Monday, December 13, 2010

What's going on with Daisuke Takahashi?

That is what some of you might be asking yourselves, and I'm going to do my best to summarize what I've read and heard for you here.

Word is that Daisuke hurt mainly his neck muscles in the crash with Takahiko Kozuka. A Russian newspaper claimed it hurt the vertebrae in his neck too. Unfortunately though, we don't really know how seriously Daisuke is injured - he has mostly just simply stating that he is alright, but his team has been a bit more forthright about the injury. Apparently he did consider withdrawing, and a doctor even recommended to, but in the end he decided to compete. Eventually, Daisuke admitted to having some pain and bruising in his neck and lower back, but absolutely refuses to blame the injury for how he competed and says it isn't so serious an injury, even saying, "I had the chance to win the final but I blew it and this has made me painfully aware that I'm not a good enough skater. I've just got to regroup and put in the work in practice."
As to why he has been saying okay while still injured, it's probably a mixture of not wanting to make excuses for how he skates and trying not to make Takahiko feel any more guilty than he already does. Takahiko has apologized several times and in every instance I've heard of, Daisuke has accepted the apology and told him not to worry about it, that he was okay, but the former still feels bad about it - last I heard, he promised that it wouldn't happen again.

Hopefully, what Daisuke has said is correct and he isn't injured badly enough to effect the rest of his season; if it's any indicator, he skated in the Grand Prix Final Exhibition and landed a triple axel (albeit, not perfectly) and a triple flip, and he didn't seem as uncomfortable as he did in the competition. My main concern right now is that Japanese Nationals are in less than two weeks and I'd rather him not risk aggravating the injury by training too hard for it and competing while still injured. Worlds are his obvious goal this season, and if he isn't well enough to compete at Nationals, I think that the Japanese Federation is more than likely willing to give him a bye to Worlds. It sounds like Daisuke is still planning to compete though and has said that he is hoping to have more consistency on his quads by then.

Thank you to Daisuke's Forum for some of this information and translations.

Check back for my post on the men's freeskate at the Grand Prix Final - it IS coming!


Anonymous said...

As reigning World Champion, doesn't Dai get a bye anyway?

Lisa said...

In all likelihood, yes, they would give him a spot unless he was injured to the point where he couldn't compete, even if he did extremely poorly at Nationals.

Anonymous said...

I am not sure what Japanese Federation will think about Dai after the season if he misses either title of Japan National and World. Now, new Japnese young skaters are pushing him up. Kozuka and Oda certainly will stay till next Olympic. Then, only one spot left for representing Japan. Talking about his accomplishments already brought to Japan and his age, people naturally think his term is done. I think Dai is pursuing how to be end (seeking both performance and technical) this season. Dai will be both competitions for his shot even he injured himself. It is painful to watch him....

Lisa said...

As far age goes... you do realize that at 24, Daisuke is only a year older than Nobunari, right?

I think if Daisuke is careful of his health and trains well, he should be just fine. The Japanese Federation still has some faith in Mao and look at what problems she had the first half of last season and this season thus far.

Last I heard, Daisuke was still undecided about competing until Sochi - he's said that he'd like to take things one year at a time, but that it'd be nice if it seemed like time was passing by quickly and he ended up competing there. We'll see. I'd rather him not retire after this season (I think he still has more to give skating), but I'd like him to be healthy and to do what he wants so he'll be happy.