The Slovakian leg of the 2015 Winter Universiade came to a close today, with the Russian team once again rising to the top of the podium in Štrbské Pleso.
Competition at the other Slovakian venue of Orsible had drawn to a close yesterday, but two outstanding events were to be completed at Štrbské Pleso prior to the Closing Ceremony taking place.
First of which was a men's 30 kilometres cross-country skiing mass start, with Russian expected to dominate the competition again, and they duly did, with five of their six athletes occupying the top five positions at the finish.
The winner proved to be Andrey Larkov, who claimed his third gold medal of the Universiade, ahead of Raul Shakirzianov and Artem Nikoleav, in second and third repectively.
"The race was good, it was sunny and snow was also good," saidLarkov.
"We spread our strength so that we could last till the end and I am very happy with the result.
"I focused on this race since it is my speciality and I am really happy that I won the gold medal," Larkov said.
Attention turned to the spectacle of the men's team ski jumping competition, which would bring Slovakia's hosting to a close and once again the Russia team took the spoils.
Their team of Evgeniy Klimov, Makhail Maksimohkin and Ilmir Hazedinov secured 723.2 points, to finish ahead of their nearest rivals Japan who took silver, with Poland earning bronze.
Russia have dominated competition at the Slovakian venues and will head to Granada in Spain for the next leg of these Games at the top of the medals table having secured 14 gold, 12 silver and 13 bronze medals, with Kazakhstan's some way off in second with three gold and two silver medals.
The Closing Ceremony saw First Vice-President of the International University Sports Federation (FISU), Oleg Marystin, praise the Slovakian Organising Committee in a speech stating "the tremendous work you have achieved in a short period of time has delivered high-level games, and we would like to thank you for your professionalism and enthusiasm".
He added: "Much has been achieved, great excitement and marvellous victories.
"We congratulate all our student-athletes on their high-level performances during those games, which have offered us delightful and thrilling moments.
"You all give a wonderful image of what sport and studies together can bring to our society and we wish you all the best and every success in your sports career, your studies and your life in general."
In Slovakia, 31 countries were represented by 658 participants, with 388 student-athletes representing 174 universities.
The second part of the 27th Winter Universiade is due to begin in Granada on February 4 with another Opening Ceremony, and will stage competition in Alpine skiing, curling, figure skating, freestyle skiing, ice hockey, speed skating and snowboarding events, until February 14.
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