The young one was an alternate. They may have felt, with Plushenko, Russia had a shot at winning medals, not just giving someone experience. Plushenko had a sore back going into the team event, aggravated it during Wednesday's warm up, and it was too late to put in the alternate according to an article in the NYDailyNews. Seems Russia wanted to go for medals. Hindsight is an interesting thing. If Plushenko could have pulled it off, no one would have been comparing.