OTTAWA - The gauntlet has been dropped.
Russian ambassador Georgiy Mamedov warned Team Canada this week not to expect a repeat of Russia's crushing quarter-final defeat by the men's hockey team in Vancouver's 2010 games.
And he promised Russia will give Canada a run for its money during the Sochi Winter Olympics in February.
The Canadian team wiped the ice with the Russians with a decisive 7-3 victory four years ago. Russia never made it to the podium. Canada won Olympic gold.
Mamedov admits he's still smarting from the defeat.
“I'm quite confident we'll get a gold in hockey, and I only hope that you'll make it to the finals,” he quipped Friday.
The ambassador did praise Canadian athletes for their strong showing in Vancouver - they came third in overall medal count and top for gold - and said he expects they'll make their country proud in Russia next year.
“The only sport I will vehemently wish you failure is hockey,” he said.