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|August 25, 2000||
Russian gymnasts target five golds
Russia hope to win at least five gymnastics golds at the Olympics, veteran coach Leonid Arkayev said on Friday.
"Last year in the world championships we had five gold medals and we don't want to step back from that," Arkayev said during a break in training in Adelaide, where the 15-member squad is based.
Arkayev will be coaching in his seventh Olympics at Sydney.
The team features Alexei Nemov, a dual gold medallist in Atlanta and last year's world championships, and 1997 world all-round champion and Atlanta gold winner Svetlana Khorkina, who also claimed four European titles in May.
Nemov said the tension was beginning to build before the start of the Games on September 15.
"It's always really hard training before a big event," he said. "The pressure is really big at the moment.
"When I see the audience and I know this is the time, that's when (the excitement) all comes out."
Nemov, who won the floor and pommel horse golds at the world championships in Tianjin, China, last year, said he hoped to stay fit enough to extend his career to the 2004 Olympics in Athens.
The Russians, who arrived in Adelaide on Tuesday for three weeks of intense preparation, are training at a local basketball stadium.
The team also includes 17-year-old student Elena Zamolodtchikova, the 1.45-metre tall world vault champion.
Russia won the men's team title at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta and came second to the United States in the women's competition, winning three golds.
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