Feb 17, 2010 2:48 AM
VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) - Evgeni Plushenko of Russia has won the short program at the Vancouver Olympics, the first step toward defending his title.
Plushenko's 90.85 points beats world champion Evan Lysacek of the United States by .55, with Japan's Daisuke Takahashi .60 behind the leader heading into the free skate.
The three-man breakaway Tuesday night sets up a compelling free skate on Thursday night.
No man has repeated as Olympic champion since American Dick Button won in 1948 and '52. No American has won the gold since Brian Boitano in 1998, and no Japanese skater has ever won the men's gold.
Jeremy Abbott, who used to traing with the Broadmoor Skating Club in Colorado Springs, had a tough night and is in 15th after the short program.
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