London 2012

Press release

“Poland was always a really tough opponent team for us” says Russia coach Vladimir Alekno

Russia coach Vladimir Alekno talking to the press in Earls Court mixed zone after the match

London, Great Britain, August 8, 2012 – At the end of the match which granted the Olympic semifinal, Russia Maxim Mikhaylov said: "We are really glad to beat such a strong opponent as Poland. They played well tonight but probably they just made more mistakes than we did. Improving? We are thinking about how we are playing and we do our best. What will be will be."

"We tried to play well, we lacked arguments. The Russians played well, they served strongly. We were weaker, we lacked the ability to play and attack" said Poland Zbigniew Bartman. "It is very disappointing and we return home even more disappointed."

Poland coach, the Italian Andrea Anastasi, confesses his surprise. "We wanted to get to the final. But today we had a problem. Our serve, in particular, was not good. We did not play our best volleyball and they had a good day. Through the tournament we were one game good, one game bad. We have a lot of younger players here and they have had a big experience. We've developed a lot over the last two years and I think we are future world champions."

Russia coach Vladimir Alekno was smiling at the end of the match: "The quarterfinal is always the most difficult game. Either you continue, or you are knocked out from the competition. There was a certain psychological pressure on my players and I cannot say that we totally coped with it. Poland have shown fantastic volleyball at the group stage, especially in the game against Italy. We are glad to overcome these opponents because they played so well in this year's World League and in other competitions. They were always really tough opponents for us."

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