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Russian sports chief says Olympic Fencing Champ Velikaya to win medals in Tokyo next year

Sofya Velikaya is the 2016 Olympic Champion and the two-time silver medalist of the Olympics

MOSCOW, May 30. /TASS/. Russian 2016 Olympic Champion in sabre fencing Sofya Velikaya is back in her shape and will be one of the main contenders for the gold of the 2020 Summer Olympics in Japan, Russian Sports Minister Pavel Kolobkov said on Thursday.

Velikaya, 33, is also the two-time silver medalist of the Olympic Games, the seven-time world champion and the 13-time European champion. She declared her comeback to sports in 2017 following an earlier announced maternity leave.

"I am very happy for Sofya [Velikaya] and that she had managed to be back in the shape so quickly," Sports Minister Kolobkov, who won one gold, two silver and three bronze medals at the Olympics in epee fencing between 1988 and 2004, told journalists.

"She [Velikaya] will be one of the main contenders to win the medals of the Olympic Games," Kolobkov continued. "She currently manages to combine public activities and to keep up with her training sessions."

The 2020 Summer Olympic Games will be held in the Japanese capital of Tokyo between July 24 and August 9 and will see a total of 339 sets of medals to be contested in 33 sports (50 disciplines).