Olympics-Russian shooting medallists welcomed back in Moscow after Tokyo success

Sports Tokyo 2020

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Olympic shooting medallists from the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) were greeted with cheerleaders as they arrived home from Tokyo on Thursday, parading their silver medals to fans in Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport.

Anastasia Galashina, who finished second in the women’s 10-metre rifle event, losing a battle of nerves to China’s Yang Qian, and Artem Chernousov, who also won silver but in the 10-metre air pistol mixed team event, spoke to reporters after touching down.

“Every time I have two personalities struggling inside me - the one who is afraid and the one who can pull itself together,” said Galashina, whose father came to meet her at the airport.

Nerves and pressure got the better of her on the final shot in her event, Galashina said last week, but she is working with psychologists to try to remind herself that Olympic competition is just like any other event, she said on Thursday.

Chernousov lost 16-14 in the mixed final with partner Vitalina Batsarashkina, who had earlier won gold in the women’s 10-metre pistol event, an Olympic title that narrowly eluded her five years before in Rio de Janeiro.

“I would like to say a huge thank you for the support,” Chernousov told fans who had gathered to welcome the athletes. “It is always felt, the support for us.”

Russian athletes are competing under the flag of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) at the Tokyo Olympics this year as part of sanctions for several doping scandals.

(Reporting by Yury Bakhnnov; Writing by Alexander Marrow; Editing by Toby Davis)

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