The recent past saw a reasonably successful era for Russia under the reign of head coaches Oleg Kuleshov and Alexander Rymanov. At the World Championship 2013 they reached the quarter-final then finished ninth at the EHF EURO 2014 - their best position since 2006. However, when Russia finished 19th at the World Championship 2015, Kuleshov and Rymanov's time was over and former Olympic, world and European champions Dmitri Torgovanov and Lev Voronin took over.
With them at the helm Russia finished second in Group 5 in the 2016 qualification. And while he admits it being a tough task, Torgovanov will do everything in his power to steer Russia to the Olympic qualification by ranking well at the EHF EURO 2016. The team's stars include Timur Dibirov and Sergei Gorbok, who both play for HC Vardar.
The 30-year-old left back can arguably be regarded as a journeyman in the handball world. He was born in the Belarusian capital of Minsk where he learned the game of handball at local club Arkatron for which he played from 1994 to 2003.
What followed were stints with ZTR Zaporozhye in Ukraine, RK Celje in Slovenia, Rhein-Neckar Löwen in Germany and Chekhovskie Medvedi in Russia. Since the start of the 2014/15 season he plays for HC Vardar.
Gorbok, whose biggest asset is his large variety of shots, can look back at a very successful career in which he won the national championship at least once in all countries he played apart from Germany.
After having played for Belarus' national team until 2009, he assumed Russian citizenship and has been eligible to play for Russia since March 2012.
Just like Sergei Gorbok, Timur Dibirov plays for HC Vardar. When he joined the Macedonian club in 2013 it was only the second club he joined and the first one outside of Russia, as he had only been playing fro Chekhovskie Medvedi before. With the Russian side he reached the VELUX EHF FINAL4 in 2010.
Dibirov was voted best left wing and became part of the All-star team at the World Championship 2013 in Spain. He is a specialist for fast breaks and also a key player in the Russian defence.
Two weeks after the men’s team’s disappointing 19th rank at the World Championship 2015 in Qatar and the subsequent resignation of coaching duo Oleg Kuleshov and Alexander Rymanov, the Russian Handball Federation announced that former internationals Dmitry Torgovanov and Lev Voronin wpuld take over the team. Torgovanov assumed the head coach’s role, Voronin became his assistant.
As a player the 43-year-old Voronin was Olympic (2000), world (1997) and European Champion (1996). He also won silver at the World Championship 1999 and at the EHF EURO 2000.
Torgovanov, also 43 years old, became world champion in 1993 and 1997, European Champion in 1996 and Olympic champion in 2000. In 2009 Torgovanov, after he had been playing in Germany for more than a decade, returned to his home town to take over HC St. Petersburg as a coach.
Past Performance at EHF EURO Events