English newspaper texts about Plushy

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English newspaper texts about Plushy

Postby cekoni » 28 Oct 2009, 05:45

http://www.isu.org/vsite/vcontent/content/...ws-item,00.html
22 Oct 2009 08:31

ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating - Rostelecom Cup, Preview

The 2009/2010 ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating continues with the Rostelecom Cup in Moscow, Russia from October 23 to 25. The skaters compete for a global prize money of US $ 180, 000 per individual event of the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating and receive points according to their placements. The top six skaters/couples of the series will proceed to the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final in Tokyo, Japan.

Reigning Olympic Champion Evgeni Plushenko (RUS) headlines the Men’s field. The three-time World Champion stages his comeback at the Rostelecom Cup after retiring from competition in 2006. He will meet old and new rivals in Moscow. 2008 World bronze medalist Johnny Weir (USA) and 2009 Four Continents bronze medalist Takahiko Kozuka (JPN) are ready to challenge Plushenko. Other contenders include reigning European bronze medalist Kevin van der Perren (BEL), ISU Junior Grand Prix Final Champion Florent Amodio (FRA) and Brandon Mroz (USA). World silver medalist Patrick Chan (CAN) withdrew from the Rostelecom Cup due to injury....

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http://www.goldenskate.com/articles/2009/cor_preview.shtml
October 18, 2009 By Elvin Walker

2009 Rostelecom Cup of Russia
PREVIEW


The 2009-10 ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating continues this week in Moscow, Russia with the Rostelecom Cup. Approximately 60 skaters from 18 countries will attempt to earn points towards qualification to the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final to be held in December in Tokyo. Japan's Mao Asado looks to be the first skater to qualify for the Final after winning the silver medal last week behind Korea's Yuna Kim....

MEN

The big story in Moscow is the return of 2006 Olympic Champion Evgeni Plushenko to competition after a three-season hiatus. Plushenko has been lured out of retirement in order to compete for a second Olympic title, and he will make his season debut at this competition.

Plushenko brings with him some lofty expectations, and this competition will be a good test to see if he is fit and mentally prepared to return to the upper echelon of skating. Though no solid evidence has been presented to the public, it is rumored that Plushenko has taken his comeback very seriously, and is near peak form. That spells trouble for the rest of the field, but it will be interesting to see if the three-time World Champion will be able to reacquaint himself with the rigors of competing for an entire season under the new judging system.

Plushenko has selected Concierto de Aranjuez for his short program, and will return to his roots by performing to music by Edvin Marton for his free skate.

Trying to defeat the Olympic champion will be a group of men who are hungry for medals.

American Johnny Weir is returning to international competition after a 10-month break after failing to make the Four Continents or World Championships team last winter. Weir has remained with his coaches, Galina Zmievskaya and Victor Petrenko, but the 2008 Worlds bronze medalist has enlisted the help of David Wilson to construct his new programs.

Wilson selected Raul DiBlasio's I Love You, I Hate You for Weir's short program, and a selection of music that brings together the theme"Fallen Angels" for the free skate. Weir was quoted as saying that he feels that this free skate is the best program that he has ever had.

The three-time U.S. Champ headed to Russia well in advance of the competition in order to acclimate to the time change, and to reacquaint himself with the country he calls a second home. In order to challenge for the gold medal, or even a spot on the podium, Weir will have to demonstrate that his technical skills are sharp and prove that he has been working hard over the summer.

Takahiko Kozuka shot up the leaderboard last season, medaling in all of his international competitions minus the World Championships where he placed sixth. The Grand Prix Final runner-up has world-class skating all around, and is always in the hunt for medals if not the gold.

This season, Kozuka will skate to Bold as Love by Jimmi Hendrix for the short program, and to a guitar concerto by Michael Kamen for his free skate. The Four Continents bronze medalist needs to bring his A-game to Moscow if he hopes to challenge the likes of Plushenko and Weir, but he is a lock for the podium.

Another American, Brandon Mroz, could play the role of spoiler in Moscow. The 2009 U.S. silver medalist has all of the technical tools that he needs to reach the podium, but he will need all of them if he hopes to do so. Mroz jumps so quickly that his quads look like triples, but he still needs work on the overall packaging of his programs.

Mroz has planned a peppy short program of music by Tito Puente, Perez Prado, and Terry Snyder, and has a more traditional free skate to Beethoven's Symphony no. 5 Romance in F Major.

Newcomer Florent Amodio from France and veteran Kevin van der Perren of Belgium could very well steal the show from the pre-event favorites. Amodio is fresh off the junior circuit, winning the Junior Grand Prix Final last season, and is already showing signs of greatness on the senior level.

Amodio is the 2009 French silver medalist, and the he also won the French Master's in Lyon earlier this season over teammate Brian Joubert. The 19-year-old has a full arsenal of triple jumps, and has a mature style already in his young career.

Van der Perren seems to always be in the hunt for medals when he competes, but has been plagued with injuries throughout his career. The Belgian champion competed earlier this season in Finland, and placed a disappointing 12th behind skaters that he normally defeats. Van der Perren will have to be healthy and skate cleanly to win a medal in this field.

Other participants include Finland's Ari-Pekka Nurmenkari (27th, 2009 World Championships), Shawn Sawyer from Canada (12th, 2006 Olympic Games), Sweden's Adrian Schultheiss (18th, 2009 World Championships), and Gregor Urbas of Slovenia (21st, 2009 World Championships). Two Russian men, Artem Borodulin (13th, 2009 European Championships) and Ivan Tretiakov (2nd, 2009 Nebelhorn Trophy), complete the roster....

Elvin's Picks

MEN
1. Plushenko RUS
2. Kozuka JPN
3. Amodio FRA
4. Mroz USA
5. Weir USA
6. Schultheiss FRA
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Re: English newspaper texts about Plushy

Postby cekoni » 28 Oct 2009, 06:04

http://web.icenetwork.com/news/article. ... y=ice_news
By icenetwork.com staff

Plushenko makes successful return

(10/23/2009) - Evgeni Plushenko is back, a little rusty, but with big jumps intact.

Performing to Rodrigo's "Concierto de Aranjuez," the 27-year-old Russian began his bid for a second consecutive Olympic title looking confident and many pounds lighter than he was in shows earlier this year.

Plushenko opened his short program with an easy quadruple toe loop, triple toe loop combination, immediately followed by fine triple Axel. He then doubled an intended triple Lutz, his only major mistake.

The three-time world champion's step sequences seemed to lack a bit of their old-time flair and he finished his final combination spin a touch behind the music. Still, his comeback earned 82.25 points, well off his personal best of 90.66 (gained at the 2006 Olympics) but extraordinarily impressive after a near four-year hiatus from competition. He takes a 6.75-point lead into tomorrow's free skate....

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http://www.isu.org/vsite/vcontent/content/...ws-item,00.html

ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating - Rostelecom Cup, Day 1

Men, Short Program

To the delight of the home crowd, Russia’s Evgeni Plushenko won the Men’s Short Program ahead of Takahiko Kozuka of Japan and Johnny Weir (USA).

Plushenko had to skate first as he had no ISU ranking anymore after retiring from competition in 2006. The reigning Olympic Champion opened his routine to “Concierto de Aranjuez” with a rock-solid quadruple-triple toeloop combination followed by a triple Axel but doubled the Lutz. He achieved a level four for the combination spin and the change foot sit spin as well as a level three for both step sequences. Plushenko collected 82.25 points (43.80 element score/38.45 program component score). “I am very pleased to have come back to competition after almost four years”, commented the three-time World Champion. “I’m happy with my quad-triple combination and with my triple Axel, but then I relaxed a little and did a double Lutz. I need to pay attention to each element”, he continued....

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http://www.isu.org/vsite/vcontent/content/...ws-item,00.html

ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating - Rostelecom Cup, Day 2

The Rostelecom Cup continued Saturday with the Free Dance, the Ladies, Men’s and Pairs Free Skating. The Rostelecom Cup is the second of six events in the 2009/2010 ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating series. The skaters compete for a global prize money of US $ 180, 000 per individual event of the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating and receive points according to their placements. The top six skaters/couples in each discipline advance to the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final in Tokyo, Japan, in December.

Image

Men, Free Skating

Evgeni Plushenko of Russia started his comeback with a convincing win at the Rostelecom Cup. Japan’s Takahiko Kozuka took the silver medal and Artem Borodulin of Russia captured the bronze.

Overnight leader Plushenko skated last. Dressed in black, he performed to “Tango Amore” by Edvin Marton and oozed confidence from the first seconds of his program. The reigning Olympic Champion reeled off a quadruple-triple toeloop combination, a triple Axel, a triple Axel-double toeloop, a triple loop, Flip, double Axel as well as a triple Lutz and triple Salchow in his dynamic program. The 26-year-old was awarded a level four for the change foot sit spin and the combination spin while the flying sit spin and the footwork sequences were graded a level three. Plushenko picked up 158.40 points (81.15 element score/76.80 program component score) and racked up a total score of 240.65 points to win his first international competition in three and a half years. He had retired from competitive skating following the 2006 Olympic Winter Games. “Today, I just had to show everything and I had to be attentive as I yesterday missed the Lutz. Today, I took each element at a time”, Plushenko explained. “I actually have two quads in my program, but today I decided to do just one, because I wanted to skate a clean program for my confidence, for the audience and for the judges.”...

... Plushenko got 15 points from his win but is currently not scheduled for another Grand Prix event. Kozuka picked up 13 points while Borodulin received 11. Both will compete again at the NHK Trophy in Japan....

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http://loopaxles.blogspot.com/2009/10/rost...-surprises.html

Rostelecom Cup Surprises

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Rostelecom Cup surprised me a bit. There were many unexpected moments.
....

Surprise #2: Evgeny Plushenko. While I always thought he had a decent shot at winning this competition, I expected there to be a little rust after not competing at this level for so long. Well, he showed no rust at all and after his performance he has to be considered the early favorite for Olympic Gold. I was simply astounded by his performance level....

:plush41: :co_ol: plush48
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Re: English newspaper texts about Plushy

Postby cekoni » 28 Oct 2009, 06:08

http://goldenskate.com/articles/2009/102709.shtml
October 27, 2009
Article by Tatiana Flade, Photo © Anna Kondakova


Evgeni Plushenko
Return of the King


Image

At the end of his free skating program at the Rostelecom Cup in Moscow, Russia's Evgeni Plushenko first raised his index finger, then pointed on himself. 'Look at me, I'm back and I'm still the number one,' said this gesture.

Savoring the sweet taste of victory, the reigning Olympic Champion skated an extra round and pumped his fist before bowing to the judges and the cheering crowd at the Megasport Arena. These emotions were exactly what he had come back for.

"He didn't compete for three years, but as soon as I saw him, I knew that there was a true Olympic Champion on the ice," respectfully said Japan's Takahiko Kozuka, the distant silver medalist at Rostelecom Cup.

"Hats off," commented France's Brian Joubert in his usual straightforward manner, speaking on the phone from France where he had followed the event via internet. "Plushenko's return is good for the sport, the spectators and his competitors," he added.

"He will be hard to beat," offered Plushenko's long-time rival, 2002 Olympic Champion Alexei Yagudin, who watched from the stands in Moscow.

Three and a half years after his last international competition, the Olympic Winter Games, the Russian proved that he is truly back. After his dynamic "Tango Amore" free skate (which included a quad-triple toeloop combination, two triple Axels and four other clean triples), it was almost forgotten that the 26-year-old had doubled the Lutz in the short program. It suddenly seemed like a minor negligence.

In spite of all the enthusiasm around him in Moscow, Plushenko remained calm and professional. "I am very pleased with my (free skating) performance. I made no mistakes in my jumps. I'm happy with my quad-triple combinations in these two days and there were good triple Axels," he noted.

"Obviously there is still a lot to do," he continued. "I have to work on my steps and spins. So we won't stop on what we achieved, but we will continue and go further and further. The big battles are still to come. The most important competitions are still ahead of me... these are the Russian Nationals, Europeans and the Olympic Games, of course."

Not many people had believed that Plushenko would really come back and be as competitive as he is. "I thank my supporters and my enemies," the skater said with a mischievous smile. "I'm actually following all these chats and forums and what people write on my website, even on the unofficial ones," he revealed. "I was surprised to read things such as 'It is not right that he is coming back and winning' or 'Well, he is coming to the Grand Prix now and he will finish second or third and then he'll stop.'"

Even some of his former friends with whom he competed against for a long time gave some negative comments. "It hurt," admitted Plushenko, "but I just wanted to prove to them and everyone that I still can skate and compete. So I'm thanking them for their critique. It was an extra motivation for me. And of course I want to thank the fans from all over the world."

The three-time World Champion showed the same qualities that brought him to the top before: consistency, strong technique, and presence on the ice. Although it may have looked easy, it was not. The pressure was huge.

"Of course I was nervous, very much so even," Plushenko admitted. "I had to skate first in the short program; I had no (ISU) ranking, zero points. It is my first serious competition and I have to do everything. Then I skated last in the free. I saw how the crowd applauded and cheered for Kozuka and I thought that he had landed everything in the program. I realized I could not afford a single mistake because each error can cost dearly. So there was nervousness, but I was able to overcome it. God and my protecting angel were with me, and I'm very glad about that."

His second wife, Jana Rudkovskaia, also seems to be a protecting angel for him. She attended the competition and cheered for him and he credits her for bringing him back into the sport. "I dedicate this victory to her," said Plushenko.

Now the athlete goes home to St. Petersburg to prepare for the upcoming events. He currently plans to compete at a domestic Cup of Russia event in Moscow at the end of November and at the Russian Nationals in December before going to the European Championships and Olympic Games. Coach Alexei Mishin is pleased with his student's progress.

"So far he has been skating better and better," said Mishin. "The life outside the sport has turned him into a more serious person and made him more complete as a performer. I won't say what we now especially will work on for our next competition as this would mean to talk about our weaknesses."

Plushenko himself revealed that he wants to include a triple Lutz-half loop-triple flip jump sequence into his free skating. "I did a triple Axel-half loop-triple flip combination before, and I have to do a jump sequence like this. Nobody else is doing it," he explained.

The athlete had to give up a lot for his quest for a third Olympic medal, but Plushenko doesn't regret it. At the same time he remains realistic. "I'm at 70 percent today. I'm not in top shape yet. I know my mistakes and my weakness, and I'm hard on myself and my coach and choreographer are hard on me. I won't stop. I will continue to work," he promised. "Obviously medaling at the Olympic Games is my goal, but first I have to get there. Anything can happen. Injuries can happen and I won't be able to compete."

Right now, however, it looks like one of the banners in the ice rink in Moscow summed it up pretty well: "The return of the king".

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http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/olympics_b...oned-with-.html

Jennifer Kirk: Plushenko must be reckoned with

When reigning Olympic gold medalist Evgeni Plushenko announced his plans to compete this season following a 3½-year hiatus from the competitive arena, most were initially skeptical about the success of his return. Would he be in competitive form? Was he going to be able to adapt to the various changes in the judging system? Would he regain his standing as the No. 1 male skater in the world?

Last weekend Plushenko answered those questions.

Winning his first and only Grand Prix event of the season, Plushenko kicked off his return to competitive skating with a bang. Skating a squeaky-clean long program and commanding the ice in Moscow, he picked up exactly where he left off in 2006. Not only did Plushenko take the gold, but he crushed the competition, winning by 25 points over Takahiko Kozuka of Japan.

What was most impressive about Plushenko’s skating in Moscow was his unwavering confidence. Though his victory dance after the completion of his long program could be perceived as cocky by some, this blend of cockiness and confidence proved to be the reigning Olympic champion’s winning ingredient. Plushenko seems incredibly committed to his quest of winning a second Olympic crown, and after two events of the Grand Prix series he’s the front-runner heading into the Games.

Although Plushenko may be leading the pack at this point, Olympic gold is by no means solely his for the taking. Even as clean as he was last week, the reality is Plushenko is still beatable. It seems as though the shock of how well he did has masked the apparent flaws in his skating, but these weaknesses have the potential to be the deciding factor in Vancouver.

Although Plushenko’s spins are faster than they were in 2006, they are still slow. The ending combination spin in his short program inched along, and he needs to work on adding more variety to his spins. Along with this, the choreography in both of his programs isn‘t as strong as it could be, and his programs have far too much two-footed skating. Plushenko’s hip rolling and rapid arm movements may be fun to watch, but I don‘t know how they‘ll stand up to Patrick Chan‘s edgework and artistry.

That said, Plushenko won fair and square in Moscow, and without a second Grand Prix event he has a lot of time to work on fixing his flaws. What will be telling is how Plushenko responds to his season opener, which then leads to more questions.

Will last weekend’s overwhelming victory lead him to fall off from his training, now that he has answered his critics and, I’m sure, some of his own doubts about his return? Or will this win motivate him to work harder, culminating in gold in Vancouver?

Perhaps the most important question surrounding Plushenko’s win is whether his performances will spook his closest competitors. I’m sure most of his competitors weren’t planning on having to contend with such a strong Plushenko. If I were reigning world champion Evan Lysacek, I’d use this weekend’s Cup of China to respond to Plushenko by not only winning the event but beating his score of 240.65.

Among all the questions, what we do know is that there is only one Olympic gold medal up for grabs, and the season is still young. Although Plushenko’s skating in Moscow was beyond expectations, we shouldn’t hand him Olympic gold just yet.

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http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.p...oryId=114136081

Plushenko wins Grand Prix; Weir finishes 4th

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Evgeni Plushenko of Russia won gold at the Rostelecom Cup on Saturday after a soaring free skate in his first international event since becoming Olympic champion at the 2006 Turin Games....

Plushenko performed only one quad, limited by his old standards, but combined it with a triple toeloop to open his program with unquestionable brio....

The 26-year-old Plushenko chose tango music for his flirtatious and challenging stop-start moves in the step sequences, playing up the confidence he projects on the ice. But he wasn't inclined to let overconfidence undermine his discipline.

"I have to work on my spins, work on my steps," he said.

Plushenko, who's had chronic knee problems, returned to figure skating to help Russia turn around its plummeting fortunes in the sport.

Kozuka, whose own quad was downgraded after he stepped out of it, was pleased with his program but felt Plushenko's dominance early.

"The moment he took the ice, I knew there was a real champion in front of me," said the 20-year Kozuka, whose free program to an electric guitar concerto showed impressive speed and tight-sit spins....

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http://web.icenetwork.com/news/article.jsp...8&vkey=ice_news

It's back to the future for Plushenko
Olympic champ says he's the one; Weir struggles with Axel


Image
Evgeni Plushenko's superb performance in Moscow made him an early favorite to take the gold at the 2010 Winter Games.

(10/24/2009) - Hitting quads, burying rivals, toying with the crowd -- it's like he never said goodbye.

Evgeni Plushenko enchanted the judges and decimated the competition, taking home gold by more than 25 points.

The 27-year-old Russian capped his resounding comeback after nearly four years away from competition by racking up 240.20 points at the Rostelecom Cup.

Performing to a Tango specially composed by longtime collaborator Edvin Marton, Plushenko's program was deja vu all over again. He opened with a quadruple toe loop, triple toe combination and then executed back-to-back triple Axels, one in combination with a double toe.

After a strategic rest break and some flirting with the enthralled Moscow audience, he resumed jumping, hitting four more triples.

It wasn't perfect; the choreography lacked intricate transitions and Plushenko deleted a planned second quad. But when he held up one finger at the end of his performance, few doubted they were looking at the early favorite for gold in Vancouver....

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http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/olympics_b...2009/10/pl.html
23.10.2009.

Plushenko's back and there's gonna be trouble

1. Yes, he was overscored. Yes, his arm movements are distracting, annoying, useless. And for all that, after watching Evgeny Plushenko's comeback performance Friday at the Rostelcom Cup Grand Prix event in Moscow, I have no doubt the 2006 Olympic champion will be a medal contender in Vancouver. The guy tossed off a quad-triple combination and a triple axel with almost disdainful ease, looking like someone who had been doing them every day the last four years instead of someone who had not been in an Olympic-style event since the 2006 Winter Games. (I'm not counting the meaningless Russian Cup 10 days ago in Perm.)

2. No, Plushenko is not headed to Skate America. That's what U.S. Figure Skating publicist Scottie Bibb told me after I e-mailed her to ask about the rumors that began hitting figure skating message boards as soon as the Russian finished his short program. When a Skate America spot opened up recently after Takahito Mura of Japan withdrew, it was filled by Igor Macypura of Slovakia.

3. If Plushenko, who turns 27 on Nov. 3, can come back that strong after a three-season absence, why can't Sasha Cohen, who turns 25 Monday? (Yes, I am aware the Russian long has had the jumping consistency Cohen always has lacked.)...

... comment of some visitor: :plush42:
"Yes, he was overscored. Yes, his arm movements are distracting, annoying, useless."

So, to be clear, are you talking about current world champion Lysacek or Plushenko?
I'd think you've perfectly captured the essence of the former... ;)

Posted by: George | October 24, 2009 at 05:09 PM
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Re: English newspaper texts about Plushy

Postby cekoni » 28 Oct 2009, 06:11

http://www.examiner.com/x-20118-Figure- ... eview--Men
October 22, Figure Skating Examiner, Jackie Wong

Rostelecom Cup preview - Men

The men’s short program order at Rostelecom Cup is certainly one of the more unexpected ones in recent memory. Grand Prix events choose the starting order for the short program (or compulsory dance, in ice dancing) based on the most current ISU world standings. So starting the men’s competition off will be reigning Olympic champion Evgeni Plushenko, who is unranked because he has not competed during the past three seasons....

Even with World silver medalist Patrick Chan out while recovering from injury, there will still be plenty of stiff competition for Plushenko’s first test back to international competition. Chief amongst his competitors will be 2008 World bronze medalist Johnny Weir, reigning Grand Prix Final silver medalist Takahiko Kozuka, and U.S. silver medalist Brandon Mroz. But all eyes will be on Plushenko and how he fares after almost four years away from the big leagues.

Here is the scoop on the key names at Rostelecom Cup:

Evgeni Plushenko (Russia) – There is no doubt that Plushenko will be the story of the Rostelecom Cup this week. From late 1999 to 2006, he lost only a handful of times, and he was virtually unbeatable from the 2002-2003 season until he won in Torino. During a Russian Test Skate event in September, Plushenko demonstrated that he has barely missed a beat, landing quads, triple axels, and pretty much everything else with great ease. Plushenko is a veteran competitor, and his lack of competition time in the past few years is likely to not have much of a negative effect on his skating this week. Look for him to come back and impress the world once again.

Takahiko Kozuka (Japan) – Kozuka had an ok debut of his free skate at the Japan Open 2009 earlier this month. It was still early in the season, so it is tough to judge how competition ready he really was. He had a terrific Grand Prix series last season, winning Skate America, getting the silver at Trophee Eric Bompard, and winning the silver at the Grand Prix Final. Kozuka should be one of the men in the competition who will be attempting a quadruple jump, and he will need it to be competitive with the likes of Plushenko and Weir....

Johnny Weir (United States) – Weir loves Russia and Russia loves him, though with Plushenko in the competition, he may not get as much affection as usual. The three-time U.S. champion won the last time he competed in the Grand Prix in Russia in 2007, and skating fans will be interested in how he rebounds from his disappointment last season when illness left him in fith place at Nationals and off the World team for the first time since 2003. After being so close to a medal in Torino – he was second after the short and dropped to fifth overall – you have to imagine that he will be hungry for that success this year. The big question for Weir is always whether or not he will attempt the quad.

Medals Predictions
1. Evgeni Plushenko RUS
2. Johnny Weir USA
3. Takahiko Kozuka JPN


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http://www.examiner.com/x-20118-Figure-Ska...-Rostelecom-Cup
October 24, Figure Skating Examiner, Jackie Wong

Evgeni Plushenko begins comeback with short program win at Rostelecom Cup

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Short program leader Evgeni Plushenko (RUS) starts his comeback season with a bang
Photo: AP/Ivan Sekretarev


The home crowd was not disappointed today when Olympic champion Evgeni Plushenko had a successful return to competitive skating at the Rostelecom Cup, the second event in this season’s Grand Prix series. There was little doubt that Plushenko is competition-ready after a short program that gave him the lead by over six points over the rest of the men’s field. Grand Prix Final silver medalist Takahiko Kozuka is in second and three-time U.S. champion Johnny Weir is in third.

Skating first in the short program, Plushenko wasted no time to unleash his quad toe-triple toe combination, still one of the best in the world after almost four years away from competitive skating. His only mistake in the program was on his triple lutz, which he doubled, automatically receiving -3s in his grades of execution (GOE) because a triple jump is required as his solo jump. Nevertheless, his average Program Component Score (PCS) was one of the highest of the season so far, scoring in the mid- to upper-7s, allowing him to join only two other men in breaking 80 points in the short program this season...

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http://www.examiner.com/x-20118-Figure-Ska...-Rostelecom-Cup
October 24, Figure Skating Examiner, Jackie Wong

No stopping Evgeni Plushenko's comeback at Rostelecom Cup

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Who's number one? Evgeni Plushenko (RUS) has a successful comeback competition at the Rostelecom Cup.
Photo: AP/Ivan Sekretarev


If his performance in the short program was not enough of a statement, Olympic champion Evgeni Plushenko capped off his return to competitive skating with a convincing win in the free skate to demolish the men’s field. There was no other skater in the competition who was even close to the home crowd favorite as he distanced himself from the rest of the competition by over 25 points.

Plushenko skated a clean free skate, packed with a quadruple toe-triple toe combination and six other triple jumps. His free skate earned a 158.40, the second highest score of the season, just behind the Nobunari Oda’s performance last week at Trophee Eric Bompard. His performance today in the free skate is likely to not reflect the full difficulty that he is planning for the Olympic Games. Plushenko is known for performing two quads and he chose to only do one.

It is worth noting that his Program Component Scores (PCS), though still some of the best in the world, are not nearly as high as they were when he won the Olympics, particularly in his Transitions mark. Whether or not this is an anomaly remains to be seen, as this is only one competition. But with his performances this week, Plushenko has casted aside all doubts about his fitness and competitive-readiness, and established himself once again as a favorite at the Olympic Games....

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http://www.examiner.com/x-20118-Figure-Ska...ecom-Cup-2-of-2

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....
Evgeni Plushenko’s results are somewhat eye-opening.

Evgeni Plushenko may have blown away the field at Rostelecom Cup, but it was not as big of a blowout as some may have expected. I don’t say that because he is not in great shape or competition-ready – he showed that he was indeed ready to compete with the best again and landed pretty much everything in sight.

But after those quad combinations, what really caught my eye yesterday was Plushenko’s PCS. When he won the Olympics in Torino, his PCS was through the roof, averaging in the low 8s, which were and still are exceeding difficult to achieve. But in Moscow, his average PCS was around 7.7 in both programs, which actually trail both Stephane Lambiel and Daisuke Takahashi in the season-leading PCS. Granted, they were all scored at different competitions, so the PCS aren’t directly comparable. But what it does say is that Plushenko won’t overpower with his PCS this season, and it will be a very competitive road to the Olympics.

For the most part, Plushenko’s skating hasn’t changed much since Torino, but the skating of his competition has. In the past few years, programs from the top men in the world have become more complete and better constructed, increasing the standards that the judges have for each of the Program Component marks. His Transitions mark, generally the lowest of the five marks for almost every skater, has particularly taken a hit – he is averaging almost a point below on Transitions than on the other marks now, whereas in Torino, the difference was around half a point.

All of this is to say that there are skaters now who can match him in PCS, which was not the case four years ago. But what he still has going for him is his technical consistency. The Olympic men’s event, especially with Plushenko and Lambiel back in the mix, will be super interesting to watch.

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Re: English newspaper texts about Plushy

Postby cekoni » 28 Oct 2009, 06:16

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2009/more...stelum.cup.ap/#

Plushenko returns with GP gold

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MOSCOW (AP) -- Evgeni Plushenko won gold at the Rostelecom Cup on Saturday after a soaring free skate in his first international event since becoming Olympic champion at the 2006 Turin Games.

The Russian performed only one quad, limited by his old standards, but combined it with a triple toeloop to open his program with unquestionable brio.

Takahiko Kozuka of Japan took silver and Artem Borodulin of Russia won bronze, his first Grand Prix medal. Johnny Weir of the United States had an error-filled program that dropped him to sixth place in the free skate and fourth overall....

The 26-year-old Plushenko chose tango music for his flirtatious and challenging stop-start moves in the step sequences, playing up the confidence he projects on the ice. But he wasn't inclined to let overconfidence undermine his discipline.

"I have to work on my spins, work on my steps," he said.

Plushenko, who's had chronic knee problems, returned to figure skating to help Russia turn around its plummeting fortunes in the sport.

Kozuka, whose own quad was downgraded after he stepped out of it, was pleased with his program but felt Plushenko's dominance early.

"The moment he took the ice, I knew there was a real champion in front of me," said the 20-year Kozuka, whose free program to an electric guitar concerto showed impressive speed and tight-sit spins....

------------------------------------------------

http://www.ctvolympics.ca/figure-skating/n...ion?cid=rsstgam
By Beverley Smith, The Globe and Mail Posted Sunday, October 25, 2009

Plushenko in fine form in return to action

Image

Evgeni Plushenko is on target to defend his Olympic crown in Vancouver.

The 26-year-old Russian, the men's solo gold medalist at the 2006 Winter Olympics, won the Cup of Russia event this weekend after a 3 1/2-year absence from international competition. Plushenko quashed doubts about his fitness level and his resolve by winning both the short and long programs, for a total score of 240.65.

He threw down the gauntlet for Vancouver 2010 opponents by landing ambitious quadruple toe loop-triple toe loop combinations not only in the long program on Saturday but in the risky short program on Friday.

Plushenko has two quads in the long program but decided to attempt just one in Russia, "because I wanted to skate a clean program for my confidence, for the audience and for the judges," he said.

Plushenko won by more than 25 points over Takahiko Kozuka of Japan, one of many in the new generation of figure skaters who is struggling with quads. Kozuka couldn't complete the rotation and stumbled out of his lone attempt on Saturday. Artem Borodulin of Russia swept into third place past a fumbling Johnny Weir of the United States, a world bronze medalist two years ago....

--------------------------------------------------

... and little "unpleasant" text, by the same author :-)

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/blogs/go-fi...article1337723/
by Beverley Smith

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Plushenko silences pundits

Well, good for Evgeny Plushenko. He’s proved all of his doubters wrong by winning Cup of Russia. So many figured he was joking when he talked about a comeback, because he’s talked about comebacks before and they never materialized. Even his own federation knew that it was a tall order for Plushenko to make it back - and they need him, because right now Russia is sorely lacking men’s stars.

And how could he come back after 3 1/2 years with a new crop of young, hungry skaters, skilled in the New Judging System, and drop the effects of the new lifestyle he has adopted since the Turin Olympics?

But Plushenko is really back, and landing the kind of big jumping tricks that we used to see in the old days (although missing is a quad-triple-triple, but we’ll forgive him that. He wouldn’t need it anyway.)

Since the Turin Olympics, men have been winning world championships without quads, like Jeffrey Buttle and Evan Lysacek. Now, knowing that Plushenko is back, will it put the hussle on for them to get at them again with renewed vigour?

I’ve got to hand it to the guy for his pluck. I’ve seen some of the older videos of him trying out his new Olympic programs, and not succeeding very well at all. And now he’s making people buzz.

But what I hope doesn’t happen is this: that he gets marks because he is an Olympic champion, because he always got high presentation marks, just because, whether he deserved them or not. Just because.

He got away with it in the early days of the new judging systems as judges were learning it and let’s leave it at that. He wasn’t known for his transitional footwork between moves. He would load up all of his big tricks at the beginning of his programs, got them out of the way when he was still fresh. It’s a lot harder to do big tricks at the end of a 4 1/2-minute routine, and that’s why the new judging system gives an extra 10 percent bonus for jumps completed in the second half. Plushenko didn’t have to try to place jumps at the end of a program, because he got such high marks, presentation and otherwise, that he didn’t need to.

What did I see on Saturday in Plushenko’s long program? A lot of front-loading again. The first minute of his tango routine was loaded up with trick after trick. In Saturday’s routine, he did three jumps after the second half, one right after the other, with little sign of choreography in between. The first one was a triple Lutz that was supposed to be part of a sequence with a triple Salchow, (although there were too many steps in between and he didn’t get credit for the sequence.) Admirable. The final jump was a simple double Axel.

In between the jumps, he spent way too much time on two feet, just pumping his way to the next trick. The marks he got for transitions - the moves that link elements - were wide-ranging.

One judge gave him a mark as low as 6.00 (out of 10) for his transitions. Well done. Another, a 6.25, another a 6.75. The highest mark he got for transitions was 7.75, and this from a judge who gave him rare marks of 9.00 for performance and interpretation. He was supposed to have been skating to a tango, but turn the music off and did that routine look like a tango? There were a couple of moves that looked as if he was with an imaginary dance partner, and then there was a pelvic thrust or two to sex it up. And when he landed his last three cluster of jumps, up went a finger, supposedly his statement that he was, still, No. 1 in the sport. But a tango? Why so many 9.0s for interpretation?

The highest and lowest marks are thrown out, so that 9.00 would head to the trash bin, but there were a couple of judges who gave him 9.00 for that non-tango-like routine.

The judges on the panel were from Lithuania, Ukraine, United States, Japan, France, Slovakia, Russia, Canada and Sweden.

Jeffrey Buttle is known as a skater who used the intricacies of the new judging system to the ultimate, especially when he won his world title in 2008 in Gothenburg, Sweden. In his long program, which he won, his average for transitions - and he was famous for his complex ones - was 7.75, while Plushenko’s average was 6.95. Methinks there should have been a larger difference in what I saw.

Buttle’s lowest mark was 7.50 for transitions in Sweden.

Buttle got 78.78 for program components in his long program at the 2008 world championships. At Cup of Russia on Saturday, Plushenko got 76.80. And the comforting thought is that at the 2008 world championships, Buttle won on the strength of his technical mark, not the presentation mark. There’s still hope yet. But would it have happened if Plushenko were in the field?

Still, Plushenko’s comeback is great fun. He adds to the chatter that will go on about the men’s event leading up to the Vancouver Olympics. And why have it any other way?

We won’t see Plushenko again in the Grand Prix Series. He’s been away for so long, the only Grand Prix he could do was in his home country. He won’t be at the Grand Prix Final. Aside from his national championships, we may see him only one more time before the Olympics, at the European championships in January. Perhaps by then, he will have added more transitions, and focus on interpretation. Perhaps in his first competition back in 3 1/2 years, he had to concentrate on the tricks, to get them down under pressure, and then comes the rest.

The suspense continues in the Plushenko comeback.
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Re: English newspaper texts about Plushy

Postby cekoni » 29 Oct 2009, 04:14

Plushy is the first time on the official list after the 2006 year!!! :ya_hoo_oo: :plush46: plush48

http://www.isuresults.com/events/gp2009/gpsmen.htm
ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating 2009/2010 - Men

Pl / Name / Nation / Total Points / Tie breaking / 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th
1 Nobunari ODA JPN 15 15 1 242.53 1 163.33 163.33 79.20 12
2 Evgeni PLUSHENKO RUS 15 15 1 240.65 1 158.40 158.40 82.25 11
....

http://www.isuresults.com/isujsstat/sb2009-10/sbtsmto.htm
ISU Judging System - Season Bests Total Scores 2009/2010 Men

1 242.53 Nobunari ODA JPN ISU GP Trophee Eric Bompard 17.10.2009
2 240.65 Evgeni PLUSHENKO RUS ISU GP Rostelecom Cup 2009 24.10.2009
....

http://www.teamusa.org/news/article/28628
US Figure Skating
IceNetwork.com World Figure Skater rankings

Men

Evgeny Plushenko, the 2006 Olympic champion from Russia, made his long-awaited return to competition last week, and he did not disappoint, lapping the field in Moscow by 25 points. That win put him at No. 20 in this week's rankings...


http://web.icenetwork.com/rankings/inde ... =men&rnk=0
World Skater Rankings: Oct. 26 2009

Rank Name Country Points
1 Patrick Chan Canada 2933.00
2 Brian Joubert France 2375.42
3 Takahiko Kozuka Japan 2315.50
4 Evan Lysacek USA 2174.20
5 Tomas Verner Czech Republic 2109.60
6 Jeremy Abbott USA 2031.14
7 Nobunari Oda Japan 2026.66
8 Johnny Weir USA 1614.50
9 Adam Rippon USA 1143.84
10 Sergei Voronov Russia 1108.14
11 Stephane Lambiel Switzerland 1095.80
12 Kevin van der Perren Belgium 1092.04
13 Yannick Ponsero France 1086.12
14 Daisuke Takahashi Japan 1077.00
15 Alban Preaubert France 1074.40
16 Samuel Contesti Italy 1067.20
17 Michal Brezina Czech Republic 859.26
18 Brandon Mroz USA 833.94
19 Artem Borodulin Russia 732.96
20 Evgeni Plushenko Russia 700.00 plush48
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Re: English newspaper texts about Plushy

Postby Anuradha » 29 Oct 2009, 14:17

Thank you for this! :plush31:
Stockholm Ice 2010 was my dream came true!
In that year I saw him live! <3
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Re: English newspaper texts about Plushy

Postby cekoni » 30 Oct 2009, 10:01

http://loopaxles.blogspot.com/2009/10/pic-of-week_27.html

.... The SAMSUNG Anycall Cup of China will be the season debut for the reigning World Champion, Evan Lysacek.

Besides having the pressure of being the one everyone is after, he also has to prove that he can keep pace with the top men we've already seen this season. Oda was fantastic in Paris (and competes again in China) and Plushenko threw down in Moscow...time to ante up! .......

http://www.universalsports.com/ViewArticle...TCLID=204822942

Lysacek officially kicks off his Olympic season Friday at the Cup of China. His toughest competition there should come from Japan’s Nobunari Oda, winner of the season’s first Grand Prix event, Trophee Eric Bompard.

But, judging by last week’s Rostelecom Cup, Lysacek’s biggest competition will be Evgeni Plushenko. In his first international competition since coming out of retirement, the Olympic champion routed a field that included three-time U.S. champ Johnny Weir and Takahiko Kozuka, silver medalist at the Grand Prix final.

No man has repeated as Olympic champion since Dick Button in 1952. Then again, no American man has won the Olympics since Brian Boitano in 1988, and Scott Hamilton (1984) is the last reigning world champion to claim the gold....

----------------------------------------------

http://www.tomasverner.com/About-Tomas/New...cS.article.aspx

Press conference with Tomas Verner

Tomas entered the room of the press conference with a good mood and a happy smile on his face. At this press conference Tomas spoke about the beginning of this very important olympic season, how he didn't really have a big break from training since the world championships and how the olympic games is coming closer and constantly in the back of his head....

... Last weekend Cup of Russia took place and for the first time since the olympic games, Plushenko competed again. Tomas is glad Plushenko returned to the scene of figure skating. He is one of the greater figure skaters of this era and Tomas is glad that he can be part of a generation that can compete with him and try to beat him. Thanks to fans who put the performances on youtube, besides just the protocols, Tomas was able to see the actual performances of Plushenko at cup of Russia. He does not feel like he is the person to critize Plushenko on his skating, but he does feel there are certain chances for him. On the technical side it was obvious for Tomas that Plushenko is very strong. Most of the emphasis was on that side of skating and it will be hard to beat him there. However, Tomas feels that there is something for him to gain on the program component scores.

"When the ISU changed the judging system, I was hoping that the judges would follow it and judge what they actually see and not according to name or fame, or in this case according to who Plushenko was when he left the scene. Still, Plushenko is the reigning olympic champion and with that he has a certain advantage over others, which he uses."

However Tomas is not discouraged, actuallly on the contrary. The return of Plushenko only pushes him to work harder in trainings and he believes he is on the right way.

The discussion about the program component scores didn't end here.

"You could see from the protocols that the judges were not exactly unanimous about it. There were some judges obviously on the side of Plushenko and some not. I think some judges were not exactly objective when watching him skate. One judge would give him a 6.5 and the other would give him an 8, something is not right here, there should not be such a big difference."

Tomas believes that skaters these days work hard to make their programs as difficult as possible, focusing on all sides of skating and not just the jumps. Unfortunately he did not register that in the programs of Plushenko.


The first competition he could meet with Plushenko should be the European championships (unless Plushenko decides to skip that in favour of the olympic games). For Tomas first awaits Skate America and hopefully after he will be able to compete at the grand prix final. Plushenko will not be able to compete there, since Plushenko will not take part in any other grand prix's besides cup of Russia....

... You cannot compare the olympics to any other competition. For example Plushenko came to the 2002 olympics in Salt lake city to fight for the gold and in the first few seconds of the program everything falls apart for him. It would be really bad if I would realize such a thing before the competition....

----------------------------------------

Tomas is quite full of himself - began to teach the judges their job. :-( Why he was not asked self about the lesser Plushy score, but considers him a high score? :kli_ny:
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Re: English newspaper texts about Plushy

Postby cekoni » 30 Oct 2009, 10:55

Well... this is actaully texts from Japanese newspapers, but... :hi_hi_hi: Many thanks for translation to kudryavka :ro_za:


http://sankei.jp.msn.com/sports/other/0910...80812001-n1.htm
2009.10.28

Alexei Mishin Short Interview: I will be pleased with only the attainment of our goal

2006 Olympics figure skating men's gold medalist Evgeni Plushenko of Russia, who returned to competition after an interval of four years, won at Grand Prix Rostelecom Cup. He suddenly became the frontrunner in the race of Vancouver Olympics. We talked to coach Alexei Mishin (68 years old).

- He won a landslide victory in the competition. How about a process of Plushenko's return?
ANM: I am satisfied with today's result, but I am not pleased with it. I will be pleased with only the attainment of our goal. We started serius training since middle of June. We had to practice with combative feeling like before. He reduced 9 kilos and repaired steps and spins to deal with the current rule. However, now his jumps are near to the world top level.

- Can you already see Olympics?
ANM: My task is to plan and to manage all, training and everything, for not to stop his progress. Everyday, we should be able to repeat a little progress. We continue preparation to compete for a medal at Olympics.

Image
During official practice on 22 Oct.

------------------------------------------

From Asahi Shimbun(newspaper) after CoR

Mishin: "Now the level that men's figure skating must achieve, are rised very much. I think that everyone woke up?"

-----------------------------------------

http://www.sponichi.co.jp/olympic/news/2009/10/28/04.html
28 October 2009

Kozuka "I have spoiled myself so far" - After he watched Plushenko's performance, Kozuka noticed it.

Kozuka started this season at second place of Rostelecom Cup. He got big stimulation.
The winner is Plushenko who returned after an interval of four years. This Turin Olimpics gold medalist. Kozuka watched Plushenko's deadly accurate jump close, and he said that Plushenko's spirit and the sharpness of jump were amazing. After Plushenko's performance, he noticed that he spoiled himself until now. He understood the way of practice as well. He seemed to got really many things in this competition....

-------------------------------------------------

http://www.sponichi.co.jp/sports/news/2009/10/26/08.html
26.10.2009

Kozuka trains quads for NHK trophy

.... Kozuka watched that 2006 Olympic champion Plushenko jumps quads to instead of warm-up easily. This 20 years old skater said that he took stimulation to watch Plushenko's practice.....

-------------------------------------------------

http://hochi.yomiuri.co.jp/sports/winter/n...-OHT1T00254.htm

Mao Asada

- What do you think about how to recover jumps?
Asada: I watched Plushenko in Russia. He was able to do quads without practice, immediately. I think that I should to be like him, no miss jumps, stability...
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Re: English newspaper texts about Plushy

Postby cekoni » 30 Oct 2009, 10:58

http://www.etaiwannews.com/etn/news_conten...rss=news_Sports
By JIM HEINTZ Associated Press 2009-10-22

Plushenko back in competition after 3-year absence

Evgeni Plushenko has had everything a figure skater could hope for, except for a dramatic comeback, and this week's Rostelecom Cup gives him a chance to add that to his resume.

Plushenko's short program on Friday at the Grand Prix series event, formerly called the Cup of Russia, will be his first appearance in international competition since winning Olympic gold in 2006.

After Turin, there were no more major competitions for him to win, but the next generation of Russian skaters proved underwhelming, so Plushenko came out of retirement and began rigorous training -- including dropping 9 kilograms (20 pounds) of weight he'd packed on, according to trainer Alexei Mishin.

At a Russian competition in Perm this month, Plushenko was characteristically clean and stylish. But he tripled his planned quad jump and doubts remain about whether he's regained enough athleticism to mount a serious defense of his gold in Vancouver next year....

-----------------------------------------

http://www.morethanthegames.co.uk/figure-s...enko-cup-russia
Posted: Friday 23rd October 2009 | 21:10

Stunning comeback for Plushenko at Cup of Russia

YEVGENY Plushenko returned to competitive action with a stunning performance at the Rostelecom Cup, the second ISU Grand Prix of the season.


Plushenko has not competed internationally since winning gold at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin.

But he showed no signs of rustiness with an error in short programme, giving him a 6.75 point advantage over Japan's Takahiko Kozuka while American Johnny Weir sits third.

"I'm satisfied, I was nervous but it was also very good to be back," said Plushenko, whose only obvious error was landing a double, instead of an intended triple, lutz.

"There are things to improve but I'm happy, it was not a bad performance. People ask me why do you come back, they say I already got everything – fame and money. But I’m still young, I’m just 26."...

-------------------------------------------

http://www.morethanthegames.co.uk/figure-s...-rostelecom-cup
Posted: Saturday 24th October 2009 | 20:05

Olympic champion Yevgeny Plushenko destroys field to claim Rostelecom Cup

PERFECT YEVGENY Plushenko completed his competitive comeback in style as he romped to gold after an outstanding free programme at the Rostelecom Cup in Russia.


The reigning Olympic champion announced his return to action after nearly four years away from the sport with a near-perfect short programme on Friday.

And the Russian proved it was no fluke by repeating the feat in the free programme on Saturday, finishing head and shoulders above the rest of the field with 158.40 points.

Japan's Takahiko Kozuka was Plushenko's nearest rival in Moscow but didn't look in the same league as he scored 139.63 in his free programme to finish second overall....

----------------------------------------------

http://www.leaderpost.com/sports/Olympic+c...1682/story.html
AFP October 24, 2009

Olympic champion Plushenko wins on return

Image

MOSCOW -- Russian Olympic champion Yevgeny Plushenko got his campaign to retain his title at the Vancouver Games off to a successful start by winning the Rostelecom Cup, the Russian leg of the ISU Grand Prix series here on Saturday.

The 26-year-old Russian, who has not competed internationally since his success at the 2006 Turin Games, has been lured out of retirement in the hope of claiming a second gold in Vancouver next February.

The Turin Games winner looked in complete command claiming: "I'm back!" in the kiss and cry corner while he was waiting for his mark after free skating.

The solid presentation of his free programme confirmed his leading position, which he clinched after the free programme, as he received 157.95 for "Tango Amore" by Edvin Marton for a total score of 240.20.

Second-placed Takahiko Kozuka of Japan failed to avoid minor errors in his free skating "Guitar Concerto" by Michael Kamen and finished 25 points behind the winner Plushenko....

Plushenko grabbed the lead on Friday with his short programme "Concierto de Aranjuez" but despite giving an error-free presentation failed to beat his previous personal best mark as he received 82.25 points.

However, his score - the season's second best in the world - gave him the lead with a 6.75-point advantage on second-placed Takahiko Kozuka of Japan, whose sparkling presentation of Jimmy Hendrix's Bold As Love proved popular with the home crowd...

-----------------------------------------

http://www.ctvolympics.ca/figure-skating/n...+feeling+strong
By Alexander Fedorets, AFP Posted Saturday, October 24, 2009 3:01 PM ET

Plushenko feeling strong

Image

MOSCOW, Russia - Olympic champion Evgeni Plushenko began his campaign to retain his title at the 2010 Vancouver Games with victory at the Rostelecom Cup on Saturday, the Russian leg of the ISU Grand Prix series.

The 26-year-old Russian, who has not competed internationally since his success at the 2006 Turin Games, has been lured out of retirement in the hope of claiming a second gold in Canada next February.

"I skated with pleasure and I didn't get tired at all," Plushenko said. "It's a terrific feeling."

"I felt free and allowed some improvisations. I had some new movements that were not included in the programme earlier. But still there's plenty of homework to do to make it all perfect."....

-------------------------------------------------

http://www.ctvolympics.ca/figure-skating/n...wsid=18014.html
By Jennifer Lukas, CTVOlympics.ca Posted Saturday, October 24, 2009 9:04 AM ET

Plushenko doesn't miss a beat in return

Evgeni Plushenko is back.

The Russian figure skater said it outright on Saturday in the kiss-and-cry area following a free skate performance on home ice at the Rostelecom Cup.

Plushenko, who had not competed internationally since winning the Olympic gold medal at the 2006 Turin Games, is making a bid to defend his title at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver. And despite the fact Saturday marked the conclusion of the Olympic champion's first Grand Prix in over three years, Plushenko showed no rust.

The 26-year-old Russian was already in the lead going into Saturday's free skate after a dominant skate on Friday. Skating in front of his home crowd, his short program performance to Concerto de Aranjuez scored Plushenko 82.25 points - almost seven full points more than second-placed Takahiko Kozuka of Japan (75.50).

Plushenko then went on to score an additional 157.95 points in his free skate performance on Saturday to Tango Amore for a total of 240.20 - more than good enough for the gold, and he knew it.

Upon completing his performance, Plushenko gestured "number-1" to his cheering fans. And then, as if the crowd wasn't already cheering loudly enough, Plushenko motioned for them to yell louder. ...

---------------------------------------------

http://www.boston.com/sports/other_sports/...lympics/?page=2

.... Evgeni Plushenko’s easy victory in last weekend’s Grand Prix event in Moscow after three years away from international competition says as much about the state of men’s figure skating :-) as it does about the defending Olympic champion, who was summoned back because the Russians didn’t have a contender after winning the last four gold medals. Plushenko, who turns 27 next month, still has enough game left despite his creaking knees to be a contender in Vancouver. World champ Evan Lysacek, who’s hoping to break a 22-year American drought at the Games, makes his season debut at this weekend’s Cup of China in Beijing...
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