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Evgenia Artamonova - Fearless and Fearsome for Russia

Russian tour de force Evgenia Artamonova is perhaps the best evidence of Russian coach Nikolai Karpol's claim that Russians are pre-programmed by their speed, agility and build to be exceptional Volleyball players. 

Discovered at just eight-years-old in 1982, she has gone on to become one of the great talents of the Russian side. "Zhenja" has become one of the most fearsome outside hitters in international competition. 

Artamonova, who wears the shirt number 8 and a towering 191 cm, has learnt to use her elevation and reach skills to perfection and observers say that she makes contact with the ball, perhaps higher than any other player.

Her impressive list of achievements includes two Olympic silver medals (1992 and 2000), one World Championship silver and one bronze and four European Championship titles. She has also collected a bunch of personal awards for Most Valuable Player and Best Attacker in international tournaments. 

At the 2002 World Grand Prix she was voted MVP as well as finishing third in the top scorer ranking.