Team Profile

 

 
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1964-2000
 

RUS/RUSSIA 

The Soviet Union became an FIVB member in 1948 and started to participate in international competitions from the following year to establish themselves as one of the most successful Volleyball nations ever.

The team was victorious in the very first World Championship in Czechoslovakia in 1949 and claimed another five world titles in the following decades: 1952 in the Soviet Union, 1960 in Brazil, 1962 again in the Soviet Union, 1978 in Italy and 1982 in Argentina. Besides that, they placed second three times, including at the last World Championship in Argentina where they suffered a final match loss to Brazil in what turned out to be a rerun of the final contested 20 years before.

The team also retains a fantastic record at the Olympic Games, triumphing three times – in Tokyo (1964), Mexico City (1968) and Moscow (1980). They also finished second on three occasions.

Other numerous honours attained by the Russians include 12 European Championship titles and five World Cup triumphs. They have also been attacking the podium of the World League since its inception, claiming both the silver and the bronze three times before grabbing gold in Brazil in 2002, depriving the host country of the title in a dramatic final.

It was a well-deserved title for the Russians, who, led by Pavel Abramov, Alexei Koulechov and Vadim Khamouttskikh at the top of individual standings, proved too powerful for the rest of the elite teams.

The Russian ‘Bear’ arrives in Athens as holders of the silver medal at the 2000 Olympic Games and there is much expected of the 2004 Russian team at the 2004 edition, yet a lack of good form on the international stage could be detrimental to their chances.