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Russian team’s priority is to maintain leading positions at 2018 Winter Olympics

December 08, 2016, 14:43 UTC+3

President of the Russian Olympic Committee said, however, that the current season showed a decrease in the number of athletes, who could potentially win medals

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MOSCOW, December 8. /TASS/. The priority task for the Russian national Olympic team is to maintain its leading position during the 2018 Winter Games in South Korea’s PyeongChang, Alexander Zhukov, the president of the Russian Olympic Committee, said on Thursday.

"Our team finished in the first place of the unofficial medals standings during the Olympics in Sochi," Zhukov said. "This is why the priority task for the national team is to maintain its leading position at the 2018 Games."

However, the ROC president added that the current season showed a decrease in the number of athletes, who could potentially win medals.

"The number of potential medalists decreased for this season and stands at 61 athletes," he said. "Moreover, there will be no such important fact in South Korea as the advantage of the home turf."

The ROC president also said it was important to use sports infrastructure in the country’s Far East during the team’s preparations for the upcoming Olympic Games, which would be held in Tokyo in 2020 and in Beijing in 2022.

"We believe it would be important to study individual adaptive peculiarities of an athlete’s body during the preparations for the Games in South Korea," he said. "The following Games will be also held in the Asian region, in the time zone, which is unusual for Russian athletes."

"This is why we need sending a sports team with specialists there [to the Far East] in advance," Zhukov said. "We must now decide on the location for the final training preparations and use facilities in Vladivostok, Sakhalin, Khabarovsk."

The Russian Olympic team finished the 2014 Olympics in Sochi in the first place of the medals standings with the overall result of 33 won medals (13 gold, 11 silver and 9 bronze medals) surpassing its previous Winter Olympics record of 11 gold medals, set at the 1994 Winter Games in Norway’s Lillehammer.

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