Four days after being praised as a hero for helping Russia win its first gold at the Sochi Olympics, Evgeni Plushenko was taking criticism Friday for dropping out of the mens figure skating. Daniel Jones Giants Jersey . Plushenkos strong performance in the team event brought wide accolades for his determination to overcome injury. But on Thursday he withdrew before the mens short program, complaining of severe spinal pain during the warmup. Plushenko was Russias only men singles skater in Sochi. He won the slot in a closed exhibition skate that cut out Maxim Kovtun, who beat him in the Russian nationals. Among his critics was longtime rival Alexei Yagudin, the 2002 Olympic gold medalist. He told the R-Sport news agency he supports "people who go to the end." "I think Zhenya will understand my words," he said, using the familiar version of Plushenkos name. "We always competed through the pain." The choice of Plushenko as the sole Russian man was debatable. Although he was the dominant skater the past 15 years, with an Olympic gold and two silvers before coming to Sochi, he is 31-years-old and underwent back surgery a year ago. When he was selected, advocates argued his long international experience made him a stronger choice than the 18-year-old Kovtun. Decision comes under fire But that came under sharp questioning Friday. "You should go when its time," Ruslan Nugmatullin, a former Russian national soccer goalkeeper said on Twitter. "Kovtun earned the right to participate in Sochi2014." Alexei Urmanov, the 1994 Olympic gold-medal winner, suggested that Plushenkos hubris backfired. "Its on the conscience of Zhenya, the team and the federation," he was quoted by R-Sport. To some politicians, Plushenkos withdrawal was a blow to Russias national pride. "Perform through the pain for the honor of the country," Igor Lebedev, a parliament member from the nationalist Liberal Democrats, said on Twitter. Elena Vaitsekhovskaya, the figure skating correspondent for Russias Sport-Express newspaper, seemed weary not only of the intrigue behind Plushenkos selection but also of the appearances of his flamboyant wife, Yana Rudkovskaya, in the mixed zone to support him. "All of this was reminiscent of an incompetently directed stage show," she wrote. "It became harder and harder to sympathize with the athlete." "The one-man show in Sochi has concluded. Real sport has begun," she said in the newspapers Friday edition. But more complaints may still come. "After Sochi, the federation will have to answer for its choice," nationalist lawmaker Vladimir Zhirinovsky said. Phil Simms Cheap Jersey . Hes the same player he always was, only now his efforts are being rewarded. The rookie manager has made a habit of heaping praise on others when things are going well, and accepting criticism when they arent. But in the case of Hurtado, its what the coach is NOT saying that may be the secret to a superb run of form. Michael Strahan Jersey .C. -- Colin Kaepernick raced into the end zone, then pretended to rip open his shirt with both hands imitating Cam Newtons Superman touchdown celebration.BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. -- Sebastien Le Toux scored on a penalty kick in the 91st minute and the Philadelphia Union came back to tie the Chicago Fire 1-1 on Saturday. Le Toux was awarded the penalty kick after Gonzalo Segares was called for a hand ball inside the penalty area. Segares turned his back on Le Touxs shot, but the ball hit his right arm. Le Toux calmly slotted home the penalty kick inside the left post, past a diving Sean Johnson. HHe has scored five goals in his past six games for Philadelphia (5-8-8). Eli Manning Giants Jersey. Jeff Larentowicz headed home a corner kick from Harrison Shipp in the 60th minute for a 1-0 lead for Chicago (3-4-11). The duo failed to convert a similar play in the 37th minute when Larentowiczs header was just high of the crossbar. Neither team had a player selected for the MLS All-Star game when the rosters were announced Saturday. ' ' '
Edmonton, AB (SportsNetwork. Joe Montana Youth Jersey .com) - The Edmonton Oilers fired head coach Dallas Eakins on Monday. Eakins was in just his second season with the perennially rebuilding Oilers, who reside in the Western Conference basement with a 7-19-5 record. They are tied with the Carolina Hurricanes for the fewest points in the league at 19. TSN is reporting that general manager Craig MacTavish will take over the coaching duties on an interim basis. He coached the Oilers for eight seasons from 2000-09. Eakins dismissal comes as the Oilers are in a free fall, having lost 15 of their last 16 games (1-11-4). Edmonton went 29-44-9 last season under Eakins, who landed his first NHL head coaching job on the strength of a four-year stint directing the Toronto Marlies, the top minor league affiliate of the Maple Leafs. Eakins was the Oilers fourth head coach since MacTavishs run. Edmonton hasnt reached the playoffs since losing to the Hurricanes in the 2006 Stanley Cup Finals. Y.A. Tittle Jersey . Both had to wait out a rain interruption lasting nearly five hours before taking comprehensive third-round victories to join Carling Bassett-Seguso (1983, 1986), Patricia Hy-Boulais (1996-97) and Daniel Nestor (1999) as Canadians who made it into the second week of a major. Deion Sanders 49ers Jersey . Toronto FC hosts the three-time Italian league champions in a friendly Aug. 7 at BMO Field, a game that Roma CEO Italo Zanzi said falls within a key part of their pre-season.NAGANO, Japan -- Defending champion Michael Mulder of the Netherlands won the mens 500-meter race at the world sprint speedskating championships on Saturday. Mulder clocked a time of 34.83 seconds to finish 0.36 seconds ahead of Daniel Greig of Australia. Mirko Giacomo Nenzi of Italy was third with a time of 35.27 seconds. Shani Davis of the United States was 11th with a time of 35.58. Jing Yu of China won the womens 500 with a time of 37.67, 0.33 seconds ahead of Margot Boer of the Netherlands. Defending champion Heather Richardson of the United States was third with a time of 38.04. The world sprint speed skating championships features 50 of the fastest sprinters in the world competing in the 500 and 1,000 metre races. Denis Kuzin of Kazakhstan won the mens 1,000 with a time of 1 minute, 09.37 seconds, edging Davis by 0.07 seconds. Kjeldd Nuis of the Netherlands was third in 1:09. Jimmy Garoppolo Womens Jersey . 56. Hong Zhang of China won the womens 1,000 event with a time of 1:15.17, edging Boer by 0.14 seconds. Jing Yu of China was third in 1:15.61. It was a poor day for Canadas Christine Nesbitt. The London, Ont., native finished fifth in the 1,000 in 1:16.42 and well back in 15th in the 500. William Dutton had Canadas best result. Dutton, from Humbolt, Sask., was fourth in the 1,000 in 1:09.89. Quebec Citys Alexandre St-Jean was 10th, Winnipegs Tyler Derraugh was just behind in 11th and Laurent Dubreuil of Levis Que., trailed in 13th. In the mens 500, Dutton finished fifth in in 35.37 seconds. Dubreuil as ninth while Derraugh tied for 16th. The skaters who start in the inner lane on Saturday will start in the outer lane on Sunday to have equal circumstances for everyone. ' ' '