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Russian Plushchenko wins Olympic figure skating gold


TURIN, February 17 (RIA Novosti) - Figure skating fans all over Russia Friday were celebrating a magnificent performance from Yevgeny Plushchenko in the men's free program, which saw him claim his debut Olympic gold and continue the country's domination of the event.

In an exciting performance in Turin Thursday night, the five-time European champion gained 258.33 points, finishing ahead of Switzerland's Stephane Lambiel and Canada's Jeff Buttle.

After the event, Plushchenko, who had gone into his display with a commanding 10-pointy lead after the short program, summed up his emotions to journalists in the simplest of forms: "This was my dream. I am happy."

Four years ago, as a raw 19-year-old, he had to settle for silver after losing out to compatriot and former training colleague Alexei Yagudin.

If world records were registered in the figure skating in the same way they are in weightlifting, Plushchenko would have set three world records: both in the short and free programs, and on aggregate.

In another boost for his fans, Plushchenko played down fears that he might turn professional by saying he would seek a second Olympic gold in four years' time.

Images (Yevgeny Plushchenko)

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