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Sports minister hopes Russian athletes will achieve good results at 2018 Olympics

Pavel Kolobkov is sure that Russian ice hockey players will show their best as the Olympic ice hockey tournament progresses

SOCHI, February 16. /TASS/. Russian athletes will achieve good results at the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in South Korea’s PyeongChang, Sports Minister Pavel Kolobkov told TASS.

"We have a good team, we have team leaders," the minister said.

"I would like to refrain from speculations, I try not to judge athletes because it is always difficult to compete under such pressure. Our chances in figure skating are good. As for our young athletes - I believe everyone saw them struggling for high positions during skiing events. We also have promising snowboarders and freestylers… I am sure that Russian athletes will achieve good results," Kolobkov added.

According to the sports minister, Russian ice hockey players will show their best as the Olympic ice hockey tournament progresses. The team of Russian ice hockey players began their Olympic journey in PyeongChang with a 2-3 defeat to Slovakia but bet Slovenia 8-2.

"The ice hockey tournament is long, there are a lot of matches left to play," Kolobkov said.

Alternative competitions

Foreign athletes will be invited to the Russian all-comers competitions that will be held in Russia in March for Russian athletes who were not invited to the Olympic Games in PyeongChang, Kolobkov has noted. 

On Monday, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev signed a decree on organization of alternative competitions in Russia for Russian athletes who did not receive invitation to the Olympics in PyeongChang.

"The Russian competitions will run from late February to late March; they were included in the general competition calendar. Schedules are clear for major sports, and now we are preparing together with the federations to hold them," Kolobkov said. "[Foreign athletes] will come. It will be great if they do."

"These are specific competitions, and the guys will have a chance to perform before their fans and compete for good prizes. This is another chance to see our leaders here in Russia, before our spectators. We will organize them, they will get massive media coverage, and we will gladly invite TASS to these competitions," the sports minister noted.

The Russian Investment Forum is being held in Sochi on February 15-16 with participation of Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. This is a traditional venue for presenting Russia’s investment and economic potential. Last year, 377 agreements worth 490 bln rubles ($ 8.6 bln) were inked at the forum. The forum is organized by the Roscongress fund. TASS is the forum’s main information partner and photo hosting provider.