Russian Junior Under-20 Team
July 15, 2013 2 Comments
The Russian under-20s team is preparing for the junior world championships to be held 12-18 August 2013 in Szombathely, Hungary. Last year they came fifth at the European championships for this age group. The preparation work is definitely very intensive and the athletes are working hard. The upcoming WC promises to be interesting as there will be many strong participants, including from Australia and the USA. Some players are either already members of their countries’ national squads or will be making them in the near future.
As а part of the preparation, the Russian Federation sent these juniors to the Qualification stage tournament for the senior European championships to be held Hungary in 2014. The Russians won it having beaten the National sides of Portugal, the Check Republic and Poland, and drawing with Slovenia 6-all after leading 6:3 in the third period.
This round was held in a Polish town of Gorzow Wielkopolski and I felt a bit nostalgic and sentimental as this is where my international water polo career started 38 years ago. At the age of 15, I came to this place as a member of the Soviet under-17s team – that was my very first journey abroad. Here, in 1975, we took part in an annual tournament called ‘Friendship’. Those were good events in which the youngsters from former ‘socialist’ countries – USSR, Hungary, Poland, Cuba, Czechoslovakia and Bulgaria – participated and gained their first international experiences. I took part in two such tournaments – the second was in Bulgaria in 1976 – but those are different stories.