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Austrian Biathlon Organizers Apologize For Russian Anthem Mix-Up


The biathlon world championships are taking place in Hochfilzen, Austria.

The biathlon world championships are taking place in Hochfilzen, Austria.

Organizers of the biathlon world championships in Hochfilzen, Austria, played an outdated Russian national anthem, leading a Russian television commentator to rush to the stage and sing the correct version himself.

Organizers of the February 18 event later apologized for playing a previous version of Russia’s national anthem -- the one used from 1991 to 2000 under former President Boris Yeltsin.

President Vladimir Putin, in 2000, restored the music of the old Soviet anthem together with new lyrics.

The incident in Austria occurred during the medal ceremony after the Russian team of Aleksei Volkov, Maksim Tsvetkov, Anton Babikov, and Anton Shipulin defeated France to win the gold.

As the wrong anthem tune was being played, television commentator Dmitry Guberniyev came to the stage, grabbed the microphone from the presenter, and started singing the correct version.

He then handed the mic to the Russian athletes, who finished the song themselves without music.

The embarrassing incident followed a similar slip-up at a U.S.-German Fed Cup tennis match in Hawaii last week.

There, a soloist sang an old version of the German anthem that begins "Deutschland, Deutschland uber alles" -- a reference to German supremacy and a segment of the song that was eliminated after World War II.

Organizers also apologized to the German team for the mix-up.

Based on reporting by AFP and dpa
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