Plushenko takes title and standing ovation in Sheffield

Evgeni Plushenko, Artur Gachinski, Florent Amodio

Russia’s Evgeni Plushenko has become the European champion for the seventh time, winning his first international event since his return to the big sport.

Torino Olympic champion, who avoided quadruple jumps in his short program due to knee problems, was fit enough to show off his full repertoire in the free skating.

The audience in Sheffield greeted the 29-year-old’s program with a standing ovation. The judges were also impressed and awarded Plushenko 261.23 points, which is an all-time record for the European figure skating championships.

“I want to thank everybody for having faith in me,” said Plushenko after the performance. “Today I did a good job. I skated very cleanly. And, of course, I am proud of myself. This is my seventh European title. I think this is a kind of a historic achievement. Thanks to the judges. Seriously, I thank them very much. What can I say? I am really very happy.” he added.

Evgeni also revealed that his injury problems aren’t over yet and that his knee will undergo surgery in the coming weeks in Munich, Germany.

“When I’m completely healthy, I’ll be able to skate even better. The following year I’m going to perform throughout the season, taking part at the stages of the Grand Prix, the European and World Championships.” he commented.

Another student of Alexei Mishin, Artur Gachinski, added to the joy of Russian skating supporters by grabbing the silver medal.

The 18-year-old earned 246.27 points to make his first career appearence at the European podium. Defending champion Florent Amodio settled for bronze and scored 234.18 points, with Gachinski beating the French skater by more than 12 points.

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