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Russia’s Znarok steps down as coach of ‘Red Machine’ for 2018 IIHF World Championship

April 12, 20:33 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Russian national ice hockey team’s Head Coach Oleg Znarok, who led his country’s team this year to the first Olympic gold in 26 years, has temporarily stepped down

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© Mikhail Japaridze/TASS

MOSCOW, April 12. /TASS/. Russian national ice hockey team’s Head Coach Oleg Znarok, who led his country’s team this year to the first Olympic gold in 26 years, has temporarily stepped down, Russian Ice Hockey Federation (RIHF) President Vladislav Tretiak said on Thursday.

Ilya Vorobyov was appointed the acting head coach of the team for the 2018 IIHF (International Ice Hockey Federation) World Championship, set for May 4-20 in Denmark’s Copenhagen and Herning. Znarok will stay with the team for the championship, but in the capacity of a consultant.

"Znarok has done a lot for us winning the Olympic Games and the World Championship," Tretiak, who was reelected today as the RIHF president for another four-year term, told journalists.

"He (Znarok) is currently a bit tired as he had been under a heavy psychological strain both with (his KHL club) SKA and the national team," Tretiak said. "This is why the RIHF decided to appoint Vorobyov as interim coach and Znarok will be the team’s consultant at this championship."

Znarok, 55, took over the Russian national ice hockey team as the head coach after the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi with the main goal to win the gold of the 2018 Olympics in PyeongChang and this is what the team of Olympic Athletes from Russia (OAR) exactly did in February.

Besides the 2018 Olympic gold, Znarok led the so-called Red Machine to four IIHF World Championships medals, namely gold in 2014, silver in 2015 and bronze in 2016 and 2017.

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