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  • June 17, 2019
    导出博客文章HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. -- After all the quad talk and quad practice and quad
    obsession, if not by the skaters then certainly from those who watch them, Jason
    Brown admitted it was hard to keep it together during his free skate at Skate
    America.It was kind of one of those dazed moments, Brown said after landing his
    first quad, in the Oct. 23 mens final in Hoffman Estates, Illinois. I was so
    focused. I said, Im going to attack it, and suddenly Im on one foot and I didnt
    have to fight for the landing. I thought, Oh my God, this is happening. As the
    2018 Winter Olympics comes into focus, it is that same attitude that seems to be
    gripping both the American men and women.You would be completely unrealistic if
    you werent thinking about [the Olympics] right now, because its going to be here
    in no time, Ashley Wagner said.Whether the Americans can land solidly in South
    Korea 15 months from now depends on what happens between now and then. The U.S.
    men are still working on earning three spots at the worlds, while U.S. women are
    jockeying for position among themselves.Wagner won the gold at Skate America,
    with American Mariah Bell capturing the silver and Japanese teen Mai Mihara
    taking the bronze. On the mens side, despite landing his quad toe loop, it was
    determined to be under-rotated, and Brown took the silver behind another
    Japanese teen, Shoma Uno, with American Adam Rippon showing off a new free skate
    and winning the bronze.For the U.S. women, Skate America was built as the
    anticipated showdown between Wagner and U.S. champion Gracie Gold after Golds
    disappointing fourth-place finish at the world championships in Boston last
    March. But Gold fell on her triple loop and triple salchow at Skate America and
    downgraded her other triple jumps to doubles, calling her fifth-place score of
    184.22 overly generous.It turned out to be the continued coming-out party for
    for the 20-year-old Bell -- Wagners and Rippons training partner under new coach
    Rafael Arutunian -- who scored a personal best of 130.67 in her free
    program.Bell called an appearance at the Worlds this spring in Helsinki very
    realistic. Just going into nationals [in January] to be on the podium, I think
    is very realistic for me. But right now, I honestly am just focused on going
    home and training for whatevers next.Though Wagner, a three-time national
    champion and silver medalist at the worlds this year, admitted she felt the
    pressure of Wagner versus Gold, she is clearly demonstrating a newfound maturity
    at age 25 that is paying dividends on the ice.The amount of nerves that I felt
    going into this competition, I would not have been able to handle last year,
    Wagner said. The way it was built up to be the ultimate showdown between Gracie
    and I, that was something I felt the pressure of, but I dealt with it and didnt
    succumb to it. I pushed through, and thats how I got to the top of the
    podium.Wagner finished in seventh place in Sochi in 2014 and was best remembered
    for speaking out openly against Russias anti-gay laws and the countrys president
    Vladimir Putin. She said she was mentally exhausted and overwhelmed after the
    Olympics.I was 22 and super excited about everything, and I think going into the
    next [Olympics] I will be way calmer in the way that I deal with everything, she
    said. I mean, I regret nothing in Sochi. I think it was a great event for me. Im
    always true to who I am. But I think going into this next Olympics, I am much
    more of an adult and more poised. I think Im more thoughtful in my responses but
    still myself. I still say what I feel, but I have more polish to it.Polish will
    not be a problem on ice for Brown and Rippon, whose artistic gifts were on
    display at Skate America. But the question for the men continues to be the quad
    -- whos landing it? How many are they doing? -- and the seemingly age-old debate
    of athleticism versus artistry.Uno cleanly landed a quad flip and quad toe loop
    in the opening seconds of his long program, and the 5-foot-3, 18-year-old
    followed with another quad toe and four triple jumps, a personal-best 279.34
    points, helping him finish 11 points ahead of Brown.With American Nathan Chen
    landing two quads in his short program and four in his free at nationals in
    January at age 16, the pressure has presumably become that much greater for
    Brown and Rippon.We have such an incredibly talented mens field, Wagner said.
    Its just really hard because our men are coming up at a time that weve never
    seen the likes of before. I think for our men, its the quad game for sure. But
    if you dont have the quads, then its the quality game and youve got to max out
    everything else and hope for the best. But for right now, in all honesty, if you
    dont have that quad, what are you doing? Or two or three or five.Sidelined from
    competition for much of the year with a back injury, Brown is acknowledged as
    one of the most gifted artistic skaters in the world. The question has been
    whether he could master the quad, the thought being that he could not reach the
    Olympic or world podium without it.Working this past summer on jumps with Frank
    Carroll in addition to working with his longtime coach Kori Ade, the always
    ebullient Brown comes as close as he ever will to bristling when discussing the
    hot-button topic.I found myself in many situations, Brown said. Youre not going
    to make the junior final. You dont have a triple axel. You know what? I went and
    won the junior final that year. I was told I couldnt make junior worlds without
    a triple axel. I got third.It was all about, I cant make the Olympic team
    without a quad. I made the Olympic team. I was told, You never have a chance of
    the podium at the Olympics. I was sixth after the short. I was less than a point
    from third, and I think I turned a lot of peoples heads when it happened, and so
    I think from that, its really about believing in yourself that you can do
    it.Brown knocked on the nearest wood as he pointed out hes not one to bomb. And
    when he does make a mistake, hes adept at recovering quickly.This is sport, he
    said. Crazy things happen all the time. Someone who does four quads may have an
    off-day that day and fall, and you seize the moment.Two-time Olympic team coach
    Audrey Weisiger, now a consultant for other coaches developing Olympic athletes
    like Brown, said since Sochi, Brown now has a mans physique and is very, very,
    very capable of landing quads consistently.In the meantime, though, I think hes
    one of most beautiful skaters we have in our competitive community, Weisiger
    said. People are drawn to him even if he doesnt do quads. People want to watch
    him. Youll see in competitions multiple standing ovations for him ... if he adds
    in a clean quad, he will be unbeatable.Brown said he has to guard against
    overtraining and reinjuring his back.My goal is to make the next Olympic team,
    he said. I want to be able to be on the podium, and I want to be able to be on
    the podium with doing three quads in my program and doing two quads in my short.
    Those are definitely big goals, but I cant do it injured. So for me, its just
    doing it the best that works for me and coming every day and constantly doing
    the best that I can and doing it right and right for me.Rippon fell on his
    opening quad toe at Skate America but was judged to have completed all four
    rotations. He said he would like to add another and land them cleanly before
    nationals. But the 2016 U.S. champion is with Brown: While he is working on
    quads, it is going to have to be done carefully.When I see somebody like Nathan,
    who is doing five quads, you know what, Im not going to do that tomorrow, Rippon
    said. Thats impossible. Im not 17, Im 26. So I have to take a different
    approach. My approach has to be a little bit more mindful. Hes already had a
    surgery. Ive never had hip surgery. Ive never had any surgery. Ive had a
    relatively healthy career, and mentally, Ive really focused on taking the whole
    thing rather than one thing dictating how its going to affect the program.Rippon
    also agrees with Brown that the power of a beautiful artistic performance should
    not be forgotten.When I go out there, I want to put on the best performance I
    can because thats what I remember growing up, Rippon said. I remember Michelle
    Kwan making me want to rip my heart out she was so good. I remember Tara
    Lipinski. I remember Alexei Yagudin and yes, they could have looked around and
    seen Timothy Goebel trying three quads, but they did what they knew was their
    best. And they pushed themselves to have those clean performances because thats
    what really gets people involved. And judges are people.Weisiger said both the
    American men and women have a chance at the Olympic podium in South
    Korea.Skating is one of those things where on the day of the Olympics, anything
    can happen, and sometimes when you get an Olympic champion, people are
    scratching their heads, Weisiger said. Whats brewing now is what happens in the
    Olympics. There is some skater out there getting ready to be an Olympic champion
    that we may not know at all. Wholesale
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    26-year-old finished last season with Clevelands Triple-A affiliate in Columbus
    after signing with the Indians in August. England keep on rolling, Scotland and
    Wales won, just about, Italy piled the pressure on South Africa and All Blacks
    are back to winning ways. ESPN reporters?have their say on the biggest
    storylines for each team coming out of the third week of the autumn
    internationals.Argentina Pumas not the golden team they once wereThere were
    glimpses of the free-flowing, attacking flair which we have been accustomed to
    seeing from Argentina, but for the most part they were poor in defeat to
    Scotland. Very poor. The narrow defeats to Wales and Scotland alone, may not be
    cause for concern, but the manner of the defeats surely are.They havent looked
    like the side which beat Ireland by double scores at last years Rugby World Cup.
    It has been one error-strewn performance after another for Los Pumas from the
    Rugby Championship and into the November series. Now they face an England team
    in devastating form.Their problems wont be fixed in a week, but they will be
    keen to end the year on a higher note. They will need to get a foothold at the
    set-piece, and at all costs prevent England from scoring early. Should they do
    that, and Nicolas Sanchez keeps the scoreboard ticking, they could end the year
    with some positives. -- Killian OConnorWeek 4 vs. England, Twickenham, Nov. 26,
    2:30 p.m. GMTAustralia Scrum aside, Wallabies newbies deliver?Australia are
    three from three in Europe after Michael Cheikas new-look outfit survived a late
    drop goal attempt to defeat France in Paris. With a host of first-choice players
    enjoying the week off, or starting from the bench, Cheika called upon the like
    of Kyle Godwin, Sefanaia Naivalu, Luke Morahan, Alan Alaalatoa and Tolu Latu to
    get the job done at Stade de France.And they did just that. The Wallabies could
    have been forgiven for a lack of fluidity in attack, given the mass changes, yet
    Godwin and Morahan slotted in seamlessly at inside centre and fullback
    respectively as Australia moved the ball with precision. They also scrambled
    well on defence and used the rolling maul to their advantage, a move which left
    referee Glen Jackson with no choice but to award a first-half penalty try.But it
    wasnt all good news, with the Australian scrum - loosehead James Slipper in
    particular - coming under huge pressure throughout. The visitors fortunate not
    to be penalised in the closing minute, a decision which would have presented
    France with a kickable penalty.?-- Sam BruceWeek 4 vs. Ireland, Aviva Stadium,
    Nov. 26, 5:30 p.m. GMTEngland Englands fullback battle is fascinatingAlex Goode
    missed the first high ball against Fiji. In his first start since their final
    World Cup pool match against Uruguay, the usually assured Saracens fullback
    allowed the ball to bounce.It was strange to watch; nerves could have been a
    factor but whatever the cause, they were then buried as he performed well on his
    audition for the No.15 shirt. Eddie Jones was lukewarm in his assessment of
    Goode post-match. His praise for Semesa Rokoduguni and Elliot Daly was more
    fulsome so the smart money is on Mike Brown to return at fullback for Argentina
    next weekend.But there is a temptation to give Goode another chance. Fijis
    defence was at times so poor that it was hard to judge exactly how effective
    Englands back three was. Goodes ability to step into a playmaking role and link
    man in phase play works in his favour but Jones will probably turn to Brown for
    his physicality when the Pumas come to town. -- Tom HamiltonWeek 4 vs.
    Argentina, Twickenham, Nov. 26, 2:30 p.m. GMTIt is something on Jones radar and
    he will be keeping a close eye on the spot throughout the November Tests. - Tom
    HamiltonFrance Goalkicking problematic for Les BluesWill Guy Noves be able to
    solve the ongoing problem of a lack of a consistent kicker for the visit of the
    All Blacks? It haunted them last Saturday against Australia. Maxime Machenaud
    missed two conversions, Scott Spedding missed a long range effort and Camille
    Lopez missed a drop goal with the last kick of the game.Some aimless kicking
    invited the Australian attacking train onto them, but despite looking like they
    would collapse early in the second-half, some brilliant attacking rugby brought
    them back into the game.Noves wants France to play in the same free-flowing
    style that was his trademark at Toulouse. But while some of the attack play from
    Spedding,?Virimi Vakatawa and Noa Nakaitaci was brilliant to watch, sometimes
    the clever option was avoided. Louis Picamoles has been outstanding for
    Northampton but failed to have an impact. Noves needs to rethink before New
    Zealand arrive. If he doesnt, it could be as humiliating as the 62-13 defeat
    France suffered at last years World Cup. -- KOCWeek 4 vs. New Zealand, Stade de
    France, Nov. 26, 8:00 p.m. GMTIreland Josh off to a flying start with
    IrelandAmid all the talk surrounding World Rugbys residency laws and so-called
    project players, spare a thought for Irelands Josh van der Flier. The Dubliner
    with the Dutch name may still be viewed with suspicion by some opposition fans,
    but hes Irish born and bred and continues to prove himself to be an adept
    addition to his countrys back-row.A head injury sustained by CJ Stander with a
    little over 20 minutes gone at the Aviva Stadium ensured that the flanker was
    ushered on in the early stages, as he had been in Chicago a fortnight ago. And
    as on that occasion, he didnt let Ireland down here. Pitched into an unfamiliar
    role on the blindside of the Irish scrum, van der Flier dovetailed excellently
    with his Leinster teammate, Sean OBrien.Van der Flier was a constant presence in
    the 59 minutes he was on the pitch, doing everything that was asked of him
    defensively while taking the game to the All Blacks, making 51 metres with ball
    in hand. The only blot in his copy book came in the second half as he tried to
    force an offload when Ireland were camped in New Zealands 22. It was a rush of
    blood that can be excused in someone winning only their fourtth Test
    cap.dddddddddddd Signs are, there will be plenty more international honours to
    come. -- Martyn ThomasWeek 4 vs. Australia, Aviva Stadium, Nov. 26, 5:30 p.m.
    GMTItalyOShea making his mark with the AzzurriWhat a result! Yes this is one of
    the worst Springbok sides in the professional era, but the Azzurri were also low
    on confidence after being handed a 58-point drubbing by a second string All
    Blacks a week earlier.Italy stuck to their strengths and forced South Africa
    into submission. Their defence improved significantly to keep the Boks to just
    two first half tries, while their line-out and rolling maul sent a big South
    African pack backwards and led to a deserved try.This is Conor OSheas first big
    scalp in his fifth Test as head coach and its fair to say hes turning Italian
    rugby around after a horror Six Nations campaign earlier this year. Theres still
    work to be done, but with a Test against Tonga to round out the year, another
    win is there for the taking. -- Nick BewleyWeek 4 vs. Tonga, Stadio Euganeo,
    Padovai, Nov. 26, 2:00 p.m. GMTNew Zealand Importance of second rows Following
    what was an attritional affair at times, All Blacks coach Steve Hansen was keen
    to praise the character that his side had displayed in Dublin. This was not New
    Zealand at their free-flowing best, but that they still ground out the win and
    held Ireland out was to be applauded.No two players embodied that approach more
    than the returning second-row partnership of Brodie Retallick and Sam Whitelock.
    The duo, who were both injured for the Chicago fixture, got through an
    astonishing amount of work -- some of which skirted on the boundaries of
    legality -- putting in 37 tackles between them, and doing much more that cannot
    be accounted for by the stats sheet.Whitelock drew particular praise from his
    coach for the level of his performance, given he had not played a single minute
    of Test rugby in almost a month. It cannot be argued that the return of
    Retallick and Whitelock helped tip the balance in New Zealands favour here, but
    is there a case to be made that the All Blacks are becoming too reliant on their
    star locks?Both played 80 minutes against Ireland. Obviously theyve got a huge
    gap [on their rivals] because both of them have been playing for a long time,
    Hansen said. Theyre probably two of the best locks in world rugby when theyre
    fit and playing well. He will hope they stay fit and in form for the foreseeable
    future. -- MTWeek 4 vs. France, Stade de France, Nov. 26, 8:00 p.m. GMTScotlandA
    win is a winIf Scotland drew plaudits from their defeat to Australia, they wont
    have won many supporters as they trudged to victory over Argentina.But amidst
    the errors, of which there were many, they put in some great defensive efforts
    to stop Argentina. Alex Dunbar, Finn Russell and Hamish Watson all combined to
    drive Nicolas Sanchez back when the fly-half darted for the line following a
    scrum, leading to a turnover. Huw Jones also showed his class once more, this
    time beating three players before offloading to Sean Maitland to score.With
    Ireland beating the All Blacks, Italy beating South Africa and Georgia beating
    Manu Samoa, theyll need to improve to avoid their name being added to the list.
    Their scrum was ravaged by Argentina. It wont come up against the same pressure
    against Georgia, but if they are not in a good frame of mind, it could be
    another tough watch in Edinburgh. -- KOCWeek 4 vs. Georgia, Murrayfield, Nov.
    19, 2:30 p.m. GMTSouth Africa Shambolic Springboks continue downward
    spiralAllister Coetzees tenure as Springboks coach - four wins, seven losses.
    All in the space of five months. Based on those results Coetzee is walking on
    the thinnest of ice as South Africa languish in the depths of rugby despair.The
    players look so low on confidence, and completely directionless. There was an
    instance where they had a five-on-one overlap inside Italys 22, but failed to
    score. There is talent there. Willie le Roux for example is world class, but
    this is a team playing like a bunch of individuals with a real lack of
    continuity and a game-plan.Their attack is of most concern. Seven tries in their
    last six Tests makes for bleak reading. The Boks need to get more out of the
    likes of le Roux, Bryan Habana and Damian de Allende this week against a Welsh
    side who were exposed defensively by Japan. -- NBWeek 4 vs. Wales, Principality
    Stadium, Nov. 26, 5:30 p.m. GMTWales Wales need to back the mavericks Wales look
    out of sorts and are lacking the confidence and fluidity that led them to the
    World Cup quarterfinals a year ago. Against Japan - who were void of a number of
    premier players - Wales laboured to their last-gasp win. But out of the match
    comes three burning issues for the Wales coaching team. Two of those revolve
    around players.It is time for Sam Davies to be given a chance to start at
    fly-half against South Africa next weekend. The young Ospreys playmaker came on
    with just 13 minutes left but immediately brought width to Wales attack and
    showed admirable nerves to slot the last gasp drop-goal.Keelan Giles, who didnt
    get a chance to attack with ball in hand, should replace the out-of-sorts Alex
    Cuthbert. The latter is fiercely talented but needs time to re-find his best
    form and Giles, who has taken to PRO12 rugby with such ease, would benefit from
    being given a chance against the Boks from the outset.Which now comes to the
    third question. Do Wales need to freshen up their coaching team? Perhaps they
    need to bring in an external influence like Eddie Jones has done with England to
    bring a new perspective to their style of rugby. This is not to challenge the
    present order but it could bring a valuable clarity and inspiration to the
    current management team. -- THWeek 4 vs. South Africa, Principality Stadium,
    Nov. 26, 5:30 p.m. GMT ' ' '