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Russia Predicted to Place 3rd at Olympics

Tatiana Bazyuk, right, and Svetlana Shnitko, center, of Russia’s Olympic sailing team arriving Monday in London. Paul Hackett

As a first wave of athletes, officials and media poured into London for the Olympics on Monday, a U.S. study predicted that Russia would place third at the games.

The Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth released a study that calculates Russia’s team will receive 67 medals at the games that begin July 27.

The United States will place first with 103 medals, followed by 94 for China, according to the study, whose predictions have been accurate in the past.

The numbers are all fewer than those nations produced at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, when Russia placed third with 72 medals, including 23 gold. The United States topped the table that year with 110 medals, followed by Beijing with 100.

London’s Heathrow Airport usually handles 100,000 to 110,000 arrivals a day, but that was expected to swell to 120,000 on Monday, many of them Olympic VIPs. Another big arrival day will be July 25, two days before the opening ceremony.

"We have spent seven years preparing for the Games' challenge. Now we are putting that planning into action with thousands of extra staff and volunteers on hand to welcome the world to London," said Nick Cole, head of Heathrow's Olympic operations.

Athletes from 50 nations will touch down at Heathrow Airport in what is being described as Britain's biggest peacetime transport challenge.

Among the Russians who arrived Monday was the Russian Olympic sailing team led by coach Sergei Kuzovov.

Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev cautioned Russian athletes to focus on training rather than "fooling around" at lavish parties and cultural events in London, RIA-Novosti reported.

"Why should the athletes go out and about?" Medvedev asked Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak, who is overseeing Russia’s Olympic preparations, at a meeting at his Gorki residence. "They must train.”

Kozak promised to "regulate it all."

The London Olympics start July 27 and end Aug. 12.

(MT, AP)

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