Olympics

2006 gold medalist Plushenko to skate for Russia in Sochi

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MOSCOW (AP)

Evgeny Plushenko was nominated by Russia's figure skating federation on Wednesday as the country's sole entry in the men's event at the Sochi Olympics.

Plushenko, whose three Olympic medals include the 2006 gold, is one of the leading skaters of the past 15 years, but his participation in Sochi had been in doubt due to injury and a second-place finish in the Russian nationals. Since back surgery last spring, he's skated in only one international event, a second-tier competition in Latvia.

The federation's brief statement came one day after Plushenko skated behind closed doors for judges to assess his readiness.

He still needs to be approved by the Russian Olympic Committee and Sports Ministry.

The federation named Maxim Kovtun and Sergei Voronov as reserves for Plushenko. Kovtun won gold in the Russian nationals, but placed only fifth in the European Championships last weekend, and many regarded him as having insufficient experience for the Olympics. Voronov was the silver medallist at the Europeans but has only one other silver and two bronzes in top-tier international events since 2007.

Plushenko won silver at the 2002 Salt Lake City Games and 2010 Vancouver Games.

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