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Plushenko Wins Men's World Figure Skating Title - 2003-03-28

Olympic silver medallist Evgeni Plushenko of Russia has won the men's title at the World Figure Skating Championships here in Washington. Plushenko used a combination of nearly flawless quadruple jumps and mistakes by his competitors to take the title.

Evgeni Plushenko came into Thursday's men's long program only needing to avoid disaster. The 20-year-old Russian was leading after the short program, and only a serious failure would keep him from going home with the gold medal.

Skating to "Saint Petersburg 300," Plushenko put together combinations of quadruple and triple jumps that earned him technical scores of 5.6to 5.9 out of six and all 5.9s for presentation. Afterwards, the Russian said he performed well, despite a sore knee. "When I wake up today in the morning, my knee was red. So, I skated normal today, not the best, but normal. I did a few mistakes, for example two-feeting the quad. But finally, I did a good job," he said.

The silver medal went to American Timothy Goebel, who skated a nearly flawless program, and earned technical marks between 5.7 and 5.9 and artistic marks of 5.7 and 5.8. Afterwards, Goebel said he knew the silver medal was probably the best he could have hoped for. "I started off the year injured, and I had disastrous nationals. I did not have much time to prepare for this. I was happy just to bounce back from nationals, go home and get some good work done and perform the three best programs I have performed all season," he said.

Takeshi Honda of Japan took the bronze medal. China's Chenjiang Li was fourth and American Michael Weiss was fifth. The championships continue through Sunday.