Plushenko sets new world-best mark

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Plushenko sets new world-best mark

Yevgeny Plushenko of Russia performs during the free program at the Russian National Figure Skating Championships in St Petersburg on Saturday. [Reuters]

Olympic champion figure skater Yevgeny Plushenko set a new world best total mark of 271.59 points to win his eighth domestic title at the Russian championships.

The 27-year-old scored 171.50 points in his free skating performance, skated to Tango Amore by Edwin Marton at his hometown Jubilee ice palace.

"I mark my performance with three points out of five - maximum," Plushenko said as he geared up for the 2010 European Championships as well as another Olympics assault in Vancouver in February.

"I was practising only one week before the Russian championships. Now I need to rehabilitate completely ahead of the European Championships to gain my top form for the Olympics."

On Friday, Plushenko enjoyed a great start with a personal best mark of 100.09 points for his short program performed to Concierto de Aranjuez by Joaquin Rodrigo, beating his previous best at the 2006 Turin Games.

But Plushenko was still far from satisfied with his short program.

"To be honest it was not perfect skating," Plushenko said. "I was just doing my work.

"I would like to thank the judges for the bonus but it definitely was not the presentation of true Olympic level. But now I know what direction I shall move to reach it."

Sergei Voronov performed well with his 95.64 points for his short program also surpassing Plushenko's mark from Turin. But on Saturday Voronov failed to stay in the race for the title receiving only the third best mark for his free routine.

He remained second overall, five points ahead of Artem Borodulin of Moscow, who won the bronze medal.

Ksenia Makarova won the women's title, scoring 178.90 points to finish ahead of Alena Leonova (175.89pts). Yelizaveta Tuktamysheva was third with 173.53 points.

In ice dancing, Oksana Domnina and Maxim Shabalin came out on top with 214.77 points. Ekaterina Bobrova and Dmitry Solovyev were second with 189.22, ahead of Ekaterina Rubleva and Ivan Shefer (188.46).

Yuko Kavaguti and Aleksandr Smirnov won the pairs with 220.61 points.

Maria Mukhortova and Maksim Trankov were second with 208.78 points, 30 points ahead of Vera Bazarova and Yury Larionov.

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