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    Evgeni Plushenko

    Russia's figure skater Plushenko pins hopes on 2014 Sochi Olympics

    © Sputnik/ Vladimir Baranov © RIA Novosti. Vladimir Baranov © RIA Novosti. Илья Питалев
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    Russia's Evgeni Plushenko, who hoped to become the first repeat men's Olympic gold medalist since 1952, but won silver in the free skate in Vancouver, said on Sunday he hoped to perform at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

    Russia's Evgeni Plushenko, who hoped to become the first repeat men's Olympic gold medalist since 1952, but won silver in the free skate in Vancouver, said on Sunday he hoped to perform at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

    "I hope and I dream of skating at the 2014 Sochi Olympics. The Olympic Games will be held in Russia and I would like to participate. I believe I'll make this attempt," Plushenko said in an interview with Canadian television.

    Plushenko led the competition at the Vancouver Olympics after the short program, but the U.S.'s Evan Lysacek, the reigning world champion, beat him with an overall score of 257.67 points. Japan's Daisuke Takahashi will take home the bronze medal with 247.23. Plushenko's overall score from both events was 256.36.

    Plushenko, 27, disappointed with the silver medal, earlier said figure skating had changed and he may quit the sport. "This may be my last competition. We will see," he said.

    The Russian figure skater also expressed his displeasure over the judges' scoring.

    "When a person performs a quadruple jump, which is contested by a triple, and [both contenders] gain the same points, it raises questions," he said.

    Plushenko said, however, that he would not file a claim against the judges.

    "It depends on the authorities," he said. "Not the sportsmen, but the [Figure Skating] Federation, the officials, the people who are responsible for the sport."

    The Russian skater said the sports authorities should have "raised a hue and cry" following the short program, when the judges gave him just 0.35 points more than his rival, whose routine was less complicated.

    "How can he be the Olympic champion?" Plushenko asked. "Now, even women make three-and-half-turn jumps. Quadruple jumps are the future of the figure skating," he said, adding the current judging system has taken the sport "back to the past."

    Plushenko skated freely, with his usual charisma, drawing laughs from spectators with his seductive tango. He began his dance to Tango Amore by Edwin Marton with quadruple and triple jumps, but omitted a double Rittberger. He also made an imperfect landing after a triple axel. But his footwork and spins cost him the most points.

    Earlier on Friday, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said in a message to Plushenko his silver Olympic medal wais worth "gold."

    The former Olympic and three-time world champion returned to the ice late last year after a self-imposed retirement from competitive skating following his stunning performance in Torino.

    He easily won an international Moscow cup in October and the Russian national championship in December. He also triumphed at last month's European Championships.

    MOSCOW, February 21 (RIA Novosti)

     

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