- POSTED: 10 Feb 2014 03:55
Veteran Yevgeny Plushenko and teen sensation Julia Lipnitskaia helped Russia claim their first gold of the Sochi Olympics on Sunday in the team figure skating watched by President Vladimir Putin.
SOCHI: Veteran Yevgeny Plushenko and teen sensation Julia Lipnitskaia helped Russia claim their first gold of the Sochi Olympics on Sunday in the team figure skating watched by President Vladimir Putin.
Plushenko, 31, won the men's free skate final and Lipnitskaia, 15, later sealed victory with a stunning free skate to a standing ovation at the Iceberg Skating Palace.
It gave Russia an unassailable lead in the new team event and the title ahead of the final round in the four discipline competition -- the ice dance free dance -- later Sunday.
"I'm 31 years and this means everything to me. It's so much history," said 2006 Olympic champion and two-time silver medallist Plushenko.
He joins Swede Gillis Grafstroem as the only skater to win four figure skating medals -- three in gold -- between 1920 and 1932.
"To repeat the same results in new times is different. But I don't want to put him higher than Grafstroem," said Plushenko's coach Alexei Mishin.
Plushenko scored 168.20 for the free skate to "The Best of Plushenko" with Kevin Reynold achieving 167.92 and Japan's Tatsuki Machida who scored 165.85.
He admitted that he was more worried about his teammates, some of whom were inexperienced at the Olympics.
"They are all very strong skaters but some of them were skating for the first time (at the Olympic Winter Games) so I was a little bit nervous for them."
Despite her inexperience Lipnitskaia outshone her more experienced teammate who won his first world medal before she was born.
To the music of "Schindler's List", she skated sublimely to score a personal best 141.51 and to seal the title ahead of America's Gracie Gold and Italy's Valentina Marchei (112.51).