Russian Volleyball Federation general director Andrei Gorbenko believes that the young Russian pair of Maria Bocharova and Maria Voronina will take their talents to Tokyo 2020.
Bocharova and Voronina recently won gold in beach volleyball at the Summer Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, Argentina this past October, sparking Gorbenko’s comments.
“They counted on medals of any value, they pinned great hopes on them,” Gorbenko said to championat.com. “Our girls have already achieved a lot. Won the World and European Championships in their age and even among the older ones. The first place, we are very pleased.”
Prior to their win at the Youth Olympic Games the pair won the U19 World Championships held in Nanjing, China this past July. They defeated the Dutch team 2-1 in order to secure the victory.
They weren’t able to translate their success to senior international competition yet however. At the Beach Volleyball European Championships also in July of this year, the team was unable to win a match, finishing fourth in Pool H with three losses.
At the U22 European Championships they advanced to the quarterfinals where they were defeated by another Russian pair.
“In two years they will have every chance to ignite at the Olympic Games in Tokyo,” said Gorbenko. “For this, you first need to win international competition. It all depends on the athletes themselves, how well they will work at the time that remains to Tokyo.”