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Page last updated at 05:30 GMT, Friday, 19 February 2010

American Evan Lysacek wins men's figure skating title

Evan Lysacek

Lysacek skates past Plushenko to gold

Reigning world champion Evan Lysacek of the United States has won the men's figure skating gold.

Russia's defending champion Yevgeny Plushenko took silver while Daisuke Takahashi gave Japan their first ever men's podium finish with the bronze.

Plushenko was favourite but several wobbles in his free programme opened the door for Lysacek whose artistic performance won over the judges.

His overall score of 257.67 eclipsed Plushenko by 1.31 points.

It was America's first gold in the event since the Olympics were last held in Canada when Brian Boitano won in Calgary in 1988.

To get a personal best in the most important moment of my life, you dream about it

Evan Lysacek

With Plushenko coming out of retirement, intent on winning a second straight Olympic gold medal, Lysacek knew he would have to find something special to break the Russian dominance of the event.

And the 24-year old did just that, wowing the judges with an artistic performance to Sheherazade which brought the crowd to their feet.

Unlike Plushenko, Lysacek did not attempt any quadruple jumps in his routine but was rewarded for his clean jumps and exquisite choreography.

"I had so much fun tonight. I love this crowd, I love this ice, it was definitely my best. Mission accomplished. I was feeling more relaxed after the first jump," said Lysacek.

"I couldn't have asked for much more than that. To get a personal best in the most important moment of my life, you dream about it.

"That's my best free programme this season.

"I tried not to get too excited after each jump. I wanted to pump my fist every time."

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see also
China secure figure skating gold
16 Feb 10 |  Figure skating
Winter Olympics weather
26 Feb 10 |  Vancouver 2010

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