Voices from Russia

Saturday, 23 August 2008

Today, Russia Moves to Third Place in the Medals Count at the Beijing Olympics

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

With one day left of the Olympiad in Beijing, Russia moved into third place in the unofficial standings for the amount of gold medals won. Saturday morning saw Russian sportsmen get two more gold medals. For starters, Maksim Opalev paddled his way to an Olympic gold in the men’s single canoe competition. Then, the Russian women’s team came out on top in the synchronised-swimming final, thus, earning Russia’s 19th gold in the games and overtaking Great Britain by one gold. The British team had been in third place in the medal standings right since day one of the games. If one takes into account the grand total of all medals won, gold, silver, and bronze, Russia occupied third place since the beginning of the week, trailing only China and the United States. The teams of these two countries reaped an extraordinary harvest of medals even on the very first day. For a long while, the Russian team was lying in eighth, sixth, fourth, and now, eventually, in third place.

On Saturday, there were few doubts among fans and spectators that the Russian synchronic swimming girls would take the gold. Indeed, they gave a faultless and impeccable performance. Olga Vasyukova, Olympic synchronicised-swimming champion in Sydney in 2000, said, “The girls were absolutely great. Everything went perfect. There were clear figures, first-class choreography, interesting transitions, faultless synchronisation, and each number was executed at a high speed. This was a real show of Olympic champions”.

With one day to go, the Russian team intends not only to hold on to its third place, but also to add more medals to its treasure chest. Fans are expecting some golds in boxing, track-and-field, and artistic gymnastics. Obviously, the team has the potential to end the Olympiad in Beijing with a bang.

On Saturday, Viktor Khotochin, the First Vice President of the Russian Olympic Committee, said that the Beijing Olympics were organised brilliantly. The Russian visitors and athletes had no complaints about transport, accommodation, and food. Nonetheless, there were some peculiar aspects that will no doubt be queried and seriously examined by the international sporting community, at various levels, he added.

Mr Khotochin criticised the hosts and organisers for extending a “most favoured nation” status to the Chinese competitors at the Beijing Olympics. “This was evident, for example in the case of Chinese marksmen who were accommodated right next to the firing ranges. If you wanted to put in a few practice shots at night, no one stopped you from going onto the range and putting in a few. Everybody would have loved to have such a privilege. But, shooting was only one example. I can assure you that the ‘most favoured nation’ status applied to several other lines of sport as well”.

The winner of the Modern Pentathalon, Andrey Moiseyev, noted how his Chinese rival was provided with a good horse for the riding event, which had been “hidden” among the reserve horses, whilst the other competitors had to make do with whatever they got.  Mr Khotochin is not alone in raising such questions. His opinions are shared by many others from various national Olympic committees.

23 August 2008

Konstantin Garibov

Voice of Russia World Service



Russian Boxer Chakhkiev Wins Olympic Heavyweight Gold

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

Rakhim Chakhkiev (1983- ) (in red), world championship heavyweight boxer, Olympic gold-medallist

Russian heavyweight Rakhim Chakhkiev claimed Saturday his country’s 21st gold of the Beijing Olympics. Chakhkiev, 25, defeated 2007 world champion Clemente Russo from Italy 4-2 in the heavyweight final. The Olympic champion beat Iran’s Ali Mazaheri 7-3, John Mbumba of France 18-9, and Cuban Osmai Acosta Duarte 10-5 on his way to the top of the podium. Duarte finished third along with the other semi-final loser, Deontay Wilder of the United States. Chakhkiev’s victory secured Russia its first boxing gold in Beijing. Another Russian boxer, Aleksei Tishchenko, has a chance to double the country’s tally in the men’s lightweight final later Saturday.

23 August 2008



Russia Racks Up 3 More Bronze Medals in Beijing

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

Anna Chicherova (1982- ), world championship track-and-fielder, Olympic bronze-medallist

Russia continued its strong finish to the 2008 Olympics on Saturday with three more bronze medals on the penultimate day of the Beijing Games. The women’s basketball team beat hosts China 94-81 in the bronze-medal playoff, with the United States due to face Australia later in the final.

In the pool, Gleb Galperin followed-up his diving silver medal from Athens four years ago with a bronze, scoring 525.80 points in the men’s 10-metre platform. Australia’s Matthew Mitcham won gold with 537.95 points and China’s Luxin Zhou took the silver with 533.15 points, meaning the hosts missed out on a clean sweep of diving golds.

In the Olympic Stadium, Anna Chicherova won another bronze for Russia, equalling her personal best of 2.03 metres in the women’s high jump. Gold went to Belgium’s Tia Hallebaut, the reigning indoor and outdoor European champion, and silver to Blanka Vlasic of Croatia. Both women jumped 2.05, but, the Croatian needed two attempts, meaning the top prize went to the Belgian. Russia’s Yelena Slesarenko, the defending Olympic champion, only managed 2.01metres, 5 centimetres less than her record from four years ago, and had to make do with fourth place.

23 August 2008



Russia’s Kanaeva Wins Rhythmic Gymnastics Gold

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

Yevgeniya Kanaeva (1990- ), world champion gymnast, Olympic gold-medallist

Russia’s Evgeniya Kanaeva won gold in the rhythmic gymnastics’ individual all-around final at the Beijing Olympics on Saturday. The victory brought Russia its 20th gold. The country took third place in the overall medal standings earlier in the day. Kanaeva burst ahead at the start of the competition and scored a total of 75.500 points after receiving perfect marks for four of her routines. Silver was claimed by Inna Zhukova from Belarus with 71.925 points, followed by the Ukraine’s Anna Bessonova with 71.875 points.

23 August 2008



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