Plushenko was the better athlete. Yagudins generally had better programs and was more reliable under pressure for a span of time. I got the idea that Plush was so consistent in practice that he sometimes didn't even know how to manage the situation when he made major errors.
Both of their basics left a lot to be desired. Back pumping in crossovers, dubious posture especially Yagudin (commentators used to mention that in 98/99 and he never improved there) etc.
I have a hard time calling what they did footwork sequences, but it worked for that era...
I'm pretty sure Yagudins big muscled jumps were a factor in his injuries. Better technique does mitigate injury. It is a major factor in correctly dispersing the energy in those jump landings, which itself is a major factor in overuse injuries for figure skaters.
Here is additional arguments in the debate about Plushenko's artistry, from someone who certainly knows well what is "art" - translation from his official forum:
ПЛЮЩЕНКО: КРАСИВ И НЕДОСТУПЕН
Maya Plisetskaya, the ex-prima ballerina of Bolshoi, expresses her admiration of Plush after the Torino Olympics (from the interview by E.Shainskiy for sport-express, February 22, 2006).
PLUSHENKO: HANDSOME AND UNREACHABLE
E.S. - I cannot not ask you about Plushenko.
M.P.- He is our favourite. He is so good that it looks like nobody can beat him. I can't imagine who can be better. He is a master, a great master who does everything beautifully, brilliantly and artistically. Also, he always looks so confident that we, his fans, cannot be not confident. He skates like an artist who knows that he is the best. Other skaters think that they are good too, but they have doubts and get nervous. Plushenko on the contrary always knows that he is much better than others, and he convinces all of us in it. He not just "works" on ice, he dances on ice masterly, and that is a wonderful thing to see.
E.S.- What do you think about his appearance?
M.P.- I think his appearance is fine. He is tall, striking, with a handsome body and long arms. He is not some cute guy from the postcard, thanks god he is not!, but he has the perfect face for the stage. The ice is the stage too.
E.S.- Who does he remind you among ballet dancers?
M.P.- He looks like Godunov, the Russian ballet dancer. The same type- tall, handsome, self-confident, with long waving in the wind and pirouettes blond hair. In ballet he would be perfect at parts performed by Godunov. He has the temperament and virtuosity for that."
What about competitions from 98 to 2000?
Again. For a span of time. Yagudin was more reliable. Plushenko was poised to defeat him at an earlier world's (1999 - he was leading after the SP) and choked.
Plushenko didn't really start consistently beating Yagudin until 2001 when the latter started battling injuries. And at major competitions like the ones you mentioned he was still able to overtake Plushenko.
Anyway, my points is:
- Plushenko is over 2.5 years younger than Yagudin - he won international competitions, which Yagudin dont won in his age.
- Plushenko also had injuries from 2001
Here is numbers...
World Championships 2001 - 1
World Championships 2000 - 4
World Championships 1999 - 2
World Championships 1998 - 3
European Championships 2001 - 1
European Championships 2000 - 1
European Championships 1999 - 2
European Championships 1998 - 2
ISU Grand Prix Final 2001 - 1
ISU Grand Prix Final 2000 - 1
ISU Grand Prix Final 1999 - 3
Cup of Russia 2001 - 1
Sparkassen Cup on Ice 2001 - 1
NHK Trophy 2000 - 1
Cup of Russia 2000 - 1
Sparkassen Cup on Ice 2000 - 1
NHK Trophy 1999 - 1
Cup of Russia 1999 - 1
Sparkassen Cup on Ice 1999 - 1
NHK-Trophy 1998 - 1
Cup of Russia 1998 - 2
Skate Canada 1998 - 1
Cup of Russia 1997 - 2
Skate America 1997 - 2
Goodwill Games 2001 - 1
Finlandia Trophy 2000 - 1
Goodwill Games 1998 - 3
National Championships (Russia)
National Championships 2001 - 1
National Championships 2000 - 1
National Championships 1999 - 1
National Championships 1998 - 3
Age doesn't matter. It's when they Competed against each other.
Age can also affect Yagudin adversely. He was on the scene earlier wearing his body down.
It's not that big a deal. Yagudin was ranking will at 15 or 16 as well. So what?
That's not the point, and I'm not interested in arguing about something this blazingly obvious.
Yagudin won 3 World Championships in a Row and then Won the Olympics and another World Championship. He was also medaling on the World scene as early as the 97 Worlds where he won a Bronze. Aside from that Bronze and the Silver to Plushenko in 01, he won Gold at every other Worlds or Junior Worlds he competed against.
And like I said before, Plushenko's packaging and programs were typically quite bad compared to Yagudin. Yagudin had issues technically and artistically. Neither of them were perfect. Later in his career Plushenko was a huge beneficiary of reputation scoring so I have a hard time really taking the later results seriously (Post-Turino) esp. WRT comparing them to what Yagudin did and against the skaters Yagudin had to skate against when he started medaling, before Plushenko burst on the scene as a seriously World Champion-level contender.
I do not see that Yagudin in his 15, 16 years won any major international competition.... unlike Plushy.
- Plushenko won 2 golds and 2 silvers at Olympics - Yagudin 1 gold 2002 and 5th place 1998
- Plushenko won 4 Grand Prix Finals and 18 GP - Yagudin 2 GPF and 12 GP
- Plushenko won 7 Europeans golds (and 3 silver medals) - Yagudin 3 golds (and 2 silver)
- Plushy won 10 Russian Nationals titles - Yagudin, none
In international competitions - Yagudin was competed 9 years, Plushenko 10 + 3 incomplete seasons.
Because the title of this topic: "Does Plushenko's longevity make him a better skater than Yagudin?" - we are not talking here only about their "mutual score", but globally - who is the better skater.
So, in my view - I put forward enough evidences, why Plushenko is better
Stop quoting me. Earlier in the thread I clearly stated plush was the better athlete. You're going crazy trying to make him seem spotless. I'm done with you and with this topic.
I don't care about getting the last word. Enjoy that shallow victory. I only care that you understand that I'm done conversing about it, because it's a circular argument and you're too up tight and defensive to make it worth my time.
Some common courtesy would be appreciated. Or I'll ignore you. I told you before I wasn't up to debating. Your tone is toxic.
Really? I dont turn on this feature
Yes, arguments can sometimes be toxic