Figure skating: Plushenko pulls out of world championships
MOSCOW — Olympic silver medalist Evgeni Plushenko will skip the World Figure Skating Championships in Italy because of an undisclosed injury and fatigue.
Plushenko’s agent confirmed Friday that the gold medalist at the 2006 Games in Turin has withdrawn from next week’s worlds at the same arena. Plushenko also owns a silver medal from the 2002 Olympics.
The 27-year-old Plushenko is a three-time gold medalist at worlds, taking the title in 2001, 2003 and 2004. He retired after the Turin Olympics and came back this season, winning each of his competitions until finishing second in Vancouver behind American Evan Lysacek, who also is skipping worlds.
Sergei Voronov will replace Plushenko.
Earlier this month, Plushenko said he planned to skate at the 2014 Sochi Games in his native Russia.
Many Russians felt Plushenko deserved to win the Vancouver gold medal, but his free skate was flawed, marred by several sloppy jumps and including enough weak elements that he lost the technical mark to Lysacek. Plushenko usually dominates that category.
He loudly complained that Lysacek did not do any quadruple jumps — Plushenko did one in the short program and two in the free skate. Plushenko also compared men’s skating to ice dance at the Olympics.
Plushenko wants the value of the quad increased so more skaters will be encouraged to try it. Lysacek is the first man since 1994 to win the Olympic title without doing a quad.