English newspaper texts about Plushy

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Re: English newspaper texts about Plushy

Postby cekoni » 02 Jan 2010, 07:44

http://www.ifsmagazine.com/forum/index. ... topic=1889
post Dec 30 2009, 10:26 AM, By Susan Wessling

Plushenko Nabs Record Eighth Russian Title, Puts Up Big Numbers Despite Injury

Plushenko Wins Russian Nationals; Has Sights Set All the Way to 2014


The Evgeni Plushenko comeback train is barreling down the tracks. Plushenko won a record eighth Russian title over the weekend in Saint Petersburg. Despite being hampered by an injured knee he cruised to victory. His nearest competitor, two-time time (2008, ’09) Russian champion Sergei Voronov, finished over 30 points behind the reigning Olympic champion.

“I can mark my performance with three points out of five, maximum,” Plushenko told the press after the competition. “I was practicing only one week before the Russian championships. Now I need to rehabilitate completely [for] the European Championships to gain my top form for the Olympics.”

Plushenko, a five-time European champion, compiled a score of 271.59 en route to the top of podiumin in Saint Petersburg. The scoring seemed quite generous but given Plushenko could have easily skipped the event due to his knee injury (he has a slightly torn ligament in his left knee), it was a major triumph.

His agent Ari Zakarian told IFS prior to the competition, “He doesn’t want a bye. He wants to earn his spot [on Russia’s Olympic team]. Right now his life is train, rest and sleep. He is in competition mode. I see him every day. It is amazing to see him and the change from last spring to now.”

SEEMINGLY PADDED SCORE

After the competition, it appeared that Plushenko seemed aware that his marks may have been padded. “To be honest it was not perfect skating. … I would like to thank the judges for the bonus but it definitely was not the presentation of the true Olympic level, but now I know what direction I shall move to reach it,” he said.

Prior to this past autumn, Plushenko had not competed since the 2006 Olympic Winter Games in Italy. In September and October, he competed domestically. He had one Grand Prix Series assignment, Rostelecom Cup in Russia (formerly Cup of Russia) which he easily won.

Then Plushenko injured his knee. "He basically injured his knee from over-training,” Zakarian said. "He has a lot of pressure on him.”

Plushenko is well known for his impressive jumps but under the International Judging System has faced criticism about his transitions, footwork and overall artistic presentation. That fact has not been lost on the 27-year-old, Zakarian said. “He is working on his footwork, his speed, new elements and his jumps. He is feeling pretty good,” Zakarian said. “He will come back strong.”

Zakarian added that the three-time World champion (2001, ’03, and ’04) is aware that has been some criticism about his comeback. “He is putting that behind him. … When he started skating, it was under a different system,” said Zakarian about Plushenko who won the Olympic silver medal in 2002 under the old judging system and his Olympic title under the new system. “It is impossible for him to completely change his skating. He will never spin like (Stephane Lambiel) or do spirals [like some other skaters] but he is trying for the judges and trying to do his best.

“Evgeni is doing some impressive things. If everything goes well [physically, his appearance at] the Olympics will be sensational.”

A PHYSICAL MATTER

Plushenko believes his chances of repeating as Olympic champion are very good. “If there are no politics and his physical condition is good, I think he will be fine,” his long-time agent said.

And while he is working on his artistic presentation, he is still planning on landing the big jumps. Plushenko plans to do two quads in his long program in Vancouver.

Plushenko watched the Grand Prix Final earlier this month. “He appreciates the skaters who were going for quads,” Zakarian said. “He hopes the judges can change their expectations and appreciate different things.

“Evgeni’s message is to move the sport into a high level of difficulty. There are always people who are going to say that is how skaters get injured. But his message is to show that figure skaters can show grace and be strong, masculine and physical like Elvis Stojko, Brian Boitano and Kurt Browning were.

“Four years ago when he was skating at the Olympics, the skaters competing were [doing bigger jumps]. That bothers him. He plans to do a quad-triple Lutz combo that will be amazing.”

Zakarian said Plushenko is looking beyond Vancouver as well. He has his sights set on competing in 2014 when the Olympic Games will be held in Russia.

At nationals, it appears Plushenko was still working out some kinks with his programs. In his long program, he went with a triple jump to open the program (instead of a quad) but later in the program landed a quad and five clean triples. The victory earned Plushenko a spot on Russia’s Olympic team. It will be his third appearance at an Olympic Games....
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Re: English newspaper texts about Plushy

Postby cekoni » 02 Jan 2010, 07:53

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2009/w ... =si_latest
December 29, 2009

Brian Cazeneuve: Plushenko just one intriguing Olympic question mark

For four years since he won the men's title at the Turin Olympics, Russia's Yevgeny Plushenko has been the wildcard in the men's figure skating equation, talking comeback and keeping out of sight. In October, he returned to the ice to win the Rostelecom Cup with a strong, but flawed, performance in Moscow that suggested he might make a run at another Olympics.

This past weekend, Plushenko confirmed his return and his form, winning the Russian Olympic trials with a world-record score of 271.59 points. The question is still just how much is real and how much is wishful thinking. He says has been practicing a program with options for two quadruple jumps (either a quad-quad or a triple Axel, quad combination) that could vault him to another planet of execution marks, but has yet to pull them off in competition.

Some observers suspect that none of the contenders for the men's crown will need a quad to win. Plushenko landed one quad over the weekend and has only competed twice in Russia, once with exclusively Russian judges. He should also get a favorable shake at the European Championships in Tallinn, Estonia, next month, his last scheduled competition before the Olympics. But what happens when he travels abroad and faces more measured scrutiny from international judges in Vancouver?

What's more, Plushenko confesses that he is still suffering from the lingering knee ailments that led him to retire in the first place. After his victory in October, he told reporters, "I was sleeping late, drinking wine, eating pasta. I was not prepared for anything." Yet, even with all those uncertainties, it is no longer possible to ignore the reigning champion...

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

http://www.requiredelements.com/2009/12 ... es-of-2009
Skatergirl_tiny by LauraS on Dec 31, 2009

Top Skating Stories of 2009
...

Chan versus Joubert

Canadian Patrick Chan is a lot of things, including a gorgeous skater. But one thing Patrick Chan is not? Shy. Well, guess what? Neither is France's Brian Joubert. Put them in the world championships together and you get BLOGGING HEAVEN.

It started with Joubert complaining about skaters not doing quads, which is his strength. Well, Chan, who does not do quads, got his hackles up, and being a straightforward young man, he let the world know he would not stand for that nonsense. And the comments continued. And then he showed how outspoken he was AGAIN at Skate Canada. I hope that they never muzzle Chan. He and Johnny Weir (and possibly Plushenko) are the only skaters worth quoting these days...

The comebacks that were... and were not

The comebacks that were were sensational. Reigning olympic gold medalist from Russia Evgeny Plushenko is alternatively delighting his fans and annoying his detractors with his quintessential Evgeniness. He's skating well, and he knows it. He has quads and you don't, nah, nah, nah, nah. He has not grown as an artist in the years he's been gone but the international judges like him as much as ever.

Japan's Daisuke Takahashi came back this year from a tough knee injury and surgery. He has looked good and bad, at times inspiring and other times sloppy. There is no question that he brings something special to the ice with his footwork and choreography, not to mention his technical abilities when he's on. Uncertain which Takahashi we'll get at the Olympics, though.
Switzerland's Stephane Lambiel is still a wild card. He has done well in his competitions but he hasn't been on the Grand Prix circuit and still appears to be dealing with injury. Europeans will be a major test....
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Re: English newspaper texts about Plushy

Postby cekoni » 02 Jan 2010, 09:05

Championship of Russia ... few links for various languages :hi_hi_hi:
--------------------------------

Plushenko , encore
http://www.lequipe.fr/Ski/20091226_1945 ... ncore.html
8e titre de Russie pour Plushenko
http://www.rds.ca/amateurs/chroniques/288811.html
Plushenko toujours au top
http://sport.france2.fr/neige-et-glace/ ... 72754.html
Plushenko champion de Russie
http://www.lefigaro.fr/flash-actu/2009/ ... russie.php
Plushenko s'offre un nouveau titre de champion de Russie
http://www.20min.ch/ro/sports/lhiver/story/31474684
Plushenko Russisch kampioen met recordscore:
http://www.nieuwsblad.be/sportwereld/ar ... 122009_025
Pluschenko russischer Eiskunstlauf-Meister
http://www.arcor.de/content/sport/winte ... ister.html
Jevgeni Plushenko luisteli huippupisteet
http://yle.fi/urheilu/lajit/muut/taitol ... 71718.html
Plushenko conquista su octavo título nacional con marca mundial de puntos
http://www.ntn24.com/content/plushenko- ... ial-puntos
Για 8η φορά πρωταθλητής ο Plushenko
http://www.inews.gr/60/gia-8i-fora-prot ... shenko.htm
Pljuščenko zlepšil dva světové rekordy a je ruským šampionem
http://www.ct24.cz/sport/76405-pljuscen ... sampionem/
Plušenko osvojio osmu titulu prvaka Rusije
http://www.rts.rs/page/sport/sr/story/1 ... usije.html
Plušenko prvak Rusije
http://www.b92.net/sport/vesti.php?yyyy ... _id=400603
..... etc... :plush45:
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Re: English newspaper texts about Plushy

Postby cekoni » 02 Jan 2010, 09:25

http://www.woaolympians.com/newsitem.php?id=538
29.12.2009

Evgeni Plushenko tries to go to Olympic Games

Figure skating championship of Russia starts in country’s second capital Saint-Petersburg. The best Russian figure skaters will be chosen due to the competition. Moreover some of them will get “tickets” to the national team and will fight for medals of European championship and Olympic Games in Vancouver.

Evgeni Plushenko’s demonstration will be in the center of everybody’s attention. Evgeni is the 2006 Olympic champion. He retained from figure skating some years ago. So, Evgeni Plushenko has experienced himself as a businessman as well as a deputy and a father since there.

But Russian men figure skating is in great crises nowadays. So, Evgeni Plushenko decided to come back to sport and to represent Russia in next Olympic Games in Vancouver in 2010. By the way, there is no the only leader among men in the world figure skating today. It was one more force to make Evgeni come to the ice.

Sergey Voronov and Artem Borodulin will be the main Plushenko’s rivals in the championship. Voronov demonstrated confident skating in China this year finally taking 220,39 points. But Borodulin also is ready to go to the Olympics...

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

http://www.boston.com/sports/other_spor ... _olympics/
Olympic notebook, The Boston Globe By John Powers, December 30, 2009

Spot check

. . . Olympic figure skating champion Evgeny Plushenko will have to be reckoned with in Vancouver. Though he essentially was skating on one leg and had only a week’s practice, Plushenko posted a world-best score (271.59) last weekend while winning his eighth Russian title and earning his third trip to the Games. While he acknowledged that his score was padded by generous judges, the 27-year-old Plushenko has made a credible comeback after three years away from competition. If he can claim his sixth European title in Estonia next month, Plushenko could well make the podium in February ....

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

http://30somethingskating.blogspot.com/ ... henko.html
December 30, 2009

Skater of the Decade: Evgeny Plushenko

This decade saw a tranisition from 6.0 scoring to the International Judging System. It was also defined by an on going debate in men's skating, "To Quad or Not To Quad." Evgeny Plushenko was able to dominate under both judging systems and always answered with a quad. Sometimes he would put an exclamation mark on his quad-toe statements with a quad-Salchow.

He entered the decade the young challenger to Alexei Yagudin and heir to the Russian skating dynasty. The rivalry between Yagudin and Plushenko became fierce. Plushenko was the only one to beat Yagudin in a few years by winning his first World Championship in 2001. They were co-favorites going into the Salt Lake City Games in 2002. Plushenko had a rare fall in the short, and Yagudin went on to some of the highest scores in the 6.0 system history securing his gold medal.

After those Olympics, Plushenko went full steam ahead to win two more World titles, 5 European titles and the 2006 Olympics. He even became the first skater to land two different quads in a program, and quadruple toe-loop and quad Salchow during a Grand Prix event.

His off-ice life has kept in the spotlight as well. He's a Russian superstar, he's been elected to city councils, has had two weddings covered extensively by Russian media and even took time to help Dima Bilan win the Eurovision Song Contest. This is like being on American Idol here, he's a Russian Ellen Degeneres, he's everywhere. I'm sure Oprah was thinking about having him a cover of some magazine...

He's coming back this season to resurrect Russian skating. He's still hitting the quads and even attempting triple axels-quad toes. His knees will probably need to be replaced next year, but he's pushing through anyways. He returned to competitive skating after four years away with a win at Cup of Russia and then got a crazy 100.09 points for a short program that featured a turn out on triple lutz. Craziness! All the points, all the quads, all the chest-thumping leads to a lot of noise about being a medal contender and wild card in Vancouver. How you can you not consider Plushenko a Skater of the Decade?
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Re: English newspaper texts about Plushy

Postby cekoni » 05 Jan 2010, 09:34

http://vancouver2010.blogs.nytimes.com/ ... ompetitor/
January 4, 2010, 8:06 pm, By JULIET MACUR

Abbott Says Plushenko is ‘Just Another Competitor’

Jeremy Abbott, the 2009 United States national figure skating champion, isn’t intimidated by the Russian skater Yevgeny Plushenko.

So what if Plushenko, 27, is headed for his third Olympics after winning a gold medal at the 2006 Turin Games and a silver medal at the 2002 Salt Lake City Games? And so what if Plushenko, in his first season after three years away from the sport, set world-best marks last month at the Russian national championship? Plushenko scored 271.59 points total, including 100.09 in his short program. Both marks are unofficial world records because the International Skating Union doesn’t count national events in its record books.

“Scores at nationals across the world are always inflated; it’s always kind of that way, it’s always kind of been that way,” Abbott said Monday, on a teleconference in advance of the United States figure skating national championships that start in Spokane, Wash., next week. The nationals will serve as the Olympic trials for the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.

“The judges are all from your country who all want to push you up and help you,” Abbott said of the scoring at nationals.

But those judges and those scores won’t mean a thing at the Olympics, where a panel of international judges — not a panel of the skater’s compatriots — will determine scores. That’s where Plushenko will have to prove that he is still the best in the world, Abbott said.

“It’s going to be a whole different ballgame,” Abbott said, calling Plushenko “just another competitor.”

In the past several months, though, Plushenko has added a few things to his resume that may make other skaters nervous.

At the Rostelecom Cup last fall, his first competition since leaving Turin with an Olympic gold medal, Plushenko showed that he still had some of his magic, winning that Grand Prix event.

Since coming back, he also has proven that he still is one of the world’s best jumpers. He has performed clean quad-triple combinations. In his repertory is also a triple axel, quadruple toe combination. His coach, Alexei Mishin, shows that move to people on a video he keeps on his iPhone.

At the Russian nationals, Plushenko was good, but far from perfect. Still, his short program score was nearly 10 points higher than his short program from Turin, which previously had been the world’s best.

His overall score was better than that of Daisuke Takahashi of Japan, who — to everyone’s astonishment — scored 264.41 at Four Continents in 2008. Takahashi still holds the official points record.

Plushenko admitted that his scores at the Russian nationals had been inflated, saying his performance could be rated “a weak three” on a scale of one to five. Still, he will go into Vancouver as one of the men to beat.
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Re: English newspaper texts about Plushy

Postby cekoni » 06 Jan 2010, 08:48

http://www.lifeskate.com/skate/2010/01/jer...ympic-team.html
Jan 05, 2010

Jeremy Abbott and 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics: Goal is quad and Olympic team
...

Complete coverage of Jeremy Abbott Are you concentrating on the quad because Evgeni Plushenko, Brian Joubert and Stephane Lambiel will do it?

I'm doing it because I wanna be competitive, but mainly I'm doing it because I can...

Do you think it's possible that judging at Russian Nationals will affect the scores at US Nationals? Evgeni Plushenko will be heading to the Olympics with a world's best score, almost 272 points for five clean triples and a quad. Do you think we're reaching the danger zone when scores seem to be propped up?

Scores at National championships across the world are always inflated. I felt that my scores last year at US Championships were very high, deserved or undeserved I don't know. It's always kind of that way, and it's always been that way, but when you come onto the international scene, the nationals scores don't have any affect. So what happens at US Championships this year, whatever happened at Russian championships this year, really won't have any affect on the scoring when it comes to the Olympics or Worlds. Everyone has to perform on those given days, and it's a whole different panel. When you go to these championships, the judges are all from your country and they all want to push you up and help you but when you go internationally, there are judges from other countries who wanna help their skaters, so it's kind of a whole different ballgame. I don't what the scoring will be like at Nationals this year, maybe we'll see 100 points in the short program like in the Russian Championships, or maybe we won't. Either way, my goal is really just to be on the team and what happens from there, I have to perform.

What are your thoughts about Plushenko's comeback?

When I first heard he was coming back, I have to admit, I certainly was intimidated. Here was this great champion, amazing technician, come back and say he wanted to compete. It's always a little intimidating. Of course I was skeptical at first if he was going to be in shape, be healthy, and he went to Cup of Russia and proved that he was still strong. But you know, I'm not the same skater that I have been in previous seasons. I feel much more confident in myself and in my abilities. I feel that, not only is my artistry up there, but I also feel that my technical aspect of skating has improved greatly. You know, now he's just become another competitor. In my mind, I don't hold him on a pedestal. I don't view him any differently than I would anyone else. He's just another skater that I have to contend with. At the end of the day, I have to go out there and focus on myself and I have to do what I can do, it doesn't matter what anyone else does. So for me, when I go out to compete, whatever anyone else does doesn't matter, I just have to go out and I have to do what I can do. And I just hope that the judges like what I have to offer.

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

... full text here: viewtopic.php?f=4&t=18&p=4043#p4043 :mi_ga_et:
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Re: English newspaper texts about Plushy

Postby cekoni » 06 Jan 2010, 08:50

http://www.examiner.com/x-20118-Figure-Ska...-move?#comments
January 4, Figure Skating Examiner, Jackie Wong

Rinkside Power Rankings (Men): Takahashi, Amodio, Brezina make a move

After the national championships in December, there was some reshuffling in the Rinkside Power Rankings. 2007 World silver medalist Daisuke Takahashi regained the Japanese title after rival Nobunari Oda won it last year in his absence. Takahashi’s win was a big one, especially considering his subpar free skate performance just three weeks before at the Grand Prix Final. Oda, on the other hand, had trouble with his short program and took the silver.

Reigning Olympic champion Evgeni Plushenko received a few astronomical scores at Russian nationals, even with flawed performances. Of course, the scores at national championships tend to be higher than scores given out at international competitions, so it is next to impossible to compare results. But given the troubles he was reportedly having with his knee two weeks prior, Plushenko’s performance exceeded expectations. His next big challenge will be the European Championships, where he will be competing outside of Russia for the first time this season.

New to the rankings this week is newly-crowned French champion Florent Amodio, who is establishing himself as one of the breakout skaters in the men’s field this season. Amodio dethroned defending champion Yannick Ponsero and took the second French Olympic spot over Ponsero and Alban Preaubert. Another breakout star, Michal Brezina, makes a return to the rankings after winning the Czech title over 2008 European champion Tomas Verner.

MEN
1. (1) Evan Lysacek – Looking ahead to U.S. Nationals.
2. (7) Daisuke Takahashi – Big win over Oda in Osaka.
3. (2) Jeremy Abbott – Looking ahead to U.S. Nationals.
4. (4) Evgeni Plushenko – Knee seemed ok in Saint Petersburg.
5. (3) Nobunari Oda – Hoping to ramp back up for Vancouver.
6. (-) Florent Amodio – A French title and a trip to the Olympics.
7. (-) Michal Brezina – Defeated Verner to win first national title.
8. (5) Johnny Weir – Looking ahead to U.S. Nationals.

Off the top 8: Brian Joubert, Stephane Lambiel

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

I write him there, objection on the first place ::yaz-yk:
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Re: English newspaper texts about Plushy

Postby cekoni » 11 Jan 2010, 07:12

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/O/OLY...-01-10-08-12-05
Jan 10, By NANCY ARMOUR, AP National Writer

OLY Olympic Notebook
...

MARKED UP: Evgeni Plushenko caused quite a stir by winning his eighth Russian title last month, and not just because he did it with a bum knee.

The Olympic champion scored 271.59 points in his Dec. 26 victory, which would shatter the current world record if the International Skating Union counted marks from national championships. But the ISU does not, knowing that judges at national championships tend to be a bit enthusiastic with their marks.

It happens all over the world, including the United States.

The 100.09 points Plushenko scored in the short program would be a record, too, breaking his own mark set at the Turin Olympics.

"It really won't have any effect when it comes to scoring at the Olympics," reigning U.S. men's champion Jeremy Abbott said.

"Scores at national championships across the world are always inflated. I felt my scores last year at the U.S. championships were very high. Deserved or undeserved, I don't know," Abbott said. "But when you get on the international scene, it doesn't have an effect."

Still, Plushenko's performance was impressive considering he was forced off the ice for several days two weeks before Russian championships with a sore left knee.

Knee problems hastened Plushenko's retirement after his dominant performance at the Turin Olympics. He returned this season and didn't have any problems until early December, when his left knee became sore from all of the quadruple jumps he was practicing....
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Re: English newspaper texts about Plushy

Postby cekoni » 14 Jan 2010, 08:46

http://www.lifeskate.com/skate/2010/01/ ... -team.html
Jan 05, 2010

Jeremy Abbott and 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics: Goal is quad and Olympic team
....

- Do you think it's possible that judging at Russian Nationals will affect the scores at US Nationals? Evgeni Plushenko will be heading to the Olympics with a world's best score, almost 272 points for five clean triples and a quad. Do you think we're reaching the danger zone when scores seem to be propped up?

- Abbott: Scores at National championships across the world are always inflated. I felt that my scores last year at US Championships were very high, deserved or undeserved I don't know. It's always kind of that way, and it's always been that way, but when you come onto the international scene, the nationals scores don't have any affect. So what happens at US Championships this year, whatever happened at Russian championships this year, really won't have any affect on the scoring when it comes to the Olympics or Worlds. Everyone has to perform on those given days, and it's a whole different panel. When you go to these championships, the judges are all from your country and they all want to push you up and help you but when you go internationally, there are judges from other countries who wanna help their skaters, so it's kind of a whole different ballgame. I don't what the scoring will be like at Nationals this year, maybe we'll see 100 points in the short program like in the Russian Championships, or maybe we won't. Either way, my goal is really just to be on the team and what happens from there, I have to perform.

- What are your thoughts about Plushenko's comeback?

- Abbott: When I first heard he was coming back, I have to admit, I certainly was intimidated. Here was this great champion, amazing technician, come back and say he wanted to compete. It's always a little intimidating. Of course I was skeptical at first if he was going to be in shape, be healthy, and he went to Cup of Russia and proved that he was still strong. But you know, I'm not the same skater that I have been in previous seasons. I feel much more confident in myself and in my abilities. I feel that, not only is my artistry up there, but I also feel that my technical aspect of skating has improved greatly. You know, now he's just become another competitor. In my mind, I don't hold him on a pedestal. I don't view him any differently than I would anyone else. He's just another skater that I have to contend with. At the end of the day, I have to go out there and focus on myself and I have to do what I can do, it doesn't matter what anyone else does. So for me, when I go out to compete, whatever anyone else does doesn't matter, I just have to go out and I have to do what I can do. And I just hope that the judges like what I have to offer.

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

http://www.skatebuzz.com/ViewNewsArticl ... 3e57ed9ee1
Jan 12, 2010 By Graham Dunbar , The Associated Press

Swiss figure skater Lambiel says he can win Olympic gold in comeback season
....

... The 24-year-old Lambiel will test his Olympic readiness next week at the European Championships in Tallinn, Estonia.
Lambiel expects to compete there against Evgeni Plushenko for the first time since the Russian beat him at the 2006 Turin Olympics.

Plushenko, who won the silver medal in Salt Lake City, also is making a comeback after a three-year break.
But Lambiel said he is not interested in Plushenko - only in impressing the judges with his new free program set to music from the opera La Traviata.

"I'm not expecting anything about this rivalry," he said. "I don't feel this competition like a tennis game where you have your competitor against you and you have to beat him.
It's more like a show. When I'm on the ice I have five minutes to show what I can do and there is no one against me."...
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Re: English newspaper texts about Plushy

Postby dimi » 26 Jan 2010, 09:22

European Championship

One million articles from google for Evgeni's comeback , i dont think I can copy all of them :sh_ок:

Plushenko, 27, back with a flash
http://www.thestarphoenix.com/sports/20 ... story.html

Yevgeny Plushenko has given a much-needed boost to Russian figure skating ahead of the Winter Olympics.

The 27-year-old reclaimed the men's title as his country landed three of the four titles at the European championships.

It was the most successful Europeans for Russia since just before the 2006 Winter Games, but the team has been in the doldrums since the Turin Games.

The Russians had not produce a medal in the men's or women's event at Europeans since 2006, also losing their pairs stranglehold. But that has all changed as they showed they are ready to challenge for three Olympic titles -- men's, pairs and dance.

The return of Plushenko last year after retiring following Turin has proved a major boost.

He showed he still has the jumps and the program to compete against younger rivals.


Lure of Olympic gold too strong for Plushenko
http://www.gulf-times.com/site/topics/a ... rent_id=29

Yevgeny Plushenko admits he has it all - titles, money and a great wife - but the lure of Olympic gold has proved too strong for the skater from St. Petersburg.
Four years ago he retired after claiming Olympic gold in Turin.
But he sealed his international return Thursday night with a masterful performance that earned him a sixth European men’s title.
The three-time world champion finished a massive 16.85 points ahead of Switzerland’s Olympic silver medallist Stephane Lambiel with defending champion Brian Joubert of France struggling to third.
And he admitted the Plushenko of 2010 is a far cry from the one of 2006.


Russian Plushenko dazzles with world-record short

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TALLINN, Estonia — The Russians are back.

Olympic champion Evgeni Plushenko won the short program at the European championships Wednesday with a spectacular performance that proved he has the goods to repeat in Vancouver despite a three-year layoff. Plushenko scored 91.30 points, beating the world record he set at the Turin Games. Brian Joubert, the 2007 world champion, is about two points behind and fellow Frenchman Yannick Ponsero is third going into Thursday's free skate.
Plushenko retired after the 2006 Olympics but announced his return last spring, hoping to become the first man since Dick Button to repeat as gold medallist. With this performance, he is nearing his old form.

Or, maybe, even better.

Plushenko landed a quadruple toe loop-triple toe combination with cool precision, and had great height on his triple axel and triple lutz. But it was his spins that truly showed how much he's improved since 2006. His spins were longer and had more positions, and they were so perfectly centred the tracings looked as if they'd been made by a protactor.

He showed how much the performance meant when he completed his program with a celebratory clenched fist.


Plushenko crushes rivals to claim 6th Euro title

TALLINN - Evgeni Plushenko gave warning that he is ready to defend his Olympic title next month by crushing his rivals to claim a sixth men's gold at the European figure skating championships here on Thursday.

Competing in his first major event since retiring four years ago because of knee injuries after winning gold at the Turin Olympics, the 27-year-old showed that he can still compete at the highest level.

The three-time world champion finished a massive 16.85 points ahead of Olympic silver medallist Stephane Lambiel who jumped from fifth to claim a third European silver.

Defending champion Brian Joubert finished third after a sloppy free skate, in a podium which mirrored the 2006 championship.

"Things have gone according to plan but the most important thing is the Olympics," said Plushenko, who expressed his delight by kissing the ice. ...
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