Mikhalina Lysova won the bronze in the 1 km sprint for visually impaired female athletes. Source: Ilya Pitalev / RIA Novosti
Emma Terchenko, special to RBTH
Wednesday began for the Russian team with a gold medal for alpine skier Alexandra Frantseva in the slalom, visually impaired event. Her result after the two runs was 2 minutes 1.24 seconds.
This is Frantseva’s third medal at the Sochi Games. Skiing with her guide Paul Zabotin, she also won the bronze medal in the downhill and the silver medal in the super G.
"My path to this gold was very long – it started when I realized that I wanted to become a professional athlete. In the beginning, on my way, I was very seriously injured in slalom. And the doctor who rehabilitated me, who taught me to walk again, said: ‘You will do it; most importantly, believe in yourself, and I know that you will be a professional athlete.’ For eight years, his words have lived in my heart, and I'm happy that all the efforts have been rewarded," Frantseva said in an interview with R-Sport.
Russia's Inga Medvedeva won the silver medal in the standing slalom. "To be honest, I thought that the degree of excitement and responsibility in Sochi would be a lot greater,” she said in an interview with Rossiyskaya Gazeta. “But it turned out to be the contrary. Volunteers speak Russian, Russian food... No distractions, no uncomfortable factors. I am fully concentrated and focused on my mission.”
In the men's standing sprint free final, athletes from Russia took all the places on the podium. Kirill Mikhaylov won the gold; Ruslan MInnegulov the silver and Vladislav Lekomtsev, the bronze.
Roman Petushkov also triumphed in the 1km sitting sprint race with a time of 2 minutes, 29.4 seconds, winning his fourth gold medal. "For me, a sprint is always a challenge, he said to Rossiyskaya Gazeta.
“It was a difficult race, so I tried to distribute my forces in time properly from the qualifications to the final. Honestly, I had doubts that I could win, but fortunately, I managed to do it all.”
Another Russian athlete, Grigory Murygin, came in second. "I am very pleased to stand again with Roman on one podium," he said after the race.
In the women’s 1km sprint final, Norway's Mariann Marthinsen took the gold and Russian skier Marta Zaynullina, the bronze, with a time exactly one second behind the leader.
In the 1-km sprint standing race, Russia's Anna Milenina claimed the victory with a time of 4 minutes, 26.9 seconds. Ukrainian athlete Iuliia Batenkova came in second. Third place went to another Russian, Alena Kaufman.
Oleg Ponomarev won the bronze medal for Russia in the 1 km sprint for visually impaired male athletes. He was 5.4 seconds behind the leader, Canadian Brian McKeever.
Mikhalina Lysova won the bronze in the 1 km sprint for visually impaired female athletes. Elena Remizova was 5.6 seconds behind her team-mate and took second place. "We were hoping for this result, specifically for the sprint. We did it, we are experiencing a storm of emotions," Remizova told R-Sport.
Remizova added that fatigue is starting to set in after so many intense competitions. "Three days have passed, and I already want to have some rest. A sprint is probably the most difficult race because there are several starts in one day, and emotionally it knocks out all athletes."
The Russian team secured its place in the playoffs of wheelchair curling after demolishing the UK team 11-2. In the second game of the day, the Russians edged out the Norwegians 6-5. On Thursday, the Russian team will compete in its last group stage match against Slovakia.
But despite their successes, the Russian team feels that it can improve in the finals. "During this tournament, we have tried to force opponents to our tactics. Our failures, which also happened in this tournament, took place as a result of our excitement. We did not always manage to distract ourselves from everything and concentrate on a shot," Russian player Alexander Shevchenko said in an interview with R-Sport
At the end of the day, Russia had strengthened its leadership in the team standings with 16 gold, 18 silver and 13 bronze medals. This result has already broken the previous record for the number of medals won by the Russian team at the Paralympics.