REGAINING FORMER GLORY
The French team has lost only one final of a World Championship in its history: in 1993 against Russia, which formed a formidable juggernaut, starting with Andrey Lavrov at the back. Dmitri Torgovanov, former enforcer for the team, led by coach Vladimir Maksimov, embodies this golden decade: double World Champion in 1993 and 1997, European Champion in 1996 and Olympic Champion in 2000, he now coaches a team that has lost its lustre. Crowned Olympic Champions four times (also in 1976, 1988 and 1992), Russia was absent from Rio, and again from London four years ago. It qualified for the 2017 World Championship with two great victories over Montenegro in the playoffs; it’s still not an easily-dismissed opponent. Because Russia, much like Germany, the recently crowned European champions, can always come back to the forefront. And with no warning.
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DID YOU KNOW?
Since they won the Olympic bronze medal at the Athens Olympics, Russia has disappeared from the international podiums. Now, 12 years on, the team no longer tortures its opponents. Their last results were very disappointing: 19th in the World Championship in Qatar in 2015 and 12th the Euro 2016 in Poland.
Stars of the World Championship : Dmitry Zhitnikov
COACH: Dimitri TORGOVANOV (Russia)