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Volleyball is now being taken more seriously in Russia
Vice president of the Russian Volleyball Federation Valentin Zhukov believes the game's status in the country is rapidly changing. Twenty-five years ago, Zhukov said, standard volleyball players who trained on sand between seasons found that they could jump 10-15 cm higher on returning to hard volleyball courts. At the time, beach volleyball was not an Olympic sport and was, therefore, not given much attention in the Soviet Union. Beach volleyball players can now win Olympic medals for their country, and television stations are showing an increasing interest in the sport, so the situation is fundamentally changing, Zhukov said. The Volleyball Federation's vice president in charge of beach volleyball is Gennadi Shipulin, the former national captain, who led his team to win the World League in 2002. The Russian beach volleyball team's results have been improving. On the men's side, Roman Arkayev and Dmitri Barsuk have seen significant success internationally, as has the women's pair Alexandra Shiryayeva and Natalia Uryadova. The final of the Russian beach volleyball championships will take place in Moscow at the Luzhniki Olympic center. The finals of the European Championship will also be held at Luzhniki August 25-28
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