SOCHI, December 27. /ITAR-TASS/. The Executive Committee of the Russian Figure-Skating Federation has excluded Yevgeny Plyushenko from a list of skaters who are going to represent Russia at the European Figure-Skating Championships in Budapest on January 13-19, 2014 at a meeting on Friday.
The Executive Committee of the Russian Figure-Skating Federation voted against Plushenko’s candidacy despite the fact that the council of coaches had earlier included the 2006 Olympic champion in the national squad. Maksim Kovtun, coached by Tatyana Tarasova, the merited coach of the USSR; Sergei Voronov and Konstantin Menshov will represent Russia in Budapest in men’s skating.
Despite missing the European champs, Plushenko still has a chance to participate in the Olympic Games in Sochi. Plushenko lost the 2013 Russian Nationals in Sochi earlier this week for the first time in 15 years. After his defeat, he said he would like to skate only in team competitions at the Sochi Olympics. However, his wish is not all. A lot will depend on what decision coaches will take after the European Championships.
According to the Olympic tournament’s rules, only one athlete can represent a country in team and individual events. The reason for replacing one figure-skater with another in the Russian national team should be serious. The replacement can take place only on doctors’ recommendations.
Only one figure-skater will be able to represent Russia in men’s single skating in Sochi because Maksim Kovtun was only 17th at the last world championships in Nice, France.
In women’s skating, the Russian team will be represented by Adelina Sotnikova, Yulia Lipnitskaya and Alyona Leonova.
Kseniya Stolbova/Fyodor Klimov, Vera Bazarova/Yuri Larionov and Tatyana Volosozhar/Maksim Trankov will represent Russia in pair skating.
Three duets - Elena Ilyinykh/ Nikita Katsalapov; Viktoria Sinitsina/Ruslan Zhiganshin and Yekaterina Ryazanova/Ilya Tkachenko - will represent Russia in ice dancing.
After the European championships in Budapest, the leadership of the Russian Figure-Skating Federation will select an Olympic team that will go to Sochi. The choice will depend on the skaters’ performance at the European Figure-Skating Championships in Budapest.
The Russian figure-skating squad has three Olympic licenses in pair skating, two in women’s skating and one in men’s skating.