There was a little déjà vu in the men’s event at the 2010 European Figure Skating Championships today when the three men atop the final standings, led by reigning Olympic champion Evgeni Plushenko, were the same three men who stood on the podium four years ago at the same competition.
Related: Photos from the men’s free
Related: More photos from the men’s free
After a world record short program, Plushenko followed it up today with an equally impressive free skate that featured a quad toe and six clean triples. His only visible mistake was a doubled triple lutz. With a free skate score of 164.09, he won the competition by over 16 points, which bodes well for his chances at a repeat gold in Vancouver. Incidentally, the last time Plushenko competed at Europeans was in 2006, right before his triumph in Torino.
Reigning Olympic silver medalist Stephane Lambiel made his intentions for another Olympic medal known with a solid free skate that pulled him up from fifth to second with a total score of 238.54. Skating a brand new free skate, he brought his quads and his trademark spins to dazzle the audience. He is still missing his triple axel, which will mean that the three quads in his two programs will be crucial for his medal chances next month.
Second after the short, 2007 World champion Brian Joubert had a few errors in his free skate and dropped to the bronze medal position. Nevertheless, his performances this week in Tallinn bode well for his recovery from surgery last month after a freak practice accident. He finished just over two points behind Lambiel.
Czech champion Michal Brezina finished a career-high fourth after another solid free skate performance. Brezina has had a breakthrough year after medaling in his career Grand Prix debut and then defeating 2008 European champion Tomas Verner for the Czech title. Defending silver medalist Samuel Contesti rebounded after a subpar short program to finish fifth overall.
MEN (final standings)
1. Evgeni Plushenko RUS – 255.39
2. Stephane Lambiel SUI – 238.54
3. Brian Joubert FRA – 236.45
4. Michal Brezina CZE – 224.74
5. Samuel Contesti ITA – 221.33
6. Yannick Ponsero FRA – 219.52
7. Alban Preaubert FRA – 207.61
8. Javier Fernandez ESP – 204.83
9. Stefan Lindemann GER – 203.95
10. Tomas Verner CZE – 203.18
11. Kevin Van Der Perren BEL – 195.48
12. Adrian Schultheiss SWE – 188.79
13. Anton Kovalevski UKR – 186.84
14. Sergei Voronov RUS – 185.38
15. Kristoffer Berntsson SWE – 183.10
16. Paolo Bacchini ITA – 181.42
17. Viktor Pfeifer AUT – 178.41
18. Zoltan Kelemen ROU – 163.84
19. Jorik Hendrickx BEL – 161.10
20. Gregor Urbas SLO – 161.06
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