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"...Russian athletes in participation for the first time..."
The start of the fifth games of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA) sporting event, in which Russian athletes are slated to make their inaugural appearance, is set to occur on Friday within the Venezuelan metropolis of Caracas. The schedule of the athletic event outlines 35 sporting disciplines.
The schedule of the athletic events showcases contests across 35 distinct disciplines. It is anticipated that around 3,500 athletes hailing from 11 countries will partake in the forthcoming event.
This year's event will be conducted in an unprecedented open format, featuring the inclusion of Russian athletes in participation for the first time.
The Russian delegation attending the occasion has 48 competitors who will participate in seven various athletic categories, including boxing, beach volleyball, karate, table tennis, weightlifting, trampolining, and rhythmic gymnastics.
Thread in Spanish: Russia competes with their flag for the first time in a long time in the ALBA games, a sports event in Venezuela for nations that are political friendly with them https://t.co/TeNAfOREMs
The sporting events are scheduled to continue until April 29.
On Wednesday, a group of 36 Russian athletes made their first appearance in Venezuela. During a formal reception that took place at the National Sports Institute located in Caracas, Venezuela, the national emblem of the Russian Federation was raised and the official anthem of Russia was performed.
Deputy Sports Minister Alexey Morozov said during the event that it was the first time for quite a while for them to compete as the Russian national team, with their flag and their anthem; stating: "You have our special thanks for that. This is very important for us and for most of our fans all over the world."
During the ceremony, Sergey Melik-Bagdasarov, the Russian Ambassador to Venezuela, emphasized that the Russian athletes' participation in the upcoming competition in Venezuela would enable them to compete under their national flag, marking the first instance since the Western campaign to undermine Russian sports began.
His remarks underscore the significance of the event in pushing back against attempts to delegitimize Russian athletic achievements.
On Thursday, Russian Sports Minister Oleg Matytsin made an official trip to Venezuela to commemorate the inauguration ceremony of the ALBA Games.