The Russian Water Polo Federation Board appointed new head coaches of the male and female national teams.
Russian media report that the Presidium of the Federation dismissed Sergey Evstigneev (men’s head coach) and Alexander Gaidukov (women’s head coach) due to unsatisfactory results in the recent period.
Andrey Belofastov has been appointed as a head coach of Russia’s men, while Sergey Markoch will guide the Russian female national team.
Belofastov (52) won the bronze medal with the Unified Team (former USSR) at the 1992 Olympic Games, and bronze at the European Championships a year before. Playing for Jug Dubrovnik, he won the 2001 Champions League, while he clinched the LEN Trophy with Sintez Kazan in 2006. Several years ago, he coached SIntez. Until today, he was Gaidukov’s assistant coach in the staff of the female national team.
Sergey Markoch (58) won bronze Olympic medals in Seoul in 1988 and Barcelona in 1992, representing USSR and the Unified Team. From 1991 to 1995, he was the captain of the Russian national team. In the past few years, Markoch coached junior national teams of Russia. Two years ago, he led Russia to the gold medal at the World Women’s U20 Championships. The Russian U20 team, with Markoch on the bench, took 5th place at the recently finished World Championships in Israel.
Russia’s male national team hasn’t won a medal at major competitions in a long time. This year, the Russians finished 4th at the Olympic Qualification Tournament in Rotterdam. They lost to Croatia after a thrilling penalty shootout and failed to qualify for the Tokyo Games. The female national team won silver at the 2020 European Championships and finished 4th at the Tokyo Olympics.
The Russian ladies won an Olympic bronze in Rio 2016, guided by Gaidukov.