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MOSCOW, April 19 (Itar-Tass) — Boris Gromov, the governor of the Moscow region, has awarded the Sparta & K women’s basketball team from the town of Vidnoye with an honorary badge “For Contribution to the Development of the Moscow Region.”
The meeting took place at a sport palace in Vidnoye on Wednesday. It was built in 2004 on the governor’s initiative and is one of the best sport palaces in Russia and even in Europe.
“I am very proud that we have such an outstanding team. I will continue coming to your games to support you,” Gromov said, addressing the players and coaches.
“The creation of a powerful basketball club in Vidnoye has made hundreds of boys and girls crazy about the sport,” Gromov told ltar-Tass.
“Every year the club’s sport section enrolls new members. Excellent conditions have been created for basketball. It’s pleasant to train in this atmosphere. It’s important that people have their favorite pastime,” Gromov emphasized.
Anna Arkhipova von Kalmanovic, the general director of the Spartak & K club, presented a gift to Boris Gromov on behalf of the team: a tee-shirt with the governor’s name, a photo album and sport attributes.
Russian basketball players have good prospects for this year summer Olympics.
Russian Women’s Basketball team will do its best to win the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London, Boris Sokolovsky, the national team’s head coach, told a news conference on Wednesday held one hundred and one days ahead of the Olympic start in London.
“We are occupying the third position in the world ratings after the United States and Australia. Naturally, our goals are high. If you are not set to win, you won’t succeed,” Sokolovsky went on to say.
The head coach said that several athletes had “fallen out of the race” because of injuries. Maria Stepanova is suffering from a knee injury, Yekaterina Osipova has undergone an arm surgery, Lyudmila Sapova is healing a tendon and Marina Karpunina is recovering from a serious fracture.
“Despite the fact that our national team has thinned out, we have many talented basketball players in reserve,” Sokolvosky went on to say.
“The only trouble is that they lack game practice and don’t have the experience of playing top-level matches. That is why we’ve decided to revive old practices and set up a reserve national team. They will start training on May 10,” the head coach emphasized.
The main pre-Olympic training for the London Games starts in June when most players end their club seasons.
“The Russian national team has strong traditions. All the girls are committed to win. They play with rage and passion. I am sure that experience comes with practice when players are given a chance to play in top-level matches and demonstrate their skills on the playground. Top results are our aim at the Games,” Sokolovsky said in conclusion.