Plushenko gives Sochi 2014 hopes boost with Sheffield gold medal
Saturday, 28 January 2012
January 28 - Russia's Yevgeny Plushenko has given his chances of success at Sochi 2014 a massive boost after winning the European Championships at Sheffield tonight.
It took Russia's total to seven of the 12 medals on offer, iincluding two of the titles with Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov leading a sweep of the pairs event.
Russians also took silver and bronze in ice dancing with the women's competition the only discipline where they failed to medal with Italy's Carolina Kostner winning a fourth European title.
Earlier Plushenko danced to the music from the film Moulin Rouge and the triple world champion wowed with a quadruple jump and two triple axels.
The 29-year-old scored a total of 261.23 points, ahead of young compatriot Artur Gachinski with 246.27, while France's defending champion Florent Amodio had to be content with bronze with 234.18.
But Plushenko revealed he will not be competing in the World Championships in France in March because of a knee injury, as he battles to be in top form for Sochi.
"After these championships I'm going to consult with my doctors and undergo surgery on my left knee in Munich," the 2006 Olympic champion said.
"But I'll be there next year and of course in 2014 for the Olympic Games.
"If I skate like that while injured I can skate so much better when I'm fully fit."
Plushenko (pictured) returned to competition this season after a two-year absence after winning silver at the 2010 Vancouver Games.
"I'll be 31 years at the [Sochi 2014] Games and I want to prove to myself that I can have great results and not just to take part in the Olympic Games," he said.
Kostner impressed with her classical routine to a Mozart selection for piano and orchestra, to add to her titles from 2007, 2008 and 2010.
The 24-year-old Italian placed first in both the short programme and the free skate final to take gold with a combined total of 183.55 points, finishing ahead of Finland's Kiira Korpi took silver with 166.94 and Georgia's Elene Gedevanishvili bronze with 165.93.
January 2012: European Skating Championships the icing on Sheffield's cake
June 2011: Plushenko given green light for Sochi 2014
June 2010: Plushenko banned from Sochi 2014 by International Skating Union
February 2010: Plushenko signs up to be face of Sochi 2014
February 2010: Plushenko promises to carry on until Sochi 2014