Russia unhappy at not winning weightlifting gold

August 16th, 2012 - 8:09 pm ICT by IANS  

Moscow, Aug 16 (IANS) Russia’s failure to win a gold in the weightlifting competition at the London Olympics was “uncomfortable” but not the fault of the coaching staff, the head of the Russian Weightlifting Federation said Thursday.

Russian weightlifters failed to snatch gold in London, bringing home five silver medals and one bronze. Russia has not won a weightlifting gold since the Athens Olympics of 2004.

“We had a plan to win two gold, two silver and two bronze medals. In the end, we still won six medals, but not a single gold,” federation president Sergei Syrtsov said.

“The absence of gold medals is not exactly a failure, but is very uncomfortable for us.”

Russia’s coaches should not be blamed,” Syrtsov added.

“I have absolutely no criticism of the coaches. They all did their work properly,” he said.

Injuries to several medal contenders hurt the team’s morale, Syrtsov added.

Dmitry Klokov was a contender for a medal in the 105 kg category but withdrew during the Olympics due to injury.

At the time, sports minister Vitaly Mutko blamed unspecified “medical reasons”, but Syrtsov said Thursday that a problem with Klokov’s knee was to blame.

Khadzhimurat Akkaev, the world and European champion in the same category, withdrew after failing to recover from an operation on his back.

Female gold contender Oksana Slivenko, who came second in the 69kg category in Beijing in 2008 injured her back before the Olympics and was substituted for Natalia Zabolotnaya, who won silver in the 75kg category.

–IANS/RIA Novosti

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