Presidential 'heir' Medvedev wants Russians to do more sport

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MOSCOW, February 18 (RIA Novosti) - Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, the man widely-expected to succeed Vladimir Putin as leader of the largest country on Earth, has urged Russians to do more sport.

The state-run VTsIOM pollster said earlier in the day that 69.9% of voters intend to cast their ballot for Kremlin-backed Dmitry Medvedev in Russia's March 2 presidential elections.

"We currently have problems with swimming. As a man who swims twice a day, I'd like to say there is a distinct lack of swimming pools in the country," Medvedev told the Itogi magazine.

Putin's 'heir' also complained about the failures of the country's national soccer team. "Something has to be done about that!" he said.

Medvedev, a sports fan since childhood, said he had never had a bulky figure, and therefore had never been nicknamed 'Medved' (bear in Russian).

The official, who put forward his election program late last week, said he had always been proud of his ability to formulate goals.

"We should concentrate on the so called four I's - Institutions, Infrastructure, Innovation and Investment," the official told a Siberian economic forum last Friday.

Russia's first president Boris Yeltsin had a passion for tennis, with the sport becoming popular in the country during his reign. Although not the first world leader to practice judo, outgoing President Vladimir Putin is the first to have reached an advanced level. Putin is currently a judo black belt (6th dan).

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