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Russia’s Performance at the 2008 Olympics

Russia has always been a force to be reckoned with at the Olympic Games and this year is certainly no different. Athletes chosen to represent their country in the various disciplines have already managed to claim 3 gold medals, 8 silver medals and 7 bronze medals.

Perhaps the most outstanding of the accomplishments are also the most recent. Three gold medals were claimed for Russia by the wrestling team. Nazyr Mankiev took gold for the men’s Greco-Roman 55kg, while Islam-Beka Albiev won the men’s Greco-Roman 60kg and Aslanbek Khushtov took the third gold in the men’s Greco-Roman 96 kg. The competition was fierce, but Russia led the way in the Greco-Roman wrestling division, with four medals overall. The fourth medalist was Khasan Baroev who only just managed to miss the gold in his 120 kg class and so had to settle for silver. A total of 28 medals were awarded in the Greco-Roman wrestling event with twenty different countries each claiming a prize. The finalists of the Greco-Roman wrestling were decided on August 14.

Russia’s success at the Beijing Olympics started early on when Lyubov Galkina took silver in the 10m air rifle event on August 9. She is the reigning Olympic gold medalist in the women’s 50m as she also took silver in the 2004 Games in Athens. She was joined on the podium by Katerina Emmons of the Czech Republic, who took the gold and Nino Salukyadze for Georgia, who took the bronze. In stark contrast to the tension currently being displayed between Georgia and Russia back home, the two competitors showed the best sportsmanship by posing together for photographs with arms on each other’s shoulders in a display of friendship. Other medalists in the shooting division include: Vladimir Isakov (men’s 50m pistol), Alexey Alipov (men’s trap) and Natalia Paderina (women’s 10m air pistol).

In the diving Dmitry Sautin and Yuriy Kunakov took silver in the Men’s synchronized 3m springboard, while Julia Pakhalina and Anastasia Pozdnyakova took silver in the same category in the woman’s division. Gleb Galperin and Dmitriy Dobroskok took bronze in the Men’s synchronized 10m platform dive. When it comes to swimming, Russia has also been doing quite well, with two bronzes (Arkady Vyatchanin – men’s 100m & 200m backstroke) and one silver (men’s 4x200m freestyle relay – Nikita Lobintsev, Evgeniy Lagunov, Danila Izotov, Alexander Sukhorukov, Mikhail Polishchuk). Mikhail Kuznetsove and Dmitry Larionov also took bronze in the Men’s Canoe Double (C2).

When it comes to weightlifting it is the women who have been excelling. Marina Shainova won silver in the women’s 58kg, Oxana Slivenko took silver in the woman’s 69kg and Nadezda Evstyukhina took bronze in the women’s 75kg.


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