Ok, here's another article I really liked, but I felt like I couldn't start a new thread every time I find one
, so here it is:
http://number.goo.ne.jp/others/723/20090226-6-1.htmlThe "weaknesses" and "true value" that Mao showed us in the Pre-Olympics
At the Four Continents Championship, the Olympic test event, Mao Asada finished 3rd.
"There are still many things that I need to do from now on. At Worlds, I want to give a better performance."
When Mao said this at the press conference, she could not hide her depressed expression.
This season, Mao has repeated the pattern of making mistakes in the short program and coming back in the free program. One reason why she is not in her best condition is that this season, to overcome her weaknesses, she is undertaking many challenges.
“For a skater to change what she has been doing all along is not easy. But Mao practiced like the men.”
Coach Tarasova, who could not accompany Mao to the Four Continents Championships because of family reasons, spoke this way in an interview in Helsinki at the end of January.
This season, Asada proactively tackled the correction of the edge of the lutz jump, which she received deductions for last season. But when her condition is poor, she becomes too conscious about it and makes mistakes. At this competition too, in the SP, she doubled the lutz, and finishing 6th, she had a rough start.
“Were you surprised that Mao started off in 6th place?”
Yu-Na Kim, who was asked this question, gave a bitter smile, and through a translator, answered this way.
“Everyone likes to ask me about Mao. But there’s no reason for me to pay attention to any one skater.”
Even though she said this, it doesn’t mean she wasn’t paying attention. Yu-Na Kim attempted to do the triple loop, which she’s weak at, in her free program. She fell and finished 3rd in the free program, but at the end, she held on to the top spot and won. The reason she dared to take a risk here can only be because she had a 14-point lead over Mao after the SP. For Kim, there should be no other skater that she worries about.
On the other hand, Mao, who had been driven into a difficult situation, decided to do one triple axel and avoided the lutz and salchow which she is weak at, and finished 1st in the free program with a safe, steady program.
Among the current ladies, these two both have outstanding qualities, but they are of different types.
"Yu-Na Kim's jumps are like the men's, with a lot of force, and both height and distance. On the other hand, Mao Asada's jumps are airy, like a butterfly rising up, feminine. Both have their good points."
Mieko Fujimori, who was a judge for the ladies' competition this time, spoke this way.
If you compare the expressiveness of the two, they are just about even. In terms of jump difficulty, Mao is ahead for some jumps. But in this season, when underrotation calls have become strict, difficult jumps now carry greater risk compared to before.
"In terms of judging, the ISU is now taking the direction of aiming for beautiful, perfected jumps rather than difficulty." (Fujimori)
The fact that a men's champion who did not do a quad emerged at last year's World Championships also supports Fujimori's words. The key for Mao's victory will be increasing the perfection of her combination jumps.
"This season Asada is using a deeper edge in her skating. If she perfects this, the success rates for her jumps should increase even more. Coach Tarasova is nurturing her with a view for the long-term." (Same source as before.)
In March, the World Championships will be held, but in that long-term view, of course there is next year's Olympics.
"This season is a year of challenges for Mao. But next year, she won't take risks."
So said Coach Tarasova.
Mao jumps like a butterfly, the judge said!! I like that!! Mao the butterfly!
And I'm so glad they point out that Mao and TAT are working to the long-term goal of winning the Olympics. A lot of people on the other forums are criticizing Mao's strategy, but I think that they just don't understand that Mao has bigger plans and goals than just winning every competition she enters..
So Go Mao!!