Russian speedskater Ivan Skobrev was the weak link in the team’s race, according to Alexey Kravtsov, head of the Russian Speedskating Union, quoted by Championat.com, an online sports news agency.
He blamed Skobrev for spending too much time on mass media and making too many comments.
This, said Kravtsov, was the major reason for Ivan’s poor results.
Earlier, Skobrev told the press he was considering a pause in his career, following a medal-less performance at the home Olympics in Sochi.
The bronze and silver medalist at the 2010 Vancouver Games admitted he was not ready for the home Olympics.
Considered as a leader before the Games, Skobrev was not able to take the lead in the same way as Viktor An did for the short track team.
Skobrev apologized for the lack of form and said he might need some breathing space to think over his future plans.
The men’s team, including rising star Denis Yuskov failed to win any medals while the women’s team grabbed bronze twice.
First, Olga Graf took third place in the 3,000m individual race and them Team Russia outskated Japan to secure bronze in women’s pursuit race.
The Russian team featured Olga Graf, Ekaterina Lobysheva, Ekaterina Shikhova and Yulia Skokova.
With 33 medals, Russia sets a new all-time record of medal haul, beating Soviet achievements.
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Author: Mikhail Vesely