Modest Russia pins hopes on Isinbayeva
Yelena Isinbayeva holds the current women’s pole vault record of 5.06m.
Russia will be hoping that its pole vault queen Yelena Isinbayeva makes a late boost to the nation’s modest Olympic performance in London.
Before the Olympic Games in London, Russian authorities made it clear that a fourth finish in medals table would be a success, given most of the state’s attention and financial resources directed toward the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. Some local media have even dubbed the London event as “the transition Games” for Russia.
Alexander Zhukov, president of the national Olympic Committee (ROC), said Russia would aim for at least 23 gold medals to match its tally in Beijing where it finished a distant third behind China and the United States in the medals table.
“Of course, we’d love to challenge for the top spot but you have to be realistic,” Zhukov told local media ahead of the Games. “Realistically, our goal would be to hold on to that third place, especially with Britain (fourth in Beijing) expected to significantly increase their medal haul on home soil.”
However, halfway through the Olympics, Russia is sitting on the 10th spot of the medals table with only three gold medals, in addition to 15 silver and 11 bronze medals.
Isinbayeva will hope to help her country turn its poor performance around with a gold medal in pole vault tonight.
In Beijing, she became the first athlete to win consecutive individual gold medals with world records.
Compiled from AFP and Reuters reports by the Daily News staff