Thursday, December 31, 2009

Evgeni Plushenko takes back title after 4-year hiatus

Evgeni Plushenko of St. Petersburg (SPB) won the men's 2010 Russian National title with a powerful, but flawed performance of his tango routine. Sergei Voronov (SPB) finished in second overall, while Artem Borodulin (MOS) maintained third place for the bronze.

Plushenko popped his planned opening quad toeloop into a triple, but immediately landed a clean one afterwards. He was not able to land his second triple Axel on the first try, and fell out of a triple Salchow landing immediately after the successful execution of that jump later.

"I went for the second quad because I missed the first one and had to do it to rectify the situation," explained Plushenko. "I am happy that I was able to land a triple Axel in the end. Perhaps there was a certain euphoria right after it and this is why I fell on the Salchow."

The student of Alexei Mishin was rather critical of himself at the post event press conference. "On the scale of five, I'd say it was a weak three. It's impossible to win any major competition skating like that. I will work on it more and train more. But to some extent it's a blessing in disguise. There was a lot competitions and I was skating better and better on every one of them, so it's natural that there is a decline. The good thing is that it happened now, before the Europeans. I plan to do two quads at Euros: a quad-triple and quad solo."

The 2006 Olympic Champion rearranged his program on the flight without previously consulting his coach. "I had a triple Axel-triple flip sequence, but decided not to do it because the Axel turned out to be a double."

He posted another record breaking score of 171.50 (79.00/92.50) points for first place in the long and, with a total score of 271.59 points, easily won the event.

When challenged by the media about his marks, Plushenko was quick to point out that he is not the only one to score a notch or two above what he is getting internationally. "I am not the only one who has high scores here. Look at the second place in the Short Program - he got 95. Borodulin got 82. Do you think he skated like 82? It's only natural, it's Nationals."

Full article.

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