Olympics: Russia sets top three medal target for Sochi

MOSCOW (AFP) - Russia unveiled ambitious plans on Thursday to finish in the top three of the medals table at the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, as well as the 2016 Summer and 2018 Winter Games.

The sports ministry dug into its Soviet past to come up with a "five-year plan" up till 2018 for achieving Olympic Games excellence.

Russia finished a hugely disappointing 11th in the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver and came in a more encouraging fourth at the summer 2012 event in London.

But the country has spared no expense and hired a string of foreign coaches to help put muscle back into the team that dominated the Winter Games in Soviet times while competing closely against the United States in the summer event.

The sports ministry's plan calls for one in four Russian athletes to get some sort of medal in the Black Sea resort of Sochi.

The share of those who win medals at the 2018 Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea is due to grow to 27 per cent.

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