Gia Saralidze: performance of Russia and South Caucasus at Rio Olympics was brilliant
The Russian national team's performance at the Summer Olympic Games can be evaluated as outstanding, a creative producer and the host of Vesti FM, Gia Saralidze, speaking with a correspondent of Vestnik Kavkaza, said, commenting on the results of the 31st Summer Olympic Games.
"It should be borne in mind that only two-thirds of the people who were supposed to go to Rio took part in the Olympics, and Russians were even banned from several sports, for example, athletics," he explained.
We must not forget about the pressure from the WADA and the International Olympic Committee among the factors which have had a negative impact on the results of the Russian Olympics. "As a result, some of our competitors have known that they are taking part in the competitions, almost a day before the start of performances. Therefore, the Russian Olympians showed an absolutely outstanding result," the creative producer of Vesti FM stressed.
At the same time, the Olympics gives cause for serious thinking about the situation, which has developed in various national sports. "Russia is gradually losing those positions which the Soviet Union achieved. The Russians won medals in Rio in those sports where a lot of money are issued on the development of sports," Gia Saralidze pointed out.
The expert cited the example of the Russian Fencing Federation. "Let me remind you that the International Fencing Federation is headed by Alisher Usmanov, who is a former fencer. And the result is seven medals, including four gold ones. I am sure that if the money are invested and are used correctly, in the future it will bring gold medals," the creative producer of Vesti FM noted.
Another positive example is handball. "There are caring people as well, they support this kind of sports in the Rostov region, the Krasnodar region and the result is a gold medal, because the natives from these regions play in the Russian national team," he said.
"If the Swimming Federation has the same attitude, there would be medals in swimming. Now the money are allocated, but it is not very clear who receive them. That is why we are losing positions. The state supports sports, but it is necessary to revise the federations," Gia Saralidze said, adding that the Russian Sports Ministry also need to be revised.
The expert warned that the difficult Olympics is only the beginning of the attack on the Russian sport. "The issue with the ban of the Russian Paralympic team is not resolved yet. The next step is the World Cup 2018. If FIFA, UEFA and the IOC could not fend off attacks in connection with Russia, it will lead to the dominance of countries, which want to rule the roast. Their accusations are completely ridiculous: that Michel Platini supposedly received 2 million Swiss francs within a few years. Considering the fact that hundreds of millions of dollars are spent on transfers in football, and FIFA and UEFA conclude billion-dollar contracts ," he said.
Commenting on the performance of the South Caucasus countries at the Olympic Games in Rio, the creative producer and the host of Vesti FM gave praised it. "Azerbaijan's number of medals is very impressive. It has 18 medals, it is a very serious perfomance," he said, adding that Armenia has won the gold medal at the Summer Olympics for the first time in 20 years.
All the Caucasian republics were better than Austria or Norway, which are prosperous countries, but they had no outstanding performances at the Summer Olympics, the expert stressed, noting worthy performances of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, as well as Ukraine's disastrous performance.