Plushenko will meet main rivals this week

Evgeni Plushenko at the Opera on Ice

Russia’s Evgeni Plushenko will meet his main rivals Patrick Chan of Canada and Daisuke Takahashi of Japan this week at the Japan Open.

2006 Olympic champion will take part in the tournament, which will be held this weekend at the Tokyo suburb Saitama.

The Japan Open is an annual senior international figure skating team competition organized by the Japan Skating Federation. It is held every autumn in Japan. Invited skaters compete in the disciplines of men’s and ladies singles. Skaters perform a free program but no short. Individual results are combined for a team standing.

Evgeni Plushenko, Patrick Chan and Daisuke Takahashi will all be at the same competition together for the first time since 2010 Vancouver Olympics, where Plushenko took his another silver medal.

In the middle of September Plushenko participated at the test skating performances of the Russia’s National Team and last week he appeared in the show “Opera on Ice”, which took place in Verona, Italy. Olympic champion previously confirmed his participation at the Japan Open, when it was not known that this tournament will be attended by Patrick Chan and Daisuke Takahashi.

“Exhibition performances are not the competitions but Evgeni is in a good sporting shape. He goes to Japan to take part in the tournament Japan Open. But we must note that Plushenko didn’t participate in competitions since January. So our goal now is not to win and not to crash opponents, but to show that Evgeni is in the cohort of leading figure skaters of the world.” said Plushenko’s coach Alexei Mishin R-Sport agency.

Team Europe at the Japan Open will be also represented by the 2012 World silver medalist Alena Leonova; 2012 European bronze medalist Elene Gedevanishvili of Georgia and Michal Brezina of the Czech Republic. North American team, besides Patrick Chan, will be represented by 2006 Olympic bronze medalist and 2008 World Champion Jeffrey Buttle of Canada; reigning U.S. National Champion Ashley Wagner and 2012 U.S. National bronze medalist Agnes Zawadzki.

The honor of the hosts, besides Daisuke Takahashi, will defend the two-time World Champion Mao Asada, 2012 World bronze medalist Akiko Suzuki and 2011 World silver medalist Takahiko Kozuka.

Photo: VKontakte group of Team Russia

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