Latvia earns fourth and final silver medal

Latvia’s time at the Summer Olympics in Athens has come to an end, but not before earning one more medal. Vadims Vasiļevskis threw the javelin 84.95 meters Aug. 28 to earn the silver medal, Latvia’s fourth in these Olympics.

Vasiļevskis, who had the honor of carrying Latvia’s flag during the opening ceremonies, also scored a personal best in the event, according to the official Athens 2004 Web site. His first throw of six was his best.

Vasiļevskis was one of two Latvians in the men’s javelin throw final, in which a total of 12 athletes competed. The other was Ēriks Rags, who finished in seventh place. His best throw was 83.14 meters.

The gold medal in the event went to Norway’s Andreas Thorkildsen, who tossed the javelin 86.50 meters.

The event was a disappointment for world record holder Jan Zelezny of the Czech Republic. He finished ninth overall, his best throw landing at 80.59 meters, nearly 18 meters short of his record.

Latvia’s other three silver medals were earned by gymnast Jevgeņijs Saproņenko in the vault, weightlifter Viktors Ščerbatihs and modern pentathalon athlete Jeļena Rubļevska. The Latvian government is expected to pay up to LVL 50,000 to each athlete who earned a silver medal.

For a compilation of Latvia’s performance in the Summer Olympics, visit the special section of Latvians Online found here.

Andris Straumanis is a special correspondent for and a co-founder of Latvians Online. From 2000–2012 he was editor of the website.

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