Menu WL


MWC2007 Home
GO to Women
Competition Info
Match Info
LIVE Scorebox
Best Players
TV Schedule
Previous Editions

Press releases
From Russia eight-love

Russian Pavel Abramov in action
Tokyo, Japan, November 29, 2007.- Most teams at the World Cup would be satisfied – not to say delighted -- with a podium finish to qualify for the 2008 Olympic Games.
 Not Russia.
 But Russia is not like most teams – and with a perfect 8-0 win-loss record heading into the final phase there is only one thing on their minds: Gold.
 “All we need is to play like a team, to concentrate and at the same time feel relaxed and enjoy the game,” says team member Pavel Abramov.
 “Until now, with a 100 per cent record, we are satisfied with the performance of the team – but we can improve.”
 After two rest days, the World Cup resumes on Friday. Russia leads the standings at 8-0, followed by Brazil (7-1), Bulgaria (6-2) and the United States (6-2), with only the top three qualifying for the Beijing Olympics.
 Russia will complete their schedule against Bulgaria on Friday, Brazil on Saturday and USA on Sunday – a situation Abramov describes as “like a playoff”.
 He also feels there is room for improvement in the Russian team despite the fact they have dropped only one set during those eight victories.
 “Sometimes the opponent was not so strong for us and it is hard to give 100 per cent in these matches, but when our team played against a strong opponent like Spain or Puerto Rico I think we played good – against Spain very good. But still I believe we can improve.”
 Speaking after a team practice on Thursday afternoon, Abramov adds: “The mood is good but now our opponents will be stronger than we are used to playing against here in this tournament. Tomorrow (Friday) is Bulgaria. Lately we played good against them and the last matches we were able to get the victory. I believe and I hope that tomorrow it will stay the same.
 “After that we play against Brazil and USA. These three matches are very important for us. It is like a playoff or something.
“These matches are always hard for our team, so this time I believe that we have a big chance to take the gold medal.”
 The chief characteristics of the Russian play are the fireball serves, a mighty block and one of the best liberos in the business in Alexey Verbov. This explosive cocktail has blown away all-comers to date, notably European champions Spain, and intimidated some with its relentless power and precision.
 Abramov adds: “Many teams are afraid of our team and many players are frightened of our block, for example. I know that -- but not all the teams, unfortunately.
 “I believe that Bulgaria and USA have something of this kind, they find something frightening about us, because lately we played good against them.
 “Against Brazil we lost all our last matches and we need a victory, so I really hope it will be the first victory for many years.”
 Apart from the fearsome serving, spiking and blocking, another notable aspect of the team is the changing mood of the players: one minute deadly serious in keeping with the stereotype image of the former Soviet Union sports machines, the next laughing and joking around.
 “Now it is different,” says Abramov. “Playing with stone faces…now it is not about all our team. We have really funny guys on the court like Verbov, for example, and of course that makes the public like us more and this is good for us. We have some players that play with a stone face but it is up to every player.
 “Now I think the behaviour on the court has changed and we can play emotionally, we can smile or show our disappointment with something; it is not like it was in the Soviet Union. It has changed.”
 What has not changed is the World Cup form of Russia and before that the Soviet Union – five gold medals in eight previous appearances and in pole position for a sixth come Sunday.


More press releases
05.12.2007 "Rising Son" Gottsu is the World Cup’s rising star  
02.12.2007 FIVB Volleyball World Cup 2007: Gold medal for Brazil, qualified for Beijing Olympics with Russia and Bulgaria  
01.12.2007 FIVB Volleyball World Cup 2007: Brazil qualified for Beijing Olympic Games  
30.11.2007 FIVB Volleyball World Cup 2007: Bulgaria stops Russia, 4 teams vie for 3 Olympic berths  
29.11.2007 Aussie coach names his podium picks  
28.11.2007 FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Cup 2007: Tokyo will close the event on Sunday  
27.11.2007 FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Cup 2007: Top teams prepare for Tokyo showdown  
26.11.2007 FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Cup 2007: Russia and Brazil stay on top, looking for Beijing  
25.11.2007 FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Cup 2007: Russia crushes Spain and still leads  
24.11.2007 FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Cup 2007: Head Coaches facing the 3rd Round  
23.11.2007 FIVB Volleyball World Cup 2007: a big TV success. Record breaker market share, 500 hours of coverage and a potential audience of 1/15 of the planet  
23.11.2007 FIVB Volleyball World Cup 2007: Brazil is here to stay, as Russia remains undefeated. The 3rd round will be staged in Fukuoka and Okayama.  
22.11.2007 FIVB Volleyball World Cup 2007: USA end Bulgaria’s winning streak  
20.11.2007 FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Cup 2007: Bulgaria and Russia undefeated. 2nd Round will be staged in Hiroshima and Toyama  
19.11.2007 FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Cup 2007: Puerto Rico stunned USA  
18.11.2007 FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Cup 2007: USA beat 3-0 Brazil and Tunisia got rid of Japan  
17.11.2007 FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Cup 2007 ready to start tomorrow in Japan. 12 teams competing for three Olympic berths  
30.10.2007 FIVB World Cup: 12 men’s team fighting in Japan for the first Olympic entries  
02.10.2007 FIVB World Cup 2007: drawing of lots in Tokyo  
02.10.2007 Brazil to open World Cup defence against USA  
25.09.2007 FIVB World Cup 2007: the Men’s 12 entries are completed. Wild cards for Bulgaria and Korea  
23.09.2007 USA Men Captured NORCECA Gold Against Puerto Rico  
23.09.2007 2007 Men's African Nations Championship: second consecutive victory and a World Cup place for Egypt  
16.09.2007 Spain surprisingly claim 2007 Indesit European Championship title and will play in the World Cup  
13.09.2007 World Cup 2007: Vabo chan attracts the crowds  
10.09.2007 FIVB World Cup 2007: Japan, Australia and Brazil in the entry list  
10.09.2007 Brazil wins South American Championship, a ticket for the World Cups  
09.09.2007 Australia wins title, Thailand beats Japan at Asian Men’s Volleyball Championship  
04.09.2007 FIVB World Cups 2007: a first Olympic step  
24.07.2007 Fuji TV stages 100-day countdown to World Cup