Baltic athletes head home after successful Olympic outing

  • 2004-09-02
  • By TBT staff
RIGA - All in all, it was a very good Games for the Baltic states. Lithuania came out of it best, with one gold and two silvers (the Olympic rankings are ordered by gold medals), while Latvia claimed a respectable four silvers and Estonia won a silver and two bronze medals.

The tally was "more than I had quietly hoped for," Latvian Prime Minster Indulis Emsis told The Baltic News Service.
Lithuania only won one gold medal, as opposed to the two it got at the Sydney Games four years ago, and that was originally silver. Virgilijus Alekna came second in the men's discus after the Hungarian Robert Fazekas smashed Alekna's newly set Olympic record, but he later failed to provide a urine sample for a drugs test and was stripped of the title, allowing Alekna to claim both the gold and the new Olympic record.
Austra Skutjyte took the silver in the women's heptathlon and Andrejus Zadneprovskis took the silver in the men's modern pentathlon.
Latvia's tally of four silver medals arguably bettered its haul in Sydney four years ago, when it won one gold, one silver and one bronze. Vadims Vasilevskis won his medal in the men's javelin throw, while Viktors Scerbatihs won his in the +105 kilogram category of the men's weightlifting competition. Jelena Rubelvska claimed her medal in the women's pentathlon and Evgeni Sapronenko was the first Latvian to make the honors list when he took second in the men's vault.
Estonia's 39-strong Olympic team didn't do quite as well as it did in Sydney, when it won one gold and two bronze medals, but it can still be content with a reasonable showing.
Juri Jaanson won the only silver medal when he finished second in the men's single scull race, while Alekasander Tammert also benefited from Fazekas' disqualification from the men's discus. His fourth place showing turned into a bronze medal for him. Indrek Pertelson claimed Estonia's only other medal when he finished third in the men's judo +100 kilogram discipline.