Irina Voronkova, spiker, is daughter of the new coach of men’s national team, Andrey Voronkov. “My father didn’t force me to become a volleyball player” she says “in fact at the beginning I started with basketball but then I tried volleyball and I preferred it. I was born in Turkey because my father was playing there, so I started my career there, but now I play for Dinamo Kazan in Russia.”
Ksenija Ilchenko has a famous mother (Irina Smirnova Ilchenko) who played with URSS national team and won two Olympic medals in a row (gold in Seul 1988 and silver in Barcelona 1992), instead. “I began a volleyball player because of my mother, of course, I grew up watching her matches, so it was quite an easy choice.”
She reveals “Since I started, my mother always followed me. She sits in the stands and suggests me how to play: it’s like I have two coaches, one on the court and one at home”.
She explains “My dream is to become a double Olympic champions like her, or to do better, if possible!” she says “Of course my idol and my hero is her, I hope to become a great player as she was.”
The third Russian star of the team is Irina Fetisova, middle blocker: she has also a famous sportsman at home, but he is not connected to volleyball. Her father is Andrej Fetisov, basketball player with a great career in Europe and with the national team.
“In fact I started with basketball, but then I tried volleyball because I didn’t like it too much.”
She explains “I liked volleyball, instead, but I didn’t think about a professional career as him, simply I played well and now I hope to improve as much as I can to play with the senior national team one day.
To read more news from this competition click on Junior World Championship 2013.