Latvia's Olympic hero to headline Russian Championship finals in Anapa
News from the National Federations
Anapa, Russia, September 7, 2012. The final stage of Russia’s Beach Volleyball Championship is set to run through this weekend hosted by the premises of “Volley Grad”, the ad-hoc training center established by the Russian Volleyball Federation in the small village of Vityazevo, Krasnodar Region.
The event is joined by 16 pairs per gender with the entry lists determined as per the results claimed by the players in the regional stage of the Russian Championship, in the various stops of the EEVZA Beach Volleyball Tour as well as per their FIVB ranking.
The “VC Obninsk” will have the largest contingent in the women’s tournament, with three duos registered as per the entry lists plus one additional pair having received a wild-card by the organizers. The winners of the EEVZA finals in Zelenogradsk, Ekaterina Khomyakova and Anna Vozakova, will try to retain their national title after competing at the London Olympics with different partners. Svetlana Popova and Maria Prokopieva (Bratkova) will have the chance to redeem for their disappointing performance in Zelenogradsk, and their club from the Moscow Region will be represented in Anapa by two more duos. There will be also a foreign guest, i.e. Austria’s Barbara Hansel, who will team up with Evgenia Ukolova. Hansel is a silver medalist from the 2011 European Championship and a well-known face from the World Tour where she has been competing for the past few seasons with Sara Montagnolli.
Latvian Martins Plavins will be the only foreign athlete competing in the men’s tournament. The bronze medalist from the London Olympics, winner of the FIVB Grand Slam in Stare Jablonki and of the EEVZA Tour finals in Zelenogradsk, will play once more together with Russian star Yury Bogatov. The home club in Anapa will be represented by Russian Olympians Konstantin Semenov and Sergei Prokopiev who lost the EEVZA finals to Plavins/Bogatov a couple of weeks ago in Zelenogradsk. Especially for this year’s finals of the Russian Championship the duo composed by Andrey Belov and Ruslan Dayanov will be back in action together. Belov spent the last year in the USA living and practicing there but will represent the VC from Mytisci in Anapa. The 2012 Russian junior national champions Maxim Zotov and Artyom Yarzutkin got a wild-card by the Federation and will be also among those to watch out for in Anapa.
The tournament starts with the Pool matches on Friday and the winners to be announced on Sunday will travel home with a check of 4,000 €.