Thursday, January 24

Plushenko Falls, Withdraws.. Looking Ahead: Would Would You Do?

Earlier today at the European Championships, former Olympic Champion Evgeny Plushenko fell on a triple Axel in his short program, leaving him in a distant 6th place, some 15 points behind the two leaders, Florent Amodio of France and Javier Fernandez of Spain. Before the draw for the free skate could even happen, Plushenko withdrew due to injury.

Now-- Evgeny still obviously has the 2014 Sochi Olympics on his mind as the ultimate goal, but he failed to get through this competition after looking 'very good' in practices in the days before the event started. Unless one of Sergei Voronov (who is the highest-ranked Russian man at Europeans following the short program), Maksim Kovtun, or even Konstantin Menshov (who was not sent to this competition) can finish in the top 10 at the World Championships in just over a month, only one man from Russia will be able to go to Sochi.

Evgeny Plushenko has been competing on the senior level since the 1998 season. He won a bronze medal in his first World Championships that year, at the age of 15. Since then, he has earned three World Championship titles and three Olympic medals, including a gold in 2006. He's been a great model of persistence and still has the same flair that made him turn heads 15 years ago.

However, with this withdrawal and even the fall in the short program before that, I think the situation in Russia just became much more confusing. Prior to this incident, I think most people agreed, whether they thought it was fair or not, that Plushenko would be the likely lone representative to the Sochi Olympics (in the event that only one Russian man qualifies) because he was still hunting for another Olympic gold, and it would be in his home country. He showed here that his body might not always be 100% or that injuries can virtually happen overnight, making him the 'not-so-guaranteed' bet for

Sergei Voronov was not that far behind Plushenko in total points when Evgeny did skate very well at Russian Nationals last month. I think now, more than ever, he's really going to have to clearly prove he belongs in Sochi rather than just being handed the ticket.

What do you think?

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi I'm a little skeptical whether or not he has been adjusted to the newer rules. It's a pity that he's missed the opportunity to get judges' feedback on his FS.

Anonymous said...

I wonder how much Plushy's staying in has to do with his own desire to skate in Sochi vs. what the Russian Federation wants him to do. Given the state of the Russian men at this point, it's not out of the question that they might qualify only one man to Sochi, and I'm sure that has the Federation in a tizzy.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure what you mean by injuries happening "overnight" - see the following articles:

http://www.goldenskate.com/2012/12/plushenko-exceeds-his-expectations-at-russian-nationals/

http://www.goldenskate.com/2012/12/plushenko-wins-tenth-title-at-russian-nationals/

“I am very happy with my performance, but I had to fight for it,” admitted the 2006 Olympic Champion. “Yesterday, I said that the long program would be much harder and the prediction turned out to be true. My back ached and I had to skate through this pain.”

http://www.goldenskate.com/2012/12/evgeni-plushenko-a-dark-horse-for-2014-olympics/

“It was a thermal treatment of a disk hernia,” he explained about the surgery. “They make a cut, enter a catheter, and can follow the process on a monitor. Surgeons sear the hernia with a special liquid under general anesthesia. You are not allowed do anything for ten days. I was back on the ice in seven.”

http://www.goldenskate.com/2013/01/amodio-leads-men-at-2013-europeans/

"Plushenko had decided to come to Zagreb only on Friday as he is still battling a back injury. His condition had not improved since Russian Nationals and it was obvious in practice that he was not at a 100 percent."

For which see this thread:

http://www.goldenskate.com/forum/showthread.php?39809-Plushenko-problems

Plushenko finished official practice ahead of time in Zagreb

ZAGREB, 23 January - R-sports, Andrey Simonenko. Olympic champion Evgeny Plushenko ahead of schedule left ice during official training in the figure skating European championship in Zagreb.

Plushenko who was repeatedly noting that an injury of a back disturbs him, with visible difficulties executed jumps during the official practice at Wednesday afternoon on a training skating rink. At the beginning of practice Plushenko fell extremely unsuccessfully from 3Lz+3T combo. The hollow in ice could become the reason of falling which happened during pushing away before the second jump, according to being present experts.

After incident the Olympic champion took some detours along a board then repeated the unfortunate combo. After that - 3A twice, one of them - in 3A+3T combo. Evgeny's only attempt at practice to make 4T was with step out. Plushenko's half-hour training finished 10 minutes before its termination.

Plushenko's coach Alexey Mishin refused to give official comments concerning a condition of the Olympic champion.

http://www.team-russia2014.ru/article/figur/8121.html

Via Google translate:

We have decided to withdraw from the European Championship - said Evgeny Plushenko. - The reason - all the same injury, for which I was unable to properly prepare for the tournament. And now rolling short program showed, unfortunately, with existing health problems, I can not normally ride in the first place - a qualitatively perform jumps. Now - to the doctor for a checkup. I think I will go to Germany. We are now just discussing this issue. Thanks to everyone who supports me, who for me is going through. See you later! "

And a recent twitter message to his fans: (to be as thorough as possible, while I'm "at it" anyway :) )

"I'm not discouraged! I'm going to treat my back and proceed to training from March 1!!
Thanks to all my fans - friends! We will have more fight!!!"

As for the future, who can say? But personally, I won't believe he's retired until he says so himself. But then I'm a fan and just a TAD biassed.:)

LRK