Moscow (AFP) - Russian figure skating star Yevgeny Plushenko was on Wednesday selected for next month's Sochi Olympics, his fourth Games, in both the individual and team events.
Plushenko sealed his call-up after impressing on Tuesday at the control performance, which his coach Alexei Mishin had asked Russian figure skating federation (FFKKR) bosses to stage to evaluate Plushenko's readiness.
"Some of the country's top experts....who watched his performance on Tuesday were really impressed with it," FFKKR general manager Valentin Piseyev told the R-sport agency.
"After that we decided to include Plushenko into the country's Olympic team. The team's line-up now needs to be approved by Russia's Olympic Committee executive board."
Plushenko, the 2006 Olympic champion, declined to comment on the news, saying: "Now I'm just practising and preparing myself to perform at my best."
Last month Plushenko, also a two-time Olympic silver medallist, suffered an unexpected defeat to 18-year-old Maxim Kovtun at the Russian nationals, which also served as an Olympic qualifying tournament.
Russia have just one men's slot in Sochi and the same competitor must compete in both the new team event and the individual competition.
FFKKR president Alexander Gorshkov said last month that a decision on the country's only representative at Sochi Games would be announced after last week's European championships.
In Budapest, Kovtun slumped to fifth behind compatriots Sergei Voronov, 26, and 30-year-old Konstantin Menshov, who were second and third respectively. Plushenko did not compete.
Plushenko's coach Mishin said that the 31-year-old seven-time European champion would represent Russia at the Olympics with dignity.
"We were working hard preparing for the Games according to our plan, trying to achieve top form right for the beginning of the Olympics," Mishin told R-Sport agency.
"Yevgeny's main goal now is to represent Russia at the Games with dignity."
Pairs: Vera Bazarova and Yury Larionov, Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov, Ksenia Stolbova and Fedor Klimov
Women: Yulia Lipnitskaya, Adelina Sotnikova
Men: Yevgeny Plushenko
Ice Dances: Yekaterina Bobrova and Dmitry Soloviev, Yelena Ilyinykh and Nikita Katsalapov, Viktoria Sinitsyna and Ruslan Zhiganshin
The federation executive committee bureau has also named the reserve skaters for Olympic Games.
Pairs: Yulia Antipova and Nodari Maisuradze
Ice Dances: Yekaterina Ryazanova and Ilya Tkachenko
Women: Alena Leonova
Men: Maxim Kovtun, Sergei Voronov