With most athletes absent, Russia comes 4th at Rio Games

The Russian national team has come fourth at unofficial medal standings at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Russia has finished the Olympics 2016, having won 56 medals - 19 gold, 18 silver and 19 bronze.

This is the worst result that team Russia has shown in 20 years of the history of Summer Olympic Games, TASS reports. However, one needs to bear in mind the fact that nearly all Russian track-and-field athletes, all weightlifters and most of the rowing team were excluded from the Rio Games.

In fact, Russia has achieved victories in the areas that were left outside the doping scandal, and where Russian athletes had no problems with their admission to the Olympics.

Sixteen years ago, Russian athletes won 32 gold medals and took, as four years earlier in Atlanta, the second place in unofficial team standings. In Sydney, team Russia competed against the Americans, who had been in the lead of global sports of recent decades (the Americans had scored five more golds).

In 2004, in Athens, the Russian team slipped to the third place with 28 gold medals, giving way to China. In Rio de Janeiro, Russia left behind team Germany, having outperformed the Germans in the total number of medals as well. In addition, the performance of Russian athletes in Rio de Janeiro was more diverse: they won medals in 15 sports.

It is worthy of note that German media develop the idea of Russia's total failure at the Olympics 2016. Some German publications wrote that Russia finished the Games in Rio de Janeiro as a country of losers. Germany's Bild even preferred to strike Russia out from the table of the winners: the top three (USA, UK and China) continues with Germany as No.5 without Russia being No.4.

The curtailed Russian Olympic team has failed to repeat its earlier successes, Lausitzer Rundschau wrote. "Not without satisfaction," President of the German Olympic Sports Union, Alphonse Hёrmann, said that Russia has become one of the "main losers" of the Rio Olympics. This was the price that Russia had to pay for the doping scandal, the German publication said. Russia's incomplete team came too far behind its main competitor, the USA, the newspaper wrote. Russian athletes also had to deal with acts of public disapproval and expression of disdain on the part of their competitors, the German newspaper also said.

The publication draws attention to the fact that various anti-doping agencies continue demanding "further investigation and punishment" for the Russian Federation.

For example, CEO of the German Anti-Doping Agency (NADA), Andrea Gottsmann, is convinced that Russia has deceived the anti-doping system.

World heavyweight champion in boxing Nikolai Valuev believes that the Russian national team, despite all the pressure on the athletes and endless checks for doping, has performed in Rio with dignity.

"We have won the medals in the sports where we have not been winning for a long time already, and most leading athletes in the national team were absent. In total, 68 athletes did not go to the Games in Rio, but we have still showed a very good result," Nikolay Valuev told Pravda.Ru.

According to the boxer, the situation with the unprecedented pressure on the Russian athletes may repeat at the Winter Olympics. "The amount of politics before the Winter Games will grow. It is only the state that can struggle against these attacks. During the time before the next Olympics, one needs to normalize cooperation with all federations and increase the number of Russian representatives in international federations," said the athlete.

Nikolay Valuev believes that Yelena Isinbayeva's membership in the International Olympic Committee will change the attitude to Russian athletes considerably.


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Author`s name Dmitry Sudakov