Russian figure skating star Evgeni Plushenko will take part in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, despite recently taking silver in the Russian championship in December and creating fears that his spot on the national team was in jeopardy, R-Sport reported.
R-Sport, citing a source in the Sports Ministry, reported that Plushenko will be the only Russian competing in the men’s singles and will also take part in the team tournament, which makes its debut at the Sochi Games.
The Sports Ministry has submitted its official composition of the Russian national team for the Olympics to the Executive Committee of the Russian Olympic Committee, according to the source in the ministry. “On Thursday that document will be approved by [the committee]," the source was quoted as saying.
On January 21 Plushenko gave a demonstration of his Olympic program, and said he was happy with his own performance. Earlier in this season he lost the Russian championship to 18-year-old Maksim Kovtunov, who immediately became the main candidate to represent Russia at the Games, which start in Sochi on February 7. Last week, however, Kovtunov delivered a poor performance at the European championship, coming only fifth.
The composition of the Russian figure skating team will be officially announced on January 23. Apart from Plushenko, it will also include three pairs, three dancing duos, and two women in the singles category. Five sets of medals will be up for grabs in figure skating, including the team tournament.
The Sochi Games will be the fourth in Plushenko’s career. He won silver in Salt Lake City in 2002, losing out to another Russian, Aleksey Yagudin. Four years later he won gold at the Turin Games. In 2010 he took another silver medal in Vancouver, losing to America's Evan Lysacek.
First published in Russian in Lenta.ru.