• Kazakh Balandin destroys ‘mankini’ myth with Rio gold


    RIO DE JANEIRO: Beefy Kazakh swimmer Dmitriy Balandin put the former Soviet state on the Olympic map by winning his country’s first gold medal in the sport. The 21-year-old, who resembles Dolph Lundgren’s character Ivan Drago in the movie Rocky IV, roared home from lane eight to win the men’s 200m breaststroke title, surprising even himself. Balandin produced a superb fightback after Japan’s fast-starting Yasuhiro Koseki had threatened to break the world record. Balandin’s victory brought Olympic credibility to Kazakhstan — once lampooned by the movie “Borat” and its bumbling main character squeezed into Soviet-era suits


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