Anastasia Grebenkina & Vazgen Azroyan - exclusive video
from Torino 2006
to view video
To view this video you must have
Plushenko wins fifth title
Slutskaya takes women's event
By SALVATORE ZANCA
Evgeni Plushenko, representing Russia, performs during the Mens Free
Skating program at the European Figure Skating Championships at the
Palais des Sports ice rink in Lyon, central France, Saturday, Jan.
21, 2006. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)
LYON, France (AP) - Evgeni Plushenko, weakened by a flu, won a fifth
title Saturday to seal another Russian sweep of gold medals at the
European figure skating championships.
Stephane Lambiel of Switzerland, who won the 2005 world title after
Plushenko withdrew on the day of the free skating because of a groin
injury, finished second, and Brian Joubert of France was third.
Russians produced six of the 12 medal-winning performances during
the meet, and it was the third time in the last four years they won
all the titles. They'll go to Turin as Olympic favourites in all
Plushenko opened with a quadruple jump and added seven triples in
his routine to The Godfather. The three-time world champion doubled
on a Slachow but little else was missing. He tired near the end of
his routine, showing the effects of flu, but scored 245.33 points.
Lambiel had 228.87 and Joubert had 222.95.
"It was very hard for me to skate," Plushenko said. "I am not yet
"I have a bad cough and I couldn't breathe at all after the third
minute. It was so hard that I thought I couldn't go on, that I'll
stop after the circular footwork. I'm happy that I pulled through."
He briefly laid on the ice in exhaustion upon completing his 4 1-2
"I was tired," he said afterwards. "I had a lot of emotions, a lot
"Everybody was blowing horns, clapping for the French skaters and
the Swiss skater. I'm happy they didn't forget about me and that the
audience was with me, too. I think this was my hardest European
Lambiel paid tribute to the winner.
"Plushenko was the best," said Lambiel. "Against him, I can't make
Lambiel, in a routine to Vivaldi's Four Seasons had to step out of a
triple jump and put a hand down on a second quad. He also stumbled
twice in his straight-line footwork.
Joubert landed a quad but slipped right after it. He landed his
triple Axel, which he's had difficulties with in the past.
"I did a stupid mistake on the quad," said Joubert, adding he'll
have two quads in his long program at Turin.
Frederic Dambier of France finished fourth and Ilia Klimkin of
Russia was fifth.
Irina Slutskaya won the women's title for a seventh time to better
the record of six she shared with Sonja Henie and Katarina Witt.
Elena Sokolova was second.
Tatiana Navka and Roman Kostomarov won the ice dance. Tatiana
Totmianina and Maxim Marinin took the pairs title for the fifth
straight year. Russians Maria Petrova and Alexei Tikhonov won the
Skater dancing way into contention for
The ice dancing competition at Smart Ones Skate America
concluded Saturday afternoon at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City,
N.J. Tanith Belbin & Ben Agosto captured their third consecutive
Skate America title with their flamenco free dance. The couple
scored 95.35 in this portion and 190.45 overall. In second were
Isabelle Delobel and Olivier Schoenfelder of France with 92.27 in
the free (184.47). Russians Oksana Domnina and Maxim Shabalin were
third with 85.32 for their waltz (169.23). The other American teams,
Jamie Silverstein & Ryan O'Meara were fifth (78.79/155.51) and
Tiffany Stiegler & Sergey Magerovskiy were seventh (75.71/142.94).