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American Lysacek adds to Russian ruin

American Evan Lysacek glided to Olympic gold in men's figure skating yesterday in a stunning upset of Russian Yevgeny Plushenko's pursuit of back-to-back titles.

It was a crushing blow for Plushenko, who had come out of retirement to rescue Russian skating, and to his nation, a traditional winter sports powerhouse clamouring for more than one gold medal six days into the Winter Games.

"I couldn't have asked for much more," Lysacek said. "To get a personal best in the most important moment of my life -- you dream about it," he added, as the United States consolidated its position on top of the medals table with six gold.


Elsewhere, Germany's Maria Riesch came back from a disappointing downhill to win the women's super combined crown after American Lindsey Vonn tumbled and ruined her bid for a second Olympic gold medal in two days.

Riesch said her gold was down to getting her nerves under control. She noted: "I was not nervous and that was the key."

While Vonn added: "I put it all out there and it just didn't work out for me."

Germany moved to second in the medal standings on four golds with Norway, South Korea, Switzerland and Canada on three each.

Canada's "own the podium" programme for the home Olympics has begun to reap respectable rewards as speedskater Christine Nesbitt garnered the third gold for the fanatical home crowd.

"I was fortunate to win Olympic gold. It was probably the worst 1,000 I've done this year," Nesbitt said.