The course for victory: the Russian women’s basketball team fight for the championship

© RIA Novosti / Alexei Filippoupolitis in fotobabble. Archival photoThe course for victory: the Russian women’s basketball team fight for the championship© RIA Novosti / Alexei Filippoupolitis the image Bank

The Russian basketball players fight for the medals of the European championship, which will take place from 16 to 25 June in the Czech Republic. The Russians last won the tournament in 2011, is determined to compete not only for highest honours, but also for a ticket to the 2018 world Cup.

The format of the tournament this year changed. Instead of two group rounds will now be only one. The winners of each of the four groups will enter the quarter finals directly, the teams ranked second and third place, will compete for spots in this stage in the supplemental round on the flight. The group stage matches for a place in the quarter-finals will take place in Prague and Hradec Kralove. All the other games in the playoffs will be held in the Czech capital.

For the world Cup, which will take place in September 2018, in Spain, will be released five best teams in the championship of Europe without taking into account the result of the hosts of the tournament – the Spanish.

The Russian team got the draw in the Quartet, which many experts have already called «group of death». Rivals of the Russian team became the teams from Montenegro, Belgium and Latvia. All four teams the last years usually came in the playoffs, have a good strength, and can boast players who have status in Europe of the stars. A favorite of the group looks like the Russian team, which in comparison with the championship of Europe-2015 is visibly rejuvenated.

A course for rejuvenation

After a victory on CHE-2011 Russian women’s basketball team for the first time in a long period failed to enter the top three at the Olympic games and at Eurobasket 2013, they failed to overcome even the group stage, whereby the Russians were left without world championship-2014. The European championship-2015 was successful for the Russian team more successfully – 6-th place, but this result left the Russian team behind the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro- our women’s team for the first time in history failed to qualify for the Games.

In 2015, the team was headed by Alexander Vasin, who had extensive experience with young talented players in the suburban «Sparta & K», and the national team headed for rejuvenation. One of the main stars of the team is 18-year-old center Fadeeva Maria, who last season became the winner of Euroleague in the composition of Dynamo Kursk. In a bid for Eurobasket 2017 also includes 21-year-old Ksenia Levchenko, 19-year-old Raisa Musina, 21-year-old Josseline Maiga and 24-year-old Ksenia Tikhonenko.

In addition to the Russian team experienced Evgenia Belyakova, Elena beglova, Epiphanny Prince, Natalya Zhedik, Elena Kirillova, Maria Cherepanova and Natalia Vieru. Without a doubt, a place in the team would be guaranteed to Tatyana vidmer, but she got injured in one of the previous European championship tournaments, and the Czech Republic did not go.

Russians among favorites

On the eve of the tournament, the Russians played eight friendlies in which he suffered only one defeat in the match against Greece. Russian team beat their amidzic in the fight for a place at the 2016 Olympic games Turkish women, as well as Italians, Belgians, Hungarians, Ukrainians and Belarusians. «There is a positive feeling from a job well done, from the fact that at the stage of preparation made the maximum», — summed up the results of the preparatory phase for the European Championships Vasin.

Among the favorites of Eurobasket traditionally included Spanish, French and Serbian, however, the national team of Russia experts name among the contenders for the medal and even win. «I would say that the Russian national team in the Eurobasket should take place first to third, to get medals. Frankly, in Europe, I’m not seeing such a good part in our team. The girls all played a lot in their clubs, this is very important, and played at the highest level. We have a great chance to get into the medal zone, and even victory will not be a surprise, it will be a decent performance worthy of the national team», — said the Agency «R-Sport» former head coach of the national team Boris Sokolovsky, under whose leadership victory was won at the European championship-2011.

«We want to return to those positions that the team had told «R-Sport» basketball player Natalia Zhedik. — We’re working on it. I hope this year we get to show that Russia is back. Naturally, we set a goal to compete at the European Championships, it is not even discussed. We are ready to fight for medals of the highest quality. We will fight to the end.»

The first opponent of Russian team will be the team of Latvia.