Vancouver / Canada

The figure skating competition at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games continued in Vancouver, Canada, on Tuesday with the Men’s Short Program. 11, 238 tickets were sold for the event at the Pacific Coliseum.

Evgeni Plushenko (RUS) grabs Men’s Short Program
Russia’s Evgeni Plushenko grabbed the Men’s Short Program but World Champion Evan Lysacek (USA) and Daisuke Takahashi of Japan are less than one point behind. It was an exciting competition with many strong performances, but some contenders crumbled under the pressure.

Plushenko skated first out of the top contenders and put out a strong performance to “Concierto de Aranjuez” that was highlighted by a quadruple-triple toeloop combination, a high triple Axel, a triple Lutz and difficult level-four spins. The 2006 Olympic Champion picked up 90.85 points, just short of his personal best of 91.30. “Today I won the first part. The big battle will come the day after tomorrow, and I will conserve my energy for this”, Plushenko said. “The guys skated very well today. I am happy that we have such a great competition. This will give me even more adrenalin (for the Free Skating)”, he added.

Peforming to “Firebird” by Igor Stravinski, Lysacek reeled off a triple Axel, triple Lutz-triple toeloop combination, a triple flip and fast-paced footwork. He was awarded a rare level four for the circular step sequence and earned a personal best score of 90.30 points. “I’ve been staying calm all day, but I have to admit that there was pressure. Four years ago, I blew my Short Program in Torino and had the worst night of my life. Tonight was the best night of my life. It felt like personal redemption”, Lysacek told the press.

Takahashi sparkled in his expressive Tango routine to “Eye” by Coba, nailing a triple flip-triple toeloop, a triple Axel and triple Lutz. The 2007 World silver medalist also got a level four for one step sequence and posted a new personal best with 90.25 points. “My program was not perfect, but it was the best program I’ve done this season. The artistic side of my program was good, too”, Takahashi commented. “I will try to concentrate on what I’ve been doing all along. I’m feeling great. My practice is going great. I have trust in myself to keep doing what I have been doing”, he continued.

Nobunari Oda (JPN) and Stéphane Lambiel (SUI) are not far behind in fourth and fifth place. Oda turned in a clean program that included a triple Axel, triple Lutz-triple toeloop combination, a triple flip and fast spins (84.85 points). 2006 Olympic silver medalist Lambiel landed a double Axel, a triple Lutz, but he touched down on his quadruple toe and added only a double toe for the combination (84.63 points). Johnny Weir (USA) came sixth with a solid routine (82.10 points).

2007 World Champion Brian Joubert (FRA) had a disastrous performance that left him in 18th place. He stumbled on his quadruple toeloop and crashed on a triple Lutz attempt that was downgraded (68.00 points).

The figure skating competition at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games continues Thursday with the Men’s Free Skating.