Sunday, 21 December 2014
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 RUS / Russia - Team Composition  
 
Team manager Makarov Sergey
Head coach Caprara Giovanni
Assistant coach Kirillova Irina
Doctor Fedorov Alexander
Therapist / trainer Prut Sergey
Journalist
 
No. Name Lastname Shirt Name Birthdate Height Weight Spike Block Club
1 Maria Borisenko Borodakova 8/03/1986 190 80 301 297 Dinamo-Kazan
3   Natalia Alimova Alimova 9/12/1978 192 78 315 308 Leningradka
4 Olga Fateeva Fateeva 4/05/1984 190 72 310 303 Atom
5   Liubov Shashkova Sokolova 4/12/1977 192 72 315 307 Dinamo Krasnodar
6 Elena Godina Godina 17/09/1977 196 72 317 310 Dinamo
8   Evgenia Estes Estes 17/07/1975 191 75 315 306 Uralochka-NTMK
11 Ekaterina Gamova Gamova-Mukasey 17/10/1980 202 80 321 310 Dinamo-Kazan
C 12   Marina Babeshina Sheshenina 26/06/1985 181 62 291 289 Uralochka-NTMK
L 14 Ekaterina Ulanova Ulanova 5/08/1986 172 61 298 290 Dinamo-Kazan
15   Alexandra Pasynkova Pasynkova 14/04/1987 190 75 313 305 Dinamo Krasnodar
16 Iuliia Merkulova Merkulova 17/02/1984 202 75 317 308 Dinamo Krasnodar
18   Marina Akulova Akulova 13/12/1985 181 70 303 290 Omichka
 C=Captain  L=Libero
Team Profile Coach Profile

If statistics are any guide to Women’s Volleyball, Russia -- and, before, the Soviet Union -- have to be the greatest team ever. They have won four Olympic golds (1968, 1972, 1980, 1988) and five Olympic silvers (1964, 1976, 1992, 2000, 2004), five FIVB World Championship titles (1952, 1956, 1960, 1970, 1990, 2006), three FIVB World Grand Prix titles, one World Cup and numerous gold medals in the European Championships.

Things have not been going so well for the Russians, however, since that last World Championship win in 2006.

The Russians, who looked so awe-inspiring in winning the 2006 gold in Tokyo, surprisingly missed out on the medals at the 2007 World Grand Prix by finishing fourth.

They had flashes of brilliance, notably an epic five-set win against Brazil that was a repeat of the 2006 worlds final. But it was from the sublime to the sorry and the Russian capitulated in straight sets against China.

Russia also missed out on the FIVB World Cup for the second straight time in 2007 after finishing third at the European Championship.

The biggest shock, though, was when the Russians were unable to finish in the top four of the European Qualification Tournament for the World Grand Prix, missing out on a place in the 2008 tournament.

This prolonged absence from international FIVB competition means it is difficult to judge the Russians' chances.

They still have a number of tall, lean and formidable players who have been the trademarks of a team that has dominated over the years.

The lethal Ekaterina Gamova, who stands at an incredible 202 cm, Yulia Merkulova (also 202 cm) and Elena Godina are perhaps the best illustration of Russia's potency and demonstrates the hurdle, both physical and psychological, that other teams must overcome when opposing this team.

The last time Russia won Olympic gold was in Seoul in 1988 and 20 years is a long time for a team of Russia's stature. In the meantime, the likes of Cuba and Brazil have emerged and at times overshadowed the Russians but it would be foolish to rule out the Russians in Beijing.

Italian Giovanni Caprara has had success as a Head Coach at Club and National Team level. He debuted as a coach in the 1998-99 season, when he worked as a second coach in Bergamo, assisting in the team winning the Italian Super Cup, the European Champion's League and the Italian Championships. In his second year at the club, he won the Italian Super Cup and European Champion's League titles.

For the 2000-01 season, he worked as Head Coach in Reggio Calabria (A1) taking first place in the Italian Super Cup, the Italian Cup and the Italian Championships.

He moved to Sassuolo (A2) for the 2001-02 season, taking the team from 13th place in December 2001 to fourth place in May 2002, with the team winning the play-off. He was named Best Coach of A2 that year.

From 2003-05, he was Head Coach for Bergamo (A1) and took first place in the CEV Cup, Italian Championships, Italian Super Cup and Italian Cup.

In 2005, after the Italian Championships had finished, he began his career as Head Coach for the Russian Women's National Team.
 
His first major tournament was the 2005 European Championships, where he led the team to the bronze medal.

In 2006, his Russian team took second place in World Grand Prix Final and successfully passed through the qualification tournament in Varna, Bulgaria, in first place for the 2007 World Grand Prix.

Undoubtedly the best result of his career was when he guided his charges to World Championship glory in 2006 in Japan.

In 2007 Caprara and his team took fourth place in 2007 World Grand Prix but unfortunately didn't qualify for the 2008 edition.

In the 2007 European Championship, his team took third place which meant Russia wouldn't appear in the FIVB World Cup that year. Things got better for Caprara in 2008, though, when he guided Russia to victory in the European Olympic Qualification Tournament.