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Putin 'Disappointed' by Crushing Hockey Defeat to U.S.

President Vladimir Putin is disappointed by Russia's 8-3 hammering by the United States in the quarterfinals of the world hockey championships, despite not watching the game, his spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Friday.

The defeat was Russia's heaviest loss ever at the world championships and comes nine months before the country hosts its first-ever Winter Olympics in Sochi, with mounting pressure for a gold medal on home ice.

"He didn't watch the hockey. He had talks with South African President [Jacob] Zuma, but he was disappointed," Peskov said.

Russia won last year's world championships, after which Putin praised the team as a "well-calibrated machine" and was presented with a puck from the tournament by coach Zinetula Bilyaletdinov.

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