Olympic chief: Russia expects to top medal table at Beijing Olympics

2008-07-26 02:24:50 GMT       2008-07-26 10:24:50 (Beijing Time)       Xinhua English

MOSCOW, July 25 (Xinhua) -- The Russian Olympic team expects to rank first in term of total medals in the upcoming Beijing Summer Olympic Games, Chairman of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) Leonid Tyagachev said.

"We will try our best to obtain good results, "Tyagachev said in an interview with a local newspaper. "Despite that the competition is high, we aim to win one more gold medal than China, and finish first in the medal table," he said.

The Olympics have become an event of national significance in Russia, Tyagachev said, noting that Russian President Dmitry Medvedev will see the national team off on July 29, and Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin will attend the opening ceremony of the Olympics on Aug. 8.

This is unprecedented and clearly demonstrates the great importance the country has attached to the Olympics, the chairman said.

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