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15 Mar, 2010 08:38

Gold and silver for Russia at Paralympics

Team Russia have maintained their lead in the medal count after the second day of competition at Vancouver Paralympics, winning two more medals.

The men’s 15-kilometer race turned out a complete success for Russian seated cross-country skiers as they took both gold and silver in the event.

Winner Irek Zaripov needed 41 minutes and 01.10 seconds to complete the distance, which was ten minutes faster than the result of his countryman Roman Petushkov.

This was Zaripov’s second gold at the Games. He also triumphed in men's 2.4-kilometer pursuit on Day 1.

Third placed Enzo Masiello of Italy crossed the finish line 53 minutes behind the gold medalist.

The result allowed Russia to stay on top of the Paralympics medal table, having 10 medals now – 4 gold, 3 silver and 3 bronze.

Their closest rivals are neighbors from Ukraine, who have 6 medals in the bag.

But vice president of Russian Paralympics Committee, Pavel Rozhkov, told RT that it's not all about being on top at the Games. 

“Neither the Olympic Committee nor the government has ever set any goals about winning medals or taking particular places. The main thing is that the athletes fight till the end and give the best they’ve got out there. We managed to save the backbone of the team from the Turin Olympics and bring in younger sportsmen. This mix and high team spirit allows us to achieve these results,” he said.