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MOSCOW, January 30. /ITAR-TASS/. World champion title holder, Russian speed skater Denis Yuskov will have to brace up for great physiological tensions in the Sochi Winter Olympics, multiple Olympic champion, deputy of Russia’s State Duma lower house of parliament Svetlana Zhurova told Itar-Tass on Thursday.
“Yuskov has already asserted himself in the speedskating world, so his participation in the forthcoming Olympics cannot be compared to Alexander Golubev’s, the Russian speed skater who won the gold medal in men’s 500 meters at the Lillehammer Olympics 1994. Golubev was just an athlete the world had not heard about before his victory, while Yuskov is already the world champion, and such a young one. Nevertheless, Yuskov has to bear this burden and it will not be easy”, she said.
Yuskov became the gold medalist in men’s 1500 meters speed skating at the recent World Single Distance Championship in Sochi in 2013. He also came top in men’s 1000, 1500 and 5000 meters races at Russia’s Pre-Olympic Qualifying Tournament.
Zhurova added that Russia should take into account another speed skater Ivan Skobrev, who won the bronze and silver medals at the Vancouver Olympics 2010. “He is as experienced as Evgeni Plushenko is at figure skating; he has already tried himself at the Olympics and is now easily preparing for the forthcoming Games. He has decided on his priorities, so I think he may possibly surprise us at Sochi Games despite the fact that he did not come top at the Pre-Olympic Tournament”, she concluded.
For the time being, Russia has only three Olympic champions in speed skating: Svetlana Zhurova herself, the golden medalist in women’s 500 meters race at the Turin Olympics 2006, Svetlana Bazhanova, the winner of women’s 3000 meters race in Lilyhammer in 1994, and Alexander Golubev, who also won the gold in Lilyammer in men’s 500 meters event.