Monday, 16 July 2012

Ukraine Seek To Better Beijing Performance, Says Bubka

KIEV, Ukraine -- Ukraine’s Olympic team is heading to the London Games seeking to improve on its performance in Beijing of 27 medals, which included seven golds, said legendary pole vaulter Sergei Bubka, its Olympic Committee chief. Bubka also said that in London 245 Ukrainian athletes would be competing in 28 sports, ranging from athletics and gymnastics to weightlifting and judo. “Our government assigned more means for the team’s successful performance at the Games,” he said. “President Viktor Yanukovych has promised to personally attend the competitions in London to support our athletes there. I believe that our squad will perform at the Games even better than they did four years ago.” Bubka said that two-time Olympic medal winner judoka Roman Hontyuk will be the country’s flag-bearer at the opening ceremony on July 27. “It’s a great honour for me to carry the country’s flag at the Games opening,” said Hontyuk, who won silver at the Athens Olympics in 2004 and bronze in Beijing four years ago. “I believe I will be able to win a third Olympic medal in London,” he added. “Of course I’m dreaming about a gold but I’ll be also happy to win any medal there.” Bubka meanwhile said the track and field athletics, wrestling, gymnastics, boxing, fencing, rowing, shooting and archery to be his team’s main priorities at the Olympics. “We did our best to prepare our athletes for the Games the best possible way,” Bubka said. “I’d like to avoid any direct predictions ahead of the Olympics but we have certain medal hopes.” Bubka also backed heptathlete Natalia Dobrynskaya, who won gold medal in Beijing, to perform at her best to honour her husband, who died recently. Ukraine’s Olympic chief announced also cash incentives for the country’s medal winners.

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