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MOSCOW, April 05. /ITAR-TASS/. Two-time Olympic champion, 28-year-old Russian biathlete Yevgeny Ustyugov announced on Saturday, April 5, he was winding up his sports career.
The announcement was made at the Biathlon Champions’ Race at Moscow’s Olympiysky Sport Centre and came as a complete surprise as he had never dropped any hints before about his intention to leave high-performance sports.
Ustyugov won the bronze medal at the final stage of the World Cup in Ruhpolding, Germany. At the Sochi Olympics he won gold in a relay race.
Ustyugov was born on June 4, 1985 in Krasnoyarsk. His parents were practicing cross-country skiing and apparently influenced his choice. He started skiing himself at the age of three. Yevgeny began competing in biathlon in 1997 and debuted in World Cup competitions in 2009. He won two silver medals at the world championships in 2011, gold at the Vancouver Olympics in a mass start competition and bronze in a relay race.
Mikhail Prokhorov, president of the Russian Biathlon Union, believes that Ustyugov will be needed in the sport after resignation as well. “It was a complete surprise for me. But Zhenya made his decision. He is a two-time Olympic champion, and I think he will be very much needed in our biathlon family. If people like him stay in biathlon as coaches and specialists, that will be great,” Prokhorov said.
Ustyugov will meet mass media in June to talk about his further plans. “My decision was not spontaneous. I simply feel that I am lacking something. It’s time to step aside to let a younger generation to go forward and win,” he said.