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Russia’s silver in women’s team sprint is "excellent result for debutantes" — coach

August 13, 6:50 UTC+3 RIO DE JANEIRO
"I believe that the main target facing Voinova and Shmelyova is the gold in the team sprint at the 2020 Games", the head coach of Russia’s track cycling team Sergey Kovpanets said
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© AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

RIO DE JANEIRO, August 13. /TASS/. The silver medals Russia’s women cyclists Anastasiya Voinova and Darya Shmelyova grabbed in the team sprint in Rio de Janeiro are an excellent result for Olympic debutantes and their next goal will be the gold at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, the head coach of Russia’s track cycling team, Sergey Kovpanets, has told TASS.

In the final race Voinova and Shmelyova fell behind China’s Gong Jinjie and Zhong Tianshi (32.401 seconds against 32.107).

"It is too early for the two young ladies to contest for the gold. Second place is the best of what they can achieve for now. But we don’t lose hope. We have a benchmark - the Chinese who have set a world record (31.928 seconds - TASS), and this is what we should keep in mind. I believe that the main target facing Voinova and Shmelyova is the gold in the team sprint at the 2020 Games. They are still very young. Both are newcomers to the Olympic Games. The silver is an excellent point of departure towards future Olympic successes," Kovpanets said.

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