Struggling Plushenko earns title

AFP-JIJI

Yevgeny Plushenko overcame severe back pain to clinch his 10th Russian figure skating title on Wednesday on the same Sochi ice where the 2014 Winter Olympics will take place.

Former triple world champion Plushenko, the 2006 Olympic gold medalist, who was leading the men’s section after the short programme, confirmed his domination at the newly-built 12,000-seat Iceberg Arena with a solid presentation of his free routine to collect 265.94 points overall.

“In general I’m pleased with my performance,” Plushenko said. “As I predicted, it was much harder to skate on the second day as I was suffering pain in my back.

“I’m currently in a poor shape and it’s absolutely necessary for me to gain my top form for the European championships. I hope I have enough time.”