Kazan, Russia, July 30, 2014 - Though she had announced she
would quit the national team straight after a dramatic quarterfinal match at
the London 2012 Olympic Games where Russia lost to Brazil after failing to
capitalise on a series of match balls, Ekaterina Gamova recently changed her
mind and accepted the invitation by head coach Yuriy Marichev to come back and
represent again Russia on the international stage.
The news made the front page of many newspapers and websites in Russia since two-time world champion Gamova is by far one of the most successful and decorated players in history.
“Well, I have to admit that last May I had categorically ruled out my return to the national team,” Gamova said, “This was totally out of discussion until I received a phone call from our coach. Yuriy Marichev called me and he proposed that I would return to the national team and play at the World Championship in Italy. I thanked him, and explained that I was being caught by surprise. I would evaluate his proposal and call back once I have made up my mind. I shared my thoughts with the club in Kazan and also with my family. After three days where I consulted the people that are closest to me, I decided to give it a go.”
Gamova was not really considering pros and cons for her return to the national team, she was actually more worried she would be in shape by the time the World Championship gets underway.
“That was my main concern but our coach said that we have plenty of time and that there won’t be any problems at this level,” Gamova explained.
Gamova had announced she wanted to enjoy a relaxing summer but her plans have changed since.
“Actually I resumed training already at the beginning of this month, going to the gym for some workouts, even though I have been trying to relax and chill out as much as possible,” Gamova added.
The Russian star does not go too far ahead with her plans.
“I am not thinking about the future.” Gamova said. “I have decided to come back and to play for Russia at the World Championship this year and that’s it for the time being.”
There seems to be some unfinished business after the major shock they suffered at the London 2012 Olympics but Gamova did not want this to be the reason for her return.
“I do not want to put it this way. I just want to play to win, defend the honour of our country as well as the World Championship titles that we won in 2006 and 2010.”
Though she is already a two-time world champion, Gamova does not lack any motivation in this sense.
“Motivation is not a problem at all,” Gamova said.
Many things have changed in the national team since she announced her intention to quit it.
“I have followed the Montreux Volley Masters and some matches of the Yeltsin Cup. There are many young players on the team, especially if you compare its current roster with 2012. However, this is only the impression you get at a first glance. The core of the team is still there and as strong as it was in the past.”
Gamova went to Italy a couple of weeks ago to cheer on the men’s national team that ended up in a disappointing fifth place at the World League Finals.
“We had a good time in Italy but it is a pity that our men did not make the final. It was disappointing and frankly speaking I was very upset.”
With her comeback Gamova will most probably replace somebody who has been on the starting six lately.
“Anything can happen. I just want to avoid this situation because I really want to play. However, it is down to the coach to decide who will play in the end and I am ready to cope with any scenario.”
She also stressed that she does not want to be named the captain of the team.
“I have been, though shortly, the captain of Dinamo but this is, in general, a role that I do not like.”