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RUS - Eighteen candidates gather for U19 Women training camp
MOSCOW (FIBA U19 World Championship for Women) - Russian head coach Elena Shulzhenko has welcomed 18 players to a training camp on the outskirts of Moscow this week, as their preparations for this summer's FIBA U19 World Championship for Women in Lithuania begins in earnest.
Primarily made up of the same team which firstly attained gold medal success at the U16 European Championship together in Greece back in 2010, there are plenty of players who can have a big impact this summer.
The core of the team reached the Final of the U18 European Championship in Romania last summer, but had to settle for a silver medal after just being edged out in a nail-biting finale to the tournament.
One of the players who often catches the eye with her work under the basket is Albina Razheva. She racked up 12.4 points and 7.3 rebounds per game in Bucharest and was one of the standout players as she made the All-Tournament Team.
However, the list doesn't include the influential and do-it-all small forward Alexandra Marchenkova, who also gained individual recognition after averaging 10.9 points, 7.7 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game.
It's likely she may be occupied with the U20 European Championship in Samsun, Turkey which takes place just before the action tips off in Lithuania.
The highly-rated Julia Gladkova is included and she has experience of competing at the global level, having represented Russia at the inaugural FIBA U17 World Championship for Women three year ago in Toulouse, France.
She has also been earmarked by Sparta&K M.R. Vidnoje as someone who could make a decisive breakthrough at club level in the Russian PBL and Euroleague Women over the next couple of seasons.
Russia will initially face Brazil, Serbia and South Korea and the clash with Serbia could be particularly intense, since the Russians beat their rivals in the U18 European semi-final last year - thanks to 20 points from Zhanna Byazrova who is also likely to line up in Klaipeda.
Russia U19 Women 18-player roster for training camp: Polina Sych (UMMC Ekaterinburg), Daria Levchenko (UMMC Ekaterinburg), Yulia Sorokina (UMMC Ekaterinburg), Anna Shchetina (Dynamo Kursk), Polina Fedorova (Gloria Moscow), Ekaterina Ryabova (Dynamo Moscow), Albina Razheva (Yunost Penza), Irina Makhrova (Victoria-Saratov), Liudmila Khmeleva (Yunost Penza), Albina Khamitova (Zyryanochka Syktyvkar), Maria Matvienko (Enisey DYUBL Krasnoyarsk), Ekaterina Safonova (MBA Moscow), ViktoriIa Edomakha (Enisey DYUBL Krasnoyarsk) Zhanna Byazrova (Enisey Krasnoyarsk), Natalia Grishkevich (Enisey Krasnoyarsk), Olga Novikova (Dynamo Moscow), Julia Gladkova (Sparta&K M.R. Vidnoje), Yuliya Chaykovskaya (Dynamo GUVD).