Andrei Lavrov: “Our Handball players have character, but we should not relax”

Russian team won the second match at  the World Women’s Handball Championship, held in Denmark. This time Eugeniy Trefilov’s team was stronger than the team of Spain – London Olympic bronze medalist. The match, held in Frederikshavn ended with a 28-26 victory to the Russian team, who after two victories took the lead in their group.

Andrey Lavrov, First Vice-President of the Handball Federation of Russia and a three-time Olympic champion shared his impressions from the start of the main tournament of the season with the ROC Information service.

– Our team showed the will to win in both matches with Norwegian and with Spanish teams. The girls fought to the end and in both cases they achieved a decisive advantage in the last minutes of the game. That’s what I liked most. Previously the team had problems with psychological resistance. I can remember how at the last year’s European Championships we lost the match, that was all but in the bag, to the Spanish team. And now, vice versa, in spite of the mistakes, we are turning the situation in our favor.

– What are the components the team still has to improve?

– The team should get into the game from the start. Until we master it we will continue playing a catch-up role. In playoff, it can cost us dearly. In the first match we succeeded in the attack and in the second match we were good in defense. Now we have to strike a balance.

– For many young Anna Vyakhireva became a  revelation. She scored 15 goals in matches against Norway and Spain.

– This handball player has long been spoken about. Anya was noticeable when she played at junior level, but there were fears that in the adult Handball she may have problems with stamina. I think that coaches were absolutely right to give her time to get stronger. Now Vyahireva is ready for very serious examination. Now she is a very high-class athlete.

– Can you single out somebody else in our team at the end of two rounds?

– Irina Bliznova. Yesterday she showed herself a real leader having scored several important goals in a difficult situation. I am very pleased that the Ira could return to her level after all her injuries.

The next match will take place today, December 8. Russian team will play against the outsider group – Puerto Rico team. The match will start at 6pm Moscow time.