Silver flows amid the hunt for gold
The medal flow opened up, not surprisingly, in judo. The last day of the competition saw super-heavyweights, both women and men, sorting it out. And while Russia’s female hopeful Elena Ivashchenko quit the contest during quarterfinals, her countryman, three-time world champion Aleksandr Mikhailin breezed into the final. However, his opponent, reigning world champion Teddy Riner of France, proved too strong and kept the Russian from any throw that would give him a win by waza-ari.
Russia's Aleksandr Mikhailin competes with Germany's Andreas Toelzer in the men's over-100 kg judo event (RIA Novosti / Vladimir Baranov)
A few minutes later, Dmitry Ushakov added yet another silver to Russia’s medal account. He finished second in the men’s trampoline event, getting the better of defending Olympic champion Lu Chunlong of China. However, there was another Chinese whom he couldn’t beat – Dong Dong. The 23-year-old posted the top overall score in qualification, and surpassed Ushakov by more than a point in the finals.
Dmitry Ushakov on the Olympic podium (RIA Novosti / Valeriy Melnikov)
Two more silver medals were delivered by the hands of the country’s weightlifters. Both silvers came with a slightly bitter taste, as both lost because of higher body weights. However, Natalia Zabolotnaya, the 75kg silver, had many times beaten the new Olympic champion, Moscow-born Svetlana Podobedova, now representing Kazakhstan, and the 19-year-old Apti Aukhadov, who lost to Pole Adrian Zielinski, may be satisfied with the result.
Russia's Natalya Zabolotnaya competes in the women's 75 kg weightlifting competitions at the 30th Olympic Games.(RIA Novosti / Vladimir Astapkovich)
And Evgeny Korotyshkin and Anastasia Zueva, who brought Russia the remaining two silvers in the Olympic swimming pool, have plenty to be proud of as well. Zueva clinched between two Americans – Missy Franklin, who set a new world record in the 200m backstroke, and Elizabeth Beisel. While Korotyskin equaled 200m butterfly champion Chad le Clos in the 100m, both trailed to the greatest Olympian ever, Michael Phelps.
Anastasia Zuyeva, silver medalist in the 200-meter backstroke finals (RIA Novosti / Alexander Vilf)
Evgeny Korotyshkin after winning his first Olympic medal (RIA Novosti / Alexander Vilf)
However, the show was stolen by 15-year-old American Katie Ledecky, who won in the women’s 800m freestyle, almost beating the world record and proving once again which nation currently dominates world swimming. So far, Team USA claimed 28 medals in the pool, with half of them being the gold ones.
As for the Russians, they could have done better in the men's 25m rapid fire pistol and men’s fencing on the day, but the fans’ high hopes crashed as all their favorites could manage was the fourth place in both disciplines.
But it’s still too early to sprinkle ashes upon our heads, as Russia’s key disciplines begin only next week.
Aleksey Kiselev-Romanov, RT