MOSCOW, September 10 (RIA Novosti)
- Record Medal Haul Seals Russia 2nd Place at Paralympics
- Five Paralympic Golds Leaves Savchenko Incredulous
- Russian Paralympic Athletes Win Men’s 4x100m Relay in London
- Russian Paralympic Archers Sweep Podium
- Russia's Tсhebanika Wins Table Tennis Paralympic Gold
Russian President Vladimir Putin is to bestow state awards Tuesday upon the country's Paralympians, who won a historic high 36 gold medals in London this year.
Monumental efforts particularly in athletics, where 19 gold were won, and the pool, the scene of 13 Russian victories, propelled the country to runner-up in the table behind China.
"The President of Russia Vladimir Putin will present awards to the gold medalists in the Alexandrovsky Hall," the Kremlin said in a statement, referring to one of its ornate chambers.
The performance in London continues an encouraging upward trend in the Russian Paralympic movement after the team took home 18 golds in Beijing four years ago, 16 at Athens 2004, 15 at Sydney 2000 and just nine at Atlanta 1996.
Russia scooped a total 101 medals, far outdoing previous Paralympics.
The Chinese were long out of sight at the top, racking up 95 gold, 71 silver and 65 bronze.
Hosts Britain came a close third with 34 gold.
The top Russian performer was swimmer Oksana Savchenko, who took home five gold medals, claiming a world record in the 50 meters freestyle on Thursday.
Russia's archers swept the podium in the men's standing category; with Timur Tuchinov beat Oleg Shestakov in the final.
Other notable performances came from sprinter Margarita Goncharova, who claimed gold in the women's 100 meters, and Alexei Ashapatov, who sealed gold in the men's discus for athletes in wheelchairs.
Russia is in the hunt for one more gold, clashing with Ukraine in the football final later Sunday.
The next Paralympic Games are in Sochi, Russia, in 2014.
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The growing outright rivalry between the United States and China gives Russia more foreign policy weight, enabling it to assume the role of a balancer. So far it has been doing so rather skillfully. Today it may participate in a joint naval exercise with China that Beijing positions as outwardly anti-American. But tomorrow it can team up with the naval forces of the Old World.