Olympics Notebook: Vancouver 2010

from Left field:

Russia expects as Plushenko prepares for glory

OLYMPICS-FIGURE SKATING/Millions of Russians will be setting their alarm clocks a little earlier than usual on Friday morning.

The patriotic inhabitants of the world's largest country are desperate to see Yevgeny Plushenko bring home the cherished gold medal in the men's free skate at the Winter Olympics later today.

The flamboyant blond-haired veteran holds a narrow lead over his rivals at the competition's half way stage, and all of Russia is willing him to victory.

Plushenko's story has all the makings of a great Olympic drama. The 34-year-old retired from the sport following his landmark Olympic win in the same competition in Turin in 2006, but upset by a perceived decline in a proud Russian figure skating tradition he announced his intention to defend his title and with it Russian honour this year.

Winter Games, day six – live

Yevgeny Plushenko is the main attraction as the Russian attempts to seal gold with the men’s free skate but there’s plenty of irresistible medal action before then.

Join us on the live blog … we’ll be here all day with on-the-spot comments from our team if reporters, medal flashes, standback views and stats. Feel to dip in and out, and remember, comments are always welcome.

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