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Maxim Alexandrovich Opalev ( ; born 4 April 1979 in Volgogradmarker) is an athlete from Russiamarker, who competes in sprint canoeing. Competing in three Summer Olympics, he has won a complete set of medals in the C-1 500 m event (gold: 2008, silver: 2000, bronze: 2004).

Opalev's potential was evident when he won two gold medals as a sixteen-year-old at the 1995 World Junior Championships in Yamanashi, Japan. Competing against opponents two years older than hinself he won the C-2 1000m title (with Konstantin Fomichev) as well as the C-4 500 m gold. At the next edition of the world junior championships, in Lahtimarker, Finland, in 1997, Opalev won the C-1 1000 m title.

At the ICF Canoe Sprint World Championships, Opalev has won 20 medals between 1997 and 2007. This includes eleven golds (C-1 200 m: 1999, 2002, 2003; C-1 500 m: 1998, 1999, 2001, 2002, 2006; C-1 1000 m: 1999, C-4 200 m: 2002, 2005), six silvers (C-1 200 m: 2001, 2005, 2007; C-1 500 m: 2003, C-1 1000 m: 2002, C-4 1000 m: 1997), and three bronzes (C-1 500 m: 2005, C-1 1000 m: 2003, C-4 200 m: 2001). Opalev also won two more medals at the 2003 world championships in Gainesville, Georgiamarker, United Statesmarker with golds in the C-4 200 m and C-4 500 m events, but were stripped of those medals when teammate Sergey Ulegin failed a doping test.


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