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Coach: No need causing ‘hype’ ahead of Plushenko’s Sochi performance

January 30, 2014, 20:59 UTC+3 30
Selecting between Maxim Kovtun, Russia’s 2013 champion, and Plushenko, the 2006 Olympic champion, the Russian Figure Skating Federation made its choice last week in favor of the latter
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© ITAR-TASS/Fyodor Savintsev

ST. PETERSBURG, January 30. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia’s figure skater Evgeni Plushenko is at the full steam preparations for the 2014 Winter Olympics, which kick off in Sochi on next week’s Friday, and there is no need “generating hype” before his performance, his coach Alexei Mishin said on Thursday.

Selecting between Maxim Kovtun, Russia’s 2013 champion, and Plushenko, the 2006 Olympic champion, the Russian Figure Skating Federation made its choice last week in favor of the latter. The decision came after Plushenko test-skated for a special council of experts from the skating federation,

“We continued our Olympics preparations in St. Petersburg following test-skating performance,” Mishin said adding that practices would continue until the departure for Sochi, which is planned for February 3.

Mishin said that all necessary changes and corrections were introduced to Plushenko’s skating program, following his performance at the Russian national championship in late December, when he finished with silver behind Kovtun.

“One should know how to admit own mistakes and correct them in time,” Mishin said. “I am not going to expose the details, but current Plushenko’s (skating) program looks much different than in December.”

According to Mishin, many from the skating federation’s special council of experts pointed out that during the test-skating program last week Plushenko “looked much stronger” than at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Canada’s Vancouver, where he grabbed the silver.

“The last days before (the Olympics) start will be spent on the final polishing of the program. I am confident that my student will not let me down during his fourth Olympics,” Mishin said adding that there is no need at all for “generating hype” by comparing Plushenko with other Russian figure skaters.

The federation’s decision to grant Plushenko the only spot of men’s singles discipline in Russia’s Olympic figure skating team raised objections not only among Russian sport fans but politicians as well, who called for selecting Kovtun instead.

Last week, Russia’s flamboyant and outspoken lawmaker Vladimir Zhirinovsky said addressing the parliament’s lower house that his Liberal Democratic Party (LDPR) would do everything possible to disband the country’s figure skating governing body in case Plushenko failed to take the gold in Sochi.

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