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Nagasu Wins Us Ladies Skate

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The dominance of the diminutive Japanese or Japanese-descended ladies solo figure skaters continue...

Mirai Nagasu, a 14-year old from California just won the 2008 US ladies title. Unfortunately, and even next year (with the Worlds in Los Angeles), she may not be able to compete in Worlds. The cut-off age is 15 of the previous July. (Said rule also eliminates the new US pairs champs, McLaughlin and Brubaker. from World's this year because McLaughlin turned 15 after the July cutoff.)

(And of course, Daisuke Takahashi won the men's title in the Grand Prix series.)

In any case, unless she flames out before 2010, Nagasu is just the latest of the mighty Japanese armada. Japan's ladies are Mao Asada, Uakari Nakano, Miki Ando, Fumie Seguri. OK, she's Japanese-American, and the 2nd since Kristi Yamaguchi to be the US Ladies champ.

And it doesn't end there. With the senior pair of Inoue and Baldwin, Inoue is originally Japanese. So there is another one. Oh, and another first in Figure Skating history. After their program, Baldwin got down on his knees and proposed to Rina. Luckily she said 'yes.'

But here's the kicker in the emerging status of Japan as a figure skating power. Their top Ice Dance entry is the 'gaijin' brother and sister pair of Chris and cathy Reed (of the USA). Isn't it all crazy?

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They held the men's finals tonight -- and ANOTHER FIRST was reached. There was a tie in terms of points. Both Lysacek and Weir scored a total of 244.77 points!! But the title went to Evan because he scored a little higher in the free skate tonite. So another first. 3rd was newcomer Stephen Carriere, a smallish guy.

But of all of them, I like Ryan Bradley (last year's silver medalist) best. He has great showmanship and he really projects his vulnerability on the ice. Bradley finished 5th tonight. Oh, and Princess Weir (while again wearing the only sequined unitard tonight) has butched up his program a bit. If only he had a little more speed, he could easily beat Lysacek who's a little gangly and is not as graceful. THe US has strong men coming up the ranks and will give Verner, Joubert and Takahashi a run for their money.

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