As much as 29 players were initially summoned for the very first stage of the Russia national team preparations for the World Championship in Italy and Bulgaria (September 9-30).
Now, when “Zbornaya” moved to train in the city of Novogorsk for the second stage of the preparations, the head coach Sergey Shlyapnikov shortened the group to 19 players. Setters Igor Kobzar and Pavel Pankov, opposites Konstantin Bakun and Romanas Shkulyavichus, middle blockers Igor Filippov and Inal Tavasiev, outside hitters Yaroslav Podlesnykh and Aleksandr Markin, as well as liberos Roman Martyniuk and Artem Zelenkov, were crossed out.
Great news for the Russian fans is that a legendary libero Aleksey Verbov ended his retirement from international volleyball, which he announced at the end of the 2016 Rio Olympics, and will compete for the place in the 14-man roster for the World Champs!
In mid-August, Russia will play two test matches with Bulgaria and from August 24 to 28, they will take part in the Wagner Memorial in Krakow, Poland, in which they will play Canada, France, and Poland. In the group stage of the World Championship, the reigning European champions will face the USA, Serbia, Australia, Tunisia, and Cameroon.
Russia national team preliminary list:
Setters: Aleksandr Butko (Zenit Kazan), Sergey Grankin (Dinamo Moscow), Dmitriy Kovalev (Ural).
Opposites: Pavel Kruglov (Dinamo Moscow), Maksim Mikhailov (Zenit Kazan), Viktor Poletaev (Kuzbass).
Middle blockers: Ilya Vlasov (Dinamo Moscow), Artem Volvich (Zenit Kazan), Ilyas Kurkaev (Lokomotiv), Dmitriy Muserskiy (Belogorie).
Outside hitters: Yuriy Berezhko (Dinamo Moscow), Dmitriy Volkov (Fakel), Egor Kliuka (Fakel), Anton Karpukhov (Kuzbass), Aleksey Rodichev (Lokomotiv), Kirill Ursov (Surgut).
Liberos: Aleksey Verbov (Zenit Kazan), Aleksey Kabeshov (Nova), Aleksandr Sokolov (Yaroslavich).
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Give them the gold medal right now!
The Russian men’s team got stronger with the addition of Verbov and Butko, agreed with Pierre give them the gold