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WORLD SPORT

Plushenko storms to skating glory

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Plushenko keeps alive Russian hopes.

TORINO, Italy -- Yevgeny Plushenko performed a pulsating free skate to win the men's title, keeping alive Russia's chances of completing an historic sweep of all four figure skating gold medals.

The overwhelming favorite let out a huge sigh of relief and kissed the ice as he outclassed world champion Stephane Lambiel by a huge margin of 27.12 points.

He becomes the fifth consecutive Russian or Soviet man to win the crown.

The first competitor among the medal contenders to take to the ice, Plushenko nailed 12 jumps, including seven in combination, to surpass Lambiel with a personal best total of 258.33.

Lambiel claimed Switzerland's first Olympic medal in the event for 58 years with a score of 231.21, while Canada's Jeffrey Buttle finished third.

Tatiana Totmianina and Maxim Marinin began Russia's gold run at the Palavela rink by capturing the pairs gold on Monday.

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