Mansur Isaev: Russia’s second gold
Isaev defeated Japan’s Riki Nakaya in a close-fought final with a yuko. At first, the rivals played safe but soon were penalized for being rather inactive. In the end of minute four, Isaev secured his win showing great wrestling skills. Nakaya made several counterattacks but Isaev overpowered his opponent.
Fourteen sets of medals were awarded on the second day of the London Olympics. Russian athletes won three bronze medals. China still leads the medal count, the country’s national team looks as if they can`t live a single day without a gold medal.
Cyclist Olga Zabelinskaya won Russia`s first medal of the Olympics` second day. She came third in the 140-km road race. As the cyclists were getting closer to the finish line, it became clear that the medals would go to Zabelinskaya, Marianne Vos of the Netherlands and to Britain’s Elizabeth Armitstead. For almost half of the race the Russian cyclist was in the lead, while her rivals were not killing themselves anticipating the very last kilometers which were crucial for the outcome of the race. Marianne Vos turned out to be stronger and gripped a gold medal, and Armitstead outran Zabelinskaya. This was, however, a very successful race for the Russian as she managed to leave dozens of cycling stars behind. Olga herself says there is something sensational about the medal. By the way, she is the daughter of the famous cyclist and Olympic champion Sergei Sukhoruchenkov.
“Today`s race was a pure improvisation, nothing was planned. A moment came when I suddenly realized that I should do my best, so I tried as best as I ever could. One-two kilometers before the finish I saw that my rivals were the same and that they were preparing for a sprint, and this is not my strong point. I decided to keep the same speed till the end as I knew that a bronze was already mine.”
Later on Sunday saber fencer Nikolai Kovalev won Russia`s second bronze medal by defeating a Romanian rival. “At the Olympics any medal is a gift, but of course each athlete wants to win gold. I have mixed feelings now: I think that I could have performed better. But a bronze medal is already mine, and this is not bad after all.”
The most surprising Russian bronze medal was earned during the men`s 4x100m freestyle relay in swimming. Almost during the entire competitions the U.S., France and Australia enjoyed the leadership but the very last moments decided everything quite unexpectedly: the French beat Americans, and Russians finished faster than Australians. Andrei Grechina, Nikita Lobintsev, Vladimir Morozov and Danila Izotov looked surprised during the award-giving ceremony. Izotov said that the relay cost him a lot of effort. “We are very glad. We thank our fans, coaches, parents and everyone who supported us. It helped us a lot”.
The second day of the Olympics was successful for Russia in team sports, too. Basketball team beat that of Britain, while Russian volleyball players won over Germany. Tennis star Maria Sharapova started her performance at the Olympics with a victory, too. The match between Russia`s Nikolai Davydenko and Radek Štěpánek of the Czech Republic was postponed due to rain. Russian female gymnasts succeeded during the qualifiers and now are getting prepared to perform in all parts of the individual program. Viktoria Komova and Alia Mustafina will perform in all-round events, while all the rest gymnasts will take part in team competitions.
As of today, Russia is ranked 12 in the Olympics medal count, with China still placed at the top of the list. On Sunday the Chinese athletes won two golds in a shooting event and in synchronized diving. Only 30 out of 204 countries participating in the Olympics have managed to win at least one medal. Surprisingly, Germany has not yet won any.