it seems pretty obvious that they're still leaving the door open for several options to choose from. I think Mao and Sato will decide which one to go with depending on how her 3A condition turns out during January next year.

I also think, it was actually good that Mao didn't win in Nats this time. I was there in the stadium in a pretty good seat watching the whole 23rd day ladies FP and the following Olys representatives announcement. First of all, unfortunately Mao did quite bad in her FP this time as you all know, and it wasn't just about the jumps. She lost a great amount of speed in the latter half of her pro. The audience including me started clapping our hands to the rhythm of the music during the last SS, but it really felt awkward because her moves were so slow, it didn't match our hand claps slightly. It may not only be because she included the second 3A, although it definitely seemed to use up too much of her stamina, but also because she had been competing non stop up to GPF. I wouldn't be surprised if she had become a bit tired and she certainly didn't have enough time to focus and prepare much for Nats as much as Akiko and Kanako (with Satoko in behind, they had to prove they were 100% worthy of getting spots for Olys, and that's what they did exactly. Akiko's scores may have been a bit overscored, but I think most of the audience were genuinely happy when it came out at the time, cause her performance was surely the best of the day, and we were all quite excited for some time even after the standing ovations ended. But I do think that JSF the judges were prepared to score Mao even higher if only she managed to skate clean with her usual good speed. I got the impression they were being generous to all the top skaters. They probably wanted to give a confidence boost for those who did well. Despite some rumors in Jpn, it didn't seem like JSF was being bitchy to Mao only in my eyes).

However, although Mao did seem disappointed right after she finished skating, when she made her little speech about being chosen for Olys, she looked very determined and did not show any signs of feeling discouraged. This is the first time Mao lost this season, and I'm guessing it made her realize how much she dislikes losing. I think the vexation in her will effect her in a good way, as there has been times in the past when she didn't do good and lost in one competition, but came back very strong in the next one. In the season she first started working with Tat, she did very bad in TEB, but did brilliantly in NHK which was only 2 weeks after. This time, she has about a month to prepare for her next competition. Maybe not always, but I think vexation tends to push Mao into making the most out of practice. As most of you pointed out I believe Mao will reconsider her FP layout, this time along with a very strong feeling that she wants to skate clean and also win in Olys (she never said she wants to win OGM in Sochi, but I think she's starting to feel that way). I'm sure she knows that in her next competition, she can't afford to sort of try out something she's not too sure about, so she'll probably reconsider her FP layout more seriously than ever.

I'm not that worried about her, at least for now. I think losing this time lit a fire inside her. She had been winning throughout the season with no clean FP at all, and to be honest I felt that was making her a bit optimistic. It most likely started when she started saying she wants to add a second 3A, even though with only one 3A she was still inconsistent. Amano sucks, but I even think it was a good idea for JSF to invite him for the tech panel. Someone had to make Mao realize that before thinking about taking higher risks, she needs to put more weight on skating clean, and that's exactly what the judges did this time. Some fans in Jpn are saying JSF is being bitchy to Mao, but this time I do not agree. JSF does want Mao to win in Sochi. They did what they had to do to make her understand the importance of skating clean rather than attempting unstable 3As. IMO, they gave her exactly what she needed right now. From all the experience Mao and Sato has I'm sure they'll make the best decision so they can head to Sochi feeling confident. If her 3As can get better, and if Mao is certain she wants it, I'm okay with the second 3A. I'd prefer her going with only one, but it's her skating career, she's the one who's been dedicating her life to skating, so I will support any choice she makes. But she's definitely going to watch how Kanako and Akiko skated, she'll notice how much their clean skates were well accepted by us in the audience, and she will want that for herself in Olys. Anyway, it'll all depend on how her practice goes during the next month. We'll just have to wait and see, but I think she'll probably be okay. She looked much more stronger mentally, compared to how she seemed when I went to see her in Japan Open. Smile

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PostSubject: Re: Japanese Nationals 2013   Wed Dec 25, 2013 3:53 am

PochinkoPotanko wrote:

I'm not that worried about her, at least for now. I think losing this time lit a fire inside her. She had been winning throughout the season with no clean FP at all, and to be honest I felt that was making her a bit optimistic. It most likely started when she started saying she wants to add a second 3A, even though with only one 3A she was still inconsistent. Amano sucks, but I even think it was a good idea for JSF to invite him for the tech panel. Someone had to make Mao realize that before thinking about taking higher risks, she needs to put more weight on skating clean, and that's exactly what the judges did this time. Some fans in Jpn are saying JSF is being bitchy to Mao, but this time I do not agree. JSF does want Mao to win in Sochi. They did what they had to do to make her understand the importance of skating clean rather than attempting unstable 3As. IMO, they gave her exactly what she needed right now. From all the experience Mao and Sato has I'm sure they'll make the best decision so they can head to Sochi feeling confident. If her 3As can get better, and if Mao is certain she wants it, I'm okay with the second 3A. I'd prefer her going with only one, but it's her skating career, she's the one who's been dedicating her life to skating, so I will support any choice she makes. But she's definitely going to watch how Kanako and Akiko skated, she'll notice how much their clean skates were well accepted by us in the audience, and she will want that for herself in Olys. Anyway, it'll all depend on how her practice goes during the next month. We'll just have to wait and see, but I think she'll probably be okay. She looked much more stronger mentally, compared to how she seemed when I went to see her in Japan Open. Smile

Thanks Pochi. Hope Mao will receive the message...
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PostSubject: Re: Japanese Nationals 2013   Wed Dec 25, 2013 5:01 am

I don't mind Akiko's scores here esp in the FS. She didn't do just 6 triples, she did 7 and all 5 kinds, a 2A plus the other doubles. Most of all, she skated clean and gave it her all. For me she deserved it including PCS. You can tell it from the crowd's reaction before she even finished skating. Same with Kanako. You can tell the judges were rewarding the skaters who really brought their game and would have most likely did for Mao if she skated well. Unfortunately there were a lot of mistakes -- huge ones.

Mao is tired from the competitions and the injuries she suffers silently. I hope she'll be able to get some proper rest so she'll feel refreshed by January. For sure she's not happy with how she skated given that it's her last national competition and that her teammates were able to skate remarkably. Like Kayo said, it'll lit a fire in her because it's what she's been aiming for -- to be able to skate her programs clean like what Akiko and Kanako did at Nationals.
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PostSubject: Re: Japanese Nationals 2013   Wed Dec 25, 2013 5:06 am

AmazingGraceMao wrote:
PochinkoPotanko wrote:

I'm not that worried about her, at least for now. I think losing this time lit a fire inside her. She had been winning throughout the season with no clean FP at all, and to be honest I felt that was making her a bit optimistic. It most likely started when she started saying she wants to add a second 3A, even though with only one 3A she was still inconsistent. Amano sucks, but I even think it was a good idea for JSF to invite him for the tech panel. Someone had to make Mao realize that before thinking about taking higher risks, she needs to put more weight on skating clean, and that's exactly what the judges did this time. Some fans in Jpn are saying JSF is being bitchy to Mao, but this time I do not agree. JSF does want Mao to win in Sochi. They did what they had to do to make her understand the importance of skating clean rather than attempting unstable 3As. IMO, they gave her exactly what she needed right now. From all the experience Mao and Sato has I'm sure they'll make the best decision so they can head to Sochi feeling confident. If her 3As can get better, and if Mao is certain she wants it, I'm okay with the second 3A. I'd prefer her going with only one, but it's her skating career, she's the one who's been dedicating her life to skating, so I will support any choice she makes. But she's definitely going to watch how Kanako and Akiko skated, she'll notice how much their clean skates were well accepted by us in the audience, and she will want that for herself in Olys. Anyway, it'll all depend on how her practice goes during the next month. We'll just have to wait and see, but I think she'll probably be okay. She looked much more stronger mentally, compared to how she seemed when I went to see her in Japan Open. Smile

Thanks Pochi. Hope Mao will receive the message...

Thank you PochinkoPotanko for the clarification. I think it's a smart move strategy-wise not declaring any definite decision about going for how many 3As from Team Mao. Everything will depend on her condition until the time near Sochi. She really needs some rest now, after being through all the competitions during the 1st half of the season. I hope she'll even take some break from practicing 3As until later on, so perhaps she will be able to find the sense of the jump back after letting it go for a little while, just like the previous season. But anyway, I trust her team to make good decisions to plan out for Sochi.
No, I'm not worrying about her losing the nationals either. Mao is a fighter!
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PostSubject: Re: Japanese Nationals 2013   Wed Dec 25, 2013 7:17 am

I was wondering if she succeeds the first 3A, would she plan to make the 2nd one, which is a combo, 2A-2T? It doesn't feel like she will bring back the lutz. So it will either be that or she will make the 3F a combo, but it doesn't seem that easy, since Mao hasn't done that backup plan. It seems easier just to make the second one a 2A.
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PostSubject: Re: Japanese Nationals 2013   Wed Dec 25, 2013 8:09 am

roma wrote:
I don't mind Akiko's scores here esp in the FS. She didn't do just 6 triples, she did 7 and all 5 kinds, a 2A plus the other doubles. Most of all, she skated clean and gave it her all. For me she deserved it including PCS. You can tell it from the crowd's reaction before she even finished skating. Same with Kanako. You can tell the judges were rewarding the skaters who really brought their game and would have most likely did for Mao if she skated well. Unfortunately there were a lot of mistakes -- huge ones.

Mao is tired from the competitions and the injuries she suffers silently. I hope she'll be able to get some proper rest so she'll feel refreshed by January. For sure she's not happy with how she skated given that it's her last national competition and that her teammates were able to skate remarkably. Like Kayo said, it'll lit a fire in her because it's what she's been aiming for -- to be able to skate her programs clean like what Akiko and Kanako did at Nationals.

The thing about Akiko and Kanako's FP performances, were definitely the fact they skated clean with good speed. I think Kanako was slightly faster than Akiko, but that sort of worked both in a good and bad way imo. To me it felt like Kanako's performance was over in a zip. She skated fantastic, but because she was so speedy and probably with the choreo being how it is, it was after it was finished when I was really able to feel how great it was. During the performance everything went so fast one after another, I didn't have the chance to appreciate it in an emotional way.

That's the part which Akiko's FP was superior this time. During the first minute or so, she already succeeded in making us (the people in the audience) feel that she's in good condition, so there's no need for us to worry about her making mistakes. When skaters are very solid and strong from the beginning, they have that sort of effect on the audience I think. So once we felt there was no need to worry, we were able to genuinely appreciate everything she did while she was doing it. In a nutshell we were enjoying it as a performance. We forgot that she's skating in a competition, we forgot she'll be scored later. We had mental room to feel the emotions coming out of her skate. So, it was kind of like 'Wow Kanako, you did great!' and 'Wow Akiko, you did great and touched our hearts!'...that was the difference. I'm sure 99.9% of the audience gave Kanako standing ovations, but the time lag between the performance finishing and people standing up was much shorter in Akiko's case. Actually quite alot of people started standing up before Akiko's performance was totally finished. It was one of those special performances where the audience feels a strong urge to show their appreciation asap.

(Btw, I felt the scores were quite generous to all the assumed Sochi candidates in Nats this time. I think JSF made some policy changes, and they decided to score our top skaters extra high so to appeal how good they are to ISU. Other countries have been doing that kind of thing in their Nats for years, Jpnse fans have been bashing JSF for not supporting their skaters well enough, so to me it's totally understandable they decided to be like this. I'm sure they were ready to give Mao a huge score, probably even higher than Akiko's, if only she had skated clean.)

I think being in the stadium this time made me understand the true importance of skating clean. I'm no judge, I'm not talking about scores. It's about the effect which clean skates have concerning appreciation. It simply relaxes the audience so they can focus on enjoying a performance, rather than being worried throughout it praying 'hope she doesn't fall' sort of thing. I don't think humans are capable of truly enjoying or feeling good sensations if we are worried. I find it very important for a skater to make the audience feel he/she will be okay, cause if they don't, the audience is going to be watching the performance feeling all worried and with hearts pounding from fear. If they're like that, they won't have any mental room to see the beauty, appreciate the artistry, and be moved by a performance in a true sense.

If the skater is basically very good in both techs and artistry (like Mao or Dai), I don't think they need to be totally clean in order to give mental room for the audience to appreciate their performances. But they do have to be clean up to some extent for sure. They're all practicing hard in order to give a performance which can make the audience feel what they're aiming to portray or express, as much as amazing them with their techs. They don't want us to see their performances being all worried or anguished. So they must convince us they're going to do well at an early point in their performances, and hence the first 1 or 2 jumps are going to be very important.

I've been able to appreciate most of Mao's performances this season feeling pretty relaxed, along with feeling what she's putting into her pros and adoring her beauty, even if her first jump =3A hadn't been totally successful or if she missed some other jumps. She had good speed, spins and her footwork has been brilliant. But that was only up until she started putting in the second 3A. I hadn't been able to enjoy her FP eversince. I'm always worried, and I can't help having bad feelings on how the latter half of the pro would turn out because it's clear that she starts to lose speed after the second 3A (however it turns out). I so wish she won't make me feel that way in Olys. UR or not isn't much of a big matter imo. If she can land it (or them) well, that'll give the impression that she's in good condition, and that she's a good skater whom you can relax and appreciate without wondering if she might fall or not. If she can do that much and go on skating at least visibly clean, I'm sure that even non-fans and people who don't know much about the sport can feel that she's special and that she's worthy of an OGM. I guess the rest will depend on how the other girls do.  silent 

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