2003 FIVB WORLD GRAND PRIX

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Russia - Nikolai Karpol

At 65-years-old Russian coach Nikolai Karpol is one of the most experienced international coaches in volleyball. He has been coaching the "Uralochka" team from Ekaterinburg since 1969 leading them to the Russian national championships 22 times, the national cup three times, the Cup of European Champions eight times and a Cup Winners of the European Countries triumph. An astonishing record, which has only been improved upon since he took over as head coach of the national Russian women's team for a second time in 1988.

Following a four-year stint from 1979-82 Karpol has been instrumental in Russia's success at the top level of international volleyball for the best part of the last two decades. His dedication and determination to expect nothing less than the best from his players has seen Russia create one of the most impressive and daunting international volleyball records in the last 20 years.

His CV includes gold medals at the 1980 and 1988 Olympics, another gold at the 1990 World Championship, World Grand Prix titles in 1997, 1999 and 2002, the World Grand Champion Cup in 1997 and 1999 and European Championship titles in 1979, 1989, 1991, 1993, 1997, 1999, 2001. This stunning record of achievement has been recognised by the FIVB on a number of occasions with his naming as the FIVB Coach of the Year in 1989 and 1991 and the best coach of the 1990 World Championship.

Those heady days are back a few years but Karpol has his youthful side still firing on all cylinders and with the World Grand Prix and World Cup looming in 2003 another addition to his CV won't surprise anyone.

Karpol Volleyball CV

Olympics Gold: 1980, 1988 Olympics Silver: 1992, 2000

World Championship Gold: 1990 World Championship Bronze: 1994, 1998, 2002

World Grand Prix 1st place: 1997, 1999, 2002, World Grand Prix 2nd place: 1998, 2000 World Grand Prix 3rd place: 1994, 1996

World Grand Champion Cup title: 1997, 1999

European Championship titles: 1979, 1989, 1991, 1993, 1997, 1999, 2001. European Championship 2nd place: 1991 European Championship 3rd place: 1995