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    Russia leads medal count after first day of Paralympics

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    Russia has taken the lead in the medal standings after the first day of Paralympics in Vancouver, gaining three gold, three silver and two bronze medals and affirming the suggestion by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin that the Russian Paralympics team would prove its class.

    Russia has taken the lead in the medal standings after the first day of Paralympics in Vancouver, gaining three gold, three silver and two bronze medals and affirming the suggestion by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin that the Russian Paralympics team would prove its class.

    Irek Zaripov, Kirill Mikhaylov and Anna Burmistrova of Russia won three of the six biathlon pursuits on Saturday. Their teammates Maria Iovleva, Nikolay Polukhin and Liubov Vasilyeva took silver medals.

    Russia's two bronzes were won by biathletes Mikhalina Lysova and Alena Gorbunova.

    The Ukrainian team occupies the second position in the medal standings, with two golds, one silver and two bronzes. Germany is third with one gold medal.

    Russia's performance at the Paralympics appears to be more successful than at the Olympics. The country's Olympics team were a disappointment at the Games, taking 11th place in the overall medals table with three golds, five silvers and seven bronzes.

    Earlier this week, Putin expressed confidence that the Russian Paralympics team would demonstrate its "skill and spirit" at the Vancouver Games.

    Russia topped the overall medal count at the 2006 Turin Paralympics, with 13 golds, 13 silvers and 7 bronzes.

    MOSCOW, March 14 (RIA Novosti)

     

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