There were two silvers for Russia in Monday’s events. It was brought in by Tatiana Lebedeva in the women’s triple jump, also known as the hop, skip, and jump. As at the previous Olympic Games in Athens, Lebedeva was among the front-runners for the gold. Just like four years ago, she came in second to Françoise Mbango Etone of Cameroon, who this time set a world record, 15 metres 30 centimetres. “I fought to the bitter end. But, my opponent was simply stronger. At any rate, it was an exciting contest. I suppose I can’t blame myself for anything. I did all I could. The silver is not bad. After all, it’s the Olympics”. Tatiana will have another chance at these games. She will also be competing in the long jump. Lebedeva got the gold in Athens in this. Maybe, she’ll be able to repeat this performance in Beijing.
The other silver for Russia was picked up by Alyona Kartasheva in women’s wrestling in the 63 kilogramme (139 pounds) division. Kaori Ito of Japan got the gold. The Japanese girl is the acknowledged world leader in this particular sport, and started training at the ripe old age of three. “My medal was the fruit of my efforts and nerves. And as I told everybody, I think I deserved it”, she said.
Hadjimurat Akkayev of Russia won a bronze in weightlifting, taking third place in the 94 kilogramme (207 pounds) division. It’s worth noting that Akkayev seems to have come from nowhere out of “Group B”. The people from this group rarely make it to the finals and start their qualifiers earlier than the others. Akkayev’s result, 402 kilogrammes (886 pounds), is just one little kilo (2.2 pounds) less than the silver medal bearer’s, Ilya Ilyin of Khazahstan, and 4 kilos (@9 pounds) less than the guy with the gold, Shimon Kolecki of Poland.
Let’s go from long jumping, and hop, skip, and jumping to horse jumping, or rather, the equestrian sports. Russian horsewoman Aleksandra Korelyeva, mounted on a steed named “Balagur”, made it through the qualifiers into the finals of the free-style Grand Prix. She is in fifth place after the qualifiers and hopes to improve on that in the finals where 15 riders will compete. Vladimir Tishkin, Russia’s chief trainer of the equestrian team, said, “We are delighted with Aleksandra’s result. She’s got good chances in the finals”.
18 August 2008
Voice of Russia World Service