April 20, 2009 12:31
Japanese figure skater Mao Asada became the second woman skater to earn over 200 points after Kim Yu-na this weekend. Asada earned 75.84 points in the short program on Friday and 126.03 points in the long program on Saturday in the first ISU Team Trophy in Tokyo.
With the combined score of 201.87, Asada surpassed her previous personal best of 199.52 points, not to mention the disappointing 188.09 points she scored in the World Championships last month, where she finished fourth. After Kim dominated the ladies' field in this year's World Championships with a remarkable 207.71 points, establishing herself as one of the favorites for Olympic gold in Vancouver next year, Asada has spurred her own quest for gold.
New scoring rules on the grade of execution (GOE) beginning next season are likely to favor Asada over Kim, especially in the jump component. Asada has frequently showed under-rotation problems in her triple axel jumps. Until the 2008/2009 season, the technical specialist lowered the basic score for the under-rotated jumps, and the judges deducted the GOE score as the downgrade mark was shown on the monitor. This double-penalty system led to under-rotated triple jumps being marked lower than clean double jumps.
But under the revised rules, the basic score of under-rotated jumps will be lowered, but the downgrade mark will not appear in the judges' monitors. Judges will mark the GOE score without the help of slow-motion video replay. This could result in the judges deducting one to three points of giving bonus points -- good news for Asada as it takes some burden off her in technically difficult combination jumps.
Until this season, there was no deduction requirement for the unclear edge use in the jump take-off, which was given an attention mark. But from next season, judges will be able to deduct one to two points on jump take-offs with an attention mark. This is likely to affect Kim as she has received an attention mark on her flip jump several times, including the 2009 World Championships.
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