Russian Sports Minister realistic about London 2012

With just one month to go until the start of the London Olympics, Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko, has stated third place in the medals table is the overall target for the country.

­Mutko says it would be very difficult to finish ahead of the US and China – who dominated the previous Games in Beijing, winning almost a third of the gold medals.

And, according to the official, Russia's main rivals in the battle for the last podium place will be the hosts.

"Most likely, the British team will be our major opponents in achieving our goals,” he said. “In recent years we've been within the same range of gold medals in the summer Olympic sports. And at the last Games in China we were only four golds ahead.”

“This time, Great Britain will be hosting the competition and, obviously, that should be a great boost for them,” he added.

During a news conference in Moscow Mutko also denied rumors which linked him with the vacant job in the Russian Football Union.

The 2012 Summer Olympics kick off in the English capital on July 27.

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