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Ukraine chases 15 medals in Beijing
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14:19, August 08, 2008

Ukraine, the winner of 23 medals including nine golds in the Athens Olympics, decided to downsize its goal for the Beijing Games following the retirement of "Medley Queen".

"Our goal is 15 medals, which is set according to our athletes' form," said chef de mission Nina Umanens after the flag-raising ceremony at the Olympic Village.

Yana Klochkova, Ukraine's most successful swimmer and four-time Olympic gold medalist, is still waiting for her successor in 200m and 400m individual medley.

Without Klochkova, Ukraine has to rely on its traditionally strong events.

According to Umanens, Ukraine is composed of 253 athletes and will chase medals in wrestling, gymnastics, athletics and canoeing.

"Although our aim is to catch 15 medals, we will try our best to get more for our country," Umanens added.

First competing as an independent nation in the 1996 Olympics, Ukraine clinched 23 medals in total, including seven from gymnastics.

In the 2000 Games, Ukraine won only three golds against nine in 1996. However, it presented to the world star swimmer Klochkova, who won the women's 200m and 400m individual medley and a silver in the women's 800m freestyle.

Klochkova extended her legend with two more golds in 2004.


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