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Evgeni Plushenko Wins Sixth European Title

Russia’s Evgeni Plushenko claimed the gold medal at the 2010 European Championships in a runaway victory. Swiss star Stéphane Lambiel and Brian Joubert of France were second and third, respectively. The result was a replication of the 2006 European podium.

Plushenko’s performance to “Tango Amore” by Edvin Marton included a quad-triple toe loop combination followed by a solid triple Axel. His only technical error was doubling the Lutz. The 2006 Olympic Champion scored a new season’s best of 164.09 points, and a combined total of 255.39 points.

“There was one stupid error, I did a double Lutz. I repeated it as a triple later on, though, but you have to do everything,” Plushenko said. “I’m especially happy about the quad-triple because once again I had trouble with it in the warm up. But apparently I still benefit from my experience and can pull myself together when it counts. I’m very happy for myself that I’m still competitive after such a long break. At the Olympic Games, I’ll need to skater better. I want to do two quads."

Lambiel, the final skater in the field of 20 men put his hand down on the first quad toe but recovered to land a quad-double toe loop combination and five other triple jumps. He fell during the serpentine footwork and his triple Salchow was shaky. Lambiel earned 160.79 points for his “La Traviata” routine and moved up from fifth to take the silver with 238.54 points.

“It was good, but it wasn’t perfect. I felt great this week in Tallinn,” the 2206 Olympic silver medalist said. “The competition was very tough, the level was very high. There is a lot of stress. It could have been worse, but it could have been better. Now I feel very confident with the silver medal and I want to win the gold in Vancouver.”

Joubert, the defending European champion placed third with 236.54 points overall. “I am very disappointed with my free skating, but it was not a big surprise because I knew I wasn’t ready for my free skating,” the 2007 World Champion admitted.

World Junior silver medalist Michal Březina from the Czech Republic placed fourth with 224.74 points and Italy’s Samuel Contesti was fifth with 221.33 points.