Evgeny Plyushchenko of Russia competes in the Men's Figure Skating Men's Free Skate during day two of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at Iceberg Skating Palace onon February 9, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Pool/Getty Images)
SOCHI, Russia (AP) - Evgeni Plushenko has withdrawn from the men's figure skating competition at the Sochi Olympics for medical reasons.
The four-time medalist who helped Russia win the team gold over the weekend fell on a triple axel during warmups Thursday for the short program and immediately grabbed his back. He skated while bent over toward his coaches, then tried to loosen up by skating around the Iceberg rink some more.
He then attempted another axel and botched it, shook his head and consulted with coach Alexei Mishin. When Plushenko's name was announced to the crowd seconds later - to loud applause - he skated to the event referee and withdrew.
Before leaving the ice, he held up both hands to the crowd as if to say he was sorry, and took a small bow.
He was Russia's only man in the competition, so the host country will have no finisher in the event.
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