Voices from Russia

Monday, 18 August 2008

18 August 2008. Olympic Chronicle

Filed under: China,Olympics,Russian,sport — 01varvara @ 00.00

Tatiana Lebedeva (1976- ), Russian track champion and Olympic silver-medallist

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



Second Gold for Russia in Athletics

Filed under: China,Olympics,Russian,sport — 01varvara @ 00.00

Gulnara Galkina-Samitova (1978- ), Russian champion track star and Olympic gold-medallist

Russia’s Gulnara Galkina-Samitova won the women’s 3,000 metre steeplechase in Beijing, beating her own world record, and becoming the first woman to cover this distance in under 9 minutes. The silver went to Eunice Ypkorir from Kenya, who, just in the last stretch, beat another Russian, Yelena Volkova to the finishing line. This is the first time that this event, the 3,000 metre steeplechase, was a part of the Olympic repertoire. “I never expected to set another record, and I’m thrilled with the medal”, Gulnara said after the event. “But, that’s the way it went. We were well-prepared, and that’s why I had a good run. I have another event ahead of me, the 5,000 metres. That’s why I have only one aim at the moment, to have a good rest and get back into shape so that I can do well”.

18 August 2008

Voice of Russia World Service


Russia Set To Fight for A Place amongst the Top Three at the Beijing Olympics

Filed under: China,Olympics,Russian,sport — 01varvara @ 00.00

Gennady Shvets, Russian National Olympic Committee member

“The Russian team is set to continue to fight for a place among the top three at the Beijing Olympics”, said Gennady Shvets, a spokesman for the Russian National Olympic Committee in an exclusive interview with Voice of Russia.After nine days of competitions, Olympic awards went to 63 countries and territories. For Russia, the most fruitful day was Sunday, when it won ten awards, including two gold. For the first time in Olympic history, it has enabled Moscow to rank third after China and the US in the total number of medals. In addition, Russia entered a competition for third place in the unofficial team scoring with Britain, Germany, Austria, South Korea, and Japan, which, along with China and the US, are pushing Russia to the eighth place in the number of gold medals”.

Mr Shvets went to say, “Yesterday’s golds earned by Yelena Dementieva in tennis and Gulnara Galkina-Samitova in the 3,000-metre steeplechase with a new world record sent spirits soaring amongst the Russian athletes. Next on the schedule are wrestling, boxing, and track and field finals where we have good chances to win more medals. Getting underway are gymnastics, synchronised swimming, and open-water events, in which Russia has good chances to add yet more medals to its Olympic collection. Despite a number of failures at the start, the Russian team is well-equipped to enter the struggle for the third place in total team scoring”.

Asian athletes are demonstrating an increasingly successful performance, having grabbed more awards in Beijing than in Sydney or in Athens. The number of countries of Asia setting their first Olympic records now in Beijing has increased. As the Games began, the biggest number of awards was collected by China, as expected. Mr Shvets said, “These Games are special, because the host country, China, is very dominant in the standings. A host country always shows a remarkably good performance, but, this year’s breakthrough is totally unprecedented. Maybe, the Chinese follow a particular medicine or pharmacology. The entire sports system in China is functioning to good effect with both ultra-modern sports facilities and media advertising working for victory. Yet another reason for China’s success is their successful use of Soviet experience in centralised training of athletes at sports camps and at sports centres”.

18 August 2008

Konstantin Garibov

Voice of Russia World Service


Coach Shamil Tarpishchev: “The Beijing Olympics Proved Russia’s High Ranking in the World of Tennis Today”

Filed under: China,Olympics,Russian,sport — 01varvara @ 00.00

Vera Zvonareva (1984- ), Olympic bronze-medallist in women’s tennis

Russian Olympic tennis trainer Shamil Tarpishchev said, “The Beijing Olympics proved Russia’s high ranking in the world of tennis today”. These words came after three Russian girls swept all the singles medals and covered the podium with the white, blue, and red colours of the Russian flag. Gold, Yelena Demtieva, Silver, Dinara Safina, and Bronze, Vera Zvonareva. This was the first time in Olympic tennis history that the awards podium was swept by a hat-trick from one nation. The last thing anything similar happened was in 1908, exactly a hundred years ago, when three British girls won a major tournament.

This is our common victory, and it makes all Russians proud that we managed to do it. Each of the matches was very hard-fought. There was no easy way into the finals. Practically all the matches lasted over two-and-a-half hours. That makes the victory even sweeter. Each of the girls that went up onto the podium really earned it. They did a great thing on the courts of China. We asked Coach Tarpishchev, “Who of the girls were you rooting for most?”

He said, “I have a job that doesn’t allow me to root for anyone. Otherwise, the whole team would fall apart. My job is to encourage first-rate tennis and that all the girls play better and better. I think we managed to do that this time”.

We asked him, “The Russian girls lost in the doubles. Was the cause of that?”

Coach Tarpishchev replied, “Not a single medallist in the singles got a medal in the doubles. And vice versa. This goes to show that the schedule of the tournament which was worked out, was, to put it mildly, unrealistic. In order to win in the singles and doubles, you would have to win eleven matches within seven days! That’s physically impossible!”

We asked, “What’s the reason the Russian men’s players didn’t get any medals? Could call this a failure?”

“I wouldn’t call it a failure. I would call it the luck of the draw, or rather, the bad luck of the draw. All of our boys lost to the world’s absolute top players in the early rounds of the tournament, against those who play just a little bit better. If we had been a bit luckier with the draw, then I think our men, even if they didn’t get the gold, could have made their way to a medal”, Coach Tarpishchev commented.

18 August 2008

Voice of Russia World Service


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