The Olympic Games 2016 in Rio de Janeiro is smoothly transiting into its final stage. Four days remain in medals competition. They decimated the Russian Olympic team, but as it turned out, that only spurred on our athletes. We offer to you the most unexpected successes of our Olympians in Rio.
Women’s Archery. Team Championship… Silver
In all the time that our team took part in the Olympics, Russian archers only just got on the podium… Bair Badenov won the bronze at the Beijing Olympics in the men’s singles championships. On 7 August, our girls won a historic silver for Russia in the team competition. Tuyana Dashidorzhieva, Inna Stepanova, and Kseniya Perova lost to the favoured Korean team, having a total score of 5-1 in the three sets. Stepanova said after the finals:
The fact that we made the finals was an achievement for us, but we fought to get there, we tried hard, we went through a lot… through years-long practise, pain, tears… we had to sacrifice a lot.
Women’s Air Pistol, 10 Metres. Vitalina Batsarashkina… Silver
We won our last medal in this competition back in 2008 at the Beijing Olympics. Then, Nataliya Paderina won silver. At the Rio Olympics, some had hopes for young 19-year-old Vitalina Batsarashkina, but no one could’ve imagined that at such a young age, she’d be able to win the silver. Batsarashkina told reporters:
Tomorrow, I’m flying home; I’m glad to be going back to my folks. They still haven’t gotten over the shock that I’m going home with a medal.
Women’s Sailing, RS-X.Bronze. Stefaniya Elfutina… Bronze
In this sport, Russian sportsmen haven’t had even one success in the last 20 years. In Rio, there wasn’t much hope, but the 19-year-old Stefaniya Elfutina managed to surprise everyone by winning the bronze in windsurfing. Now, Russian fans have a reason to watch the sailing competitions… finally, we have somebody capable of winning a medal.
Men’s Single Kayak, 1000 Meteres. Roman Anoshkin… Bronze
For Russia, even reaching the finals in this sport is already a success, but our rower scored a “splash” in the semi-finals, showing the best time in his class. In the final, Anoshkin, a native of Omsk Oblast, achieved unprecedented success, winning the bronze. He was the first Russian athlete in 44 years to stand on the Olympic podium in the singles rowing competition. Anoshkin told us after the finish:
In general, I didn’t expect to win a medal, but I wanted to do it, so, I’m very happy. Somehow, I failed to take the lead from the start, I had to lay back in the pack, but early in the second half, I started speeding up and catching up. We had a later start than others did, which gave me a total time good enough to win.
Women’s Tennis, Doubles. Vesnina/Makarova… Gold
The Russian tennis players winning the gold didn’t come as a surprise, they were amongst the favourites even before the games began. However, one thing was surprising… our girls didn’t lose a single set in the tournament! Bravo! Despite the fact that the duo of Makarova and Vesnina has long been a byword in world tennis, the Olympic championship eluded them. Besides that, until now, Russian tennis players only won the singles at the Olympics. Vesnina said:
We really had a very difficult path here in Rio. We wanted to come here as soon as possible to prepare, to get better used to the courts, but it didn’t turn out that way. Nevertheless, this even helped us to some extent; after all, we’re ready for unforeseen situations. Once here, nothing distracted us from our goal. We didn’t worry about the food or anything else.
18 August 2016