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Hurt Plushenko clinches 10th Russian title

by AFP

MOSCOW (AFP) –

Yevgeny Plushenko performs during the gala at the 2010 European Figure Skating Championships on January 24, 2010

Russia’s Olympic champion Yevgeny Plushenko performs during the exhibition gala at the 2010 European Figure Skating Championships on January 24, 2010 in Tallinn. Plushenko overcame severe back pain to clinch his 10th Russian figure skating title on Wednesday on the same Sochi ice where the 2014 Winter Olympics will take place.

Yevgeny Plushenko overcame severe back pain to clinch his 10th Russian figure skating title on Wednesday on the same Sochi ice where the 2014 Winter Olympics will take place.

Former triple world champion Plushenko, the 2006 Olympic gold medallist, who was leading the men’s section after the short programme, confirmed his domination at the newly-built 12,000-seat Iceberg Arena with a solid presentation of his free routine to collect 265.94 points overall.

“In general I’m pleased with my performance,” Plushenko said. “As I predicted it was much harder to skate on the second day as I was suffering pain in my back.”

“I’m currently in a poor shape and it’s absolutely necessary for me to gain my top form for the European championships. I hope I have enough time.”

The 30-year-old finished 11.87 points ahead of second-placed Sergei Voronov, while Konstantin Menshov, won bronze with 228.88.

Two-time European championship silver medallists Ekaterina Bobrova and Dmitri Solovievhips kept their leading position after the free dance to win the title.

“Today we were in control and managed to execute all the required elements at a very good technical level,” Soloviev said. “We fulfilled all the tasks that our coach Alexander Zhulin has set for us and it paid off.”

They earned 174.72 points overall to finish 3.05pts ahead of Elena Ilinykh and Nikita Katsalapov.

Ekaterina Ryazanova and Ilya Tkachenko, who were fifth after the short dance, managed to improve their position and grab bronze with an overall mark 163.87pts.

Meanwhile, 16-year-old Elizaveta Tuktamysheva clinched the lead in the women’s section of the event after the short programme.

“Finally I did everything right,” said Tuktamysheva, who was fifth at the ISU Grand Prix finals.

“I still feel slight pain in my injured leg but I have already got accustomed to that feeling. My main goal now is to stay on top after the free skating. I will not give victory to anybody.”

The junior world championships runner-up Tuktamysheva earned 69.50 points for her short programme to stay 2.51pts ahead of Adelina Sotnikova, who is currently second.

Another Moscow’s skater Yelena Radionova sits third on 64.58 points.

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