Menshov Snubbed for World Figure Skating Champs
MOSCOW, February 22 (R-Sport) - Russian figure skating star Konstantin Menshov has been denied a place at next month's world championships despite appearing to meet a prerequisite set by officials.
Menshov, 29, was reportedly told he would have to put in a worthy performance at this week's Russian Cup Final to be considered for Russia's only place in the men's singles event at the March 11-17 championships in London, Ontario.
Menshov, a former national champion, won the event in the Russian city of Tver outright, posting a better score than the man who is to take his place in Canada, Maxim Kovtun, at last month's European championships in Zagreb.
The Figure Skating Federation of Russia justified the move by saying the 17-year-old Kovtun has a better chance of finishing in the top ten, which would grant Russia two entrants into the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic program.
"In the opinion of experts and the executive committee of the (federation), Kovtun has better chances of getting into the top ten skaters in the world than the other national pretenders," the federation said in a website statement, adding other stars in Artur Gachinski and Sergei Voronov had also been considered.