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Russia Is Capable of Better Performance: Medvedev
    2008-08-31 00:44:58     Xinhua
Russian athletes performed well at the Beijing Olympics, but the country has the potential for better results, President Dmitry Medvedev said Saturday.

"All of you did a great job," Medvedev said during a meeting with the medal winners in the Kremlin.

"You faced strong competitors and hard conditions. But Olympic Games are the top that is conquered only by outstanding athletes," he said. "And we have them in Russia. They have won 72 medals, including 23 gold ones."

However, the third place on the medal tally is not the limit of Russian athletes' possibilities, Medvedev said.

"Now you have to start preparing for the next Games in London. New champions have to be raised," he was quoted by the Itar-Tass news agency as saying.

The president added that the government had decided to award the winners with cars as an additional bonus.

More than 10,000 representatives from 204 countries and regions competed at the Beijing Games - the highest figure in the Olympic history.

China topped the gold medal table with 51, compared with the 36 gained by the United States. China also gained 100 medals overall but was overtaken by the 110 medals amassed by the United States.
 
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