Search BBC
BBC World Service
BBC BBC News BBC Sport BBC Weather BBC World Service Worldservice languages
spacer gif
You are in: Learning English > News English > Words in the News
Learning English
spacer gif
Sports Words Monthly
January 2002
Vocabulary from the sporting news
  Irina Slutskaya
Figure skating
Lausanne in Switzerland is holding the European Figure Skating Championships. The events taking place will act as a mini-preview of what is to come at February's Olympic Games in Salt Lake City. This report from BBC Sport's James Cowling:
   
   

Even though a couple of potential Olympic gold medallists will be missing due to injury, the competition will be one of the highlights of the figure skating season. Reigning world champion Evgeni Plushenko of Russia has withdrawn from the competition, as he has been plagued by injury all season.

In his absence, compatriot Alexei Yagudin will be going for his third European title. The three times world champion is on a roll after defeating Plushenko at the Grand Prix of Figure Skating final in December. Yagudin will be using this competition as a warm-up before the Olympics, as he missed the Russian national championships a couple of weeks ago because of a twisted ankle.

The other withdrawals are Elena Berezhnaya and Anton Sikharulidze of Russia in the pair's event. The two-time world champions and reigning Olympic silver medallists pulled out because Berezhnaya is suffering from an ankle injury. With them out of the picture, the title is up for grabs.

Irina Slutskaya of Russia will be aiming for her fifth European ladies' title. Her main competition at this event will be former world champion Maria Butyrskaya, also from Russia. Slutskaya is gold medal favourite for next month's Winter Games along with Michelle Kwan of the United States. Although the Muscovite has only lost one event this year, her skating has been less than stellar.

   
The WordsListen
 
  potential
if someone is a potential champion then they have a good chance of winning
 
   
 

Reigning world champion
the person who won the championship the previous year and is therefore still the current champion
 

   
  plagued by injury
an athlete who is plagued by injury has had many injuries
 
   
 

on a roll
a period of a number of successes which gives an athlete confidence
 

   
 

out of the picture
not able to be in the competition
 

   
  up for grabs
available for anyone to win
 
   
  favourite
someone who is expected to win is a favourite.
 
   
    stellar
very good
 
   
  Read the story in full  

BBC copyright
 
Learning English | News English | Business English | Watch and Listen
 
Grammar and Vocabulary | Communicate | Quizzes | For teachers
 
Downloads | FAQ | Contact us