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There are victories that can be called legendary, symbolic. In the recent Russian history there are such triumphs as World Hockey Championship-2008 in Canada, European Basketball Championship-2007, volleyball result at London Olympics-2012, handball performance at Sydney Olympics-2000…

The victory of women’s handball national team at Rio Olympic Games-2016 is undoubtedly in line with legendary-symbolic ones. Yes, probably it is too soon to realize its greatness, memories and emotions are still too vivid. But it’s no reason to wait years and anniversaries! The Handball Federation of Russia reasonably decided to strike while the iron (meaning “gold”) is hot and organized a special gala-match in tribute to our winners.

Over the weekend the stars of national handball of different age, men and women got together in Sport Complex CSKA – the teams under the code names “USSR” and “Russia”, together with our new handball heroes – the current Olympic champions. The captains who really played on-field were Deputy Prime-Minister, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the HFR Dmitry Rogozin and President of the Handball Federation of Russia Sergey Shishkarev.

We have to confess that the festival has gone down a storm. Numerous spectators witnessed an outstanding pre-match light show, beautiful game played by the renowned masters of handball. We were able to enjoy the spectacular saves by the best goalkeeper of the XX century and the only three-times handball Olympic champion Andrey Lavrov, the killer shots by bombardier Aleksandr Tuchkin directed at defense of Dmitry Torgovanov, the dramatic passing play of Andrey Tumentsev and Lev Voronin…And of course, our golden Rio medalists kept up (and often surpassed) the male players.

The team “Russia” headed by the coach of our Olympic champions Evgeny Trefilov was leading during the major part of the match. More experienced and titled team “USSR” didn’t seem to mind. However, in the second time, as if remembering that they’re keeping score, the team “USSR” evened up the score. At the same time the backstroke of “Russia” let little hope for the final even score – usual for such matches: one minute to the end of the game “Russia” was leading 5 points…

Fortunately, Trefilov and his charges know how to handle much harder tasks. In the end they were able to “organize” the tie – 37:37! In friendly game friendship won and of course handball. Simple, easily accessible and at the same time beautiful and physically hard ball game. Thanks to the triumph of our women’s team at the Olympics, handball made happy millions of our fellow countrymen.

Handball is very interesting and intellectual kind of sport, – said Deputy Prime-Minister, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the HFR Dmitry Rogozin. – It cannot be compared with football where you sit and wait for a goal, in handball every second counts. I hope that spectators and participants enjoyed the today’s game. I was happy to see the warmth between our players, for them such meetings are real happiness, I guess even more than a meeting of classmates.

– We had a real handball holiday, – said President of the Handball Federation of Russia Sergey Shishkarev. – Players of different age and different champion periods…I’m glad that the arena was full. We showed that handball lives and we have a right to expect full house at Russian championship and League of Champions.

Source – “Rossiyskaya Gazeta”, 03.10.16