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President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: I am very pleased to see you, and this is a great occasion. You have just returned home from the world championship. I am happy for this opportunity to speak with you in person, and naturally, to congratulate you on your brilliant victories. This is also a very good investment in the future – I am referring to the Olympic games in London and other competitions. And it is particularly nice during this hot, difficult summer that you have produced this wonderful gift for our fans – the people who track your performances, who watch shootings sports, and who followed your achievements during the championship. In Olympic and other categories your team won 46 medals, of which 21 were gold, 13 silver and 12 bronze.
I have said that the competitions were difficult, as is true of all competitions. I’m sure that you will tell me a bit about them. If I understand correctly, you were competing against about two thousand athletes from 100 countries, is that right? In this context, placing second overall is excellent, absolutely wonderful.
I am also glad that there are athletes here from different generations. This means that we have a succession, we have opportunities for development, and we have opportunities to truly prepare for the upcoming competitions, to transfer experience, and, no doubt, to reach new brilliant results.
It is essential to consistently promote the conditions to develop the shooting sports in our nation, both through government efforts and the activities of NGOs and businesses. I suppose it is very important to develop sports infrastructure and I guess you will have a few words to say about that as well. Besides, it is necessary to develop our respective legislation.
Not long ago, a law was signed to allow athletes to purchase air weapons for personal use. Furthermore, the procedures for bringing them in and out of the country for participation in international competitions have been simplified. I don’t know how radically these procedures have been thus improved; perhaps, there still are certain difficulties, in which case, it would be good for you to tell me about it now. In any event, all of these measures are intended to make shooting sports more accessible and more popular.
I would like to mention that there is another topic which is exceptionally important, namely, building shooting facilities. I know that the Russian Shooting Union is much involved. Old facilities are being renovated, new ones are being built, and I suppose within our current capabilities these facilities should be included in the Federal Targeted Programme.
I would like to once more sincerely congratulate you on your excellent performances. I don’t know your subsequent plans for your stay here in Sochi, but in any case, I hope that you will be able to rest a little bit, even though it’s hot here, that you will enjoy the sea and simply rebuild your strength. I want to again genuinely congratulate you. I wish you success and good spirits, and of course we are all counting on your future victories. We will be rooting for you.