18/08/2017 11:41
Rising star Makroguzova sets sights on first ‘major’ medal at elite level
2017 CEV Beach Volleyball European Championship - Final

Jurmala, Latvia, August 18, 2017. Russia’s Nadezda Makroguzova is without a doubt one of the world’s most talented Beach Volleyball players among those born in the second half of the ‘90s. She is only 20 years old, but she has made a name of herself with an impressive record in age-group competitions – and earlier this season she added more accolades to her resume by taking gold at the U22 European Championship in Baden and silver at the U21 Worlds in Nanjing with Svetlana Kholomina.

Makroguzova is competing at the #EuroBeachVolley Final in Jurmala with her regular partner, Ekaterina Birlova, also known as Khomyakova. Together they won silver at this year’s Baden Masters in Austria and they are chasing a medal at the European Championship Final as well.

“Russia, like any other Federation, have made plans for the next Olympic cycle and as a result, we have been working hard with our focus being already on participation in the next Olympics in Tokyo,” Makroguzova said. “The intention and the plan is that I continue playing with Ekaterina and hopefully she can stay healthy until the next Olympics come.”

Nadezda, or Nadia if we choose to use her nickname, comes from a Volleyball family. “My father used to play Volleyball himself but he eventually could not fulfil his dreams in the sport. As a result, he started coaching his three daughters from a very young age and this is how we ended up playing the game. I am the middle one of three sisters; my elder sibling Ekaterina, unfortunately, did not make the cut for the national team but she currently plays in Russian competitions for our club. The younger one, on the other hand, whose name is Maria, has taken up Volleyball as well and is developing at a fast pace.”

Three sisters all playing Volleyball almost account for half a Volleyball team but Nadia knows she wants to focus solely on playing Beach Volleyball for now. “We always play to win and this tournament is not an exception to this rule and attitude. We came here to win a medal and hopefully we can make this happen,” she stated. 

Her current partner, Ekaterina Birlova, is a silver medallist from the 2015 #EuroBeachVolley with Evgenia Ukolova and has a wealth of experience playing at the highest level. “Ekaterina helps me a lot, especially from a psychological standpoint. It is truly an advantage to be playing with her because she knows so much about the sport and she can handle the most difficult situations. Of course, being younger, I am faster and physically stronger but she is a great partner to play with. I only wish she can stay healthy and we can further develop this partnership.”

Makroguzova acknowledges she has achieved much success in age-group competitions but playing at the senior level is a completely different story. “It has much to do with the mistakes you make. You will never see at this level the same kind of easy mistakes players are making for instance at an U22 championship. And if you make any such mistake at the elite level, you will pay a high price for it, because the opposition will punish you immediately.”

Nadia and Ekaterina remain on course for the medals on Majori beach following their 2-0 victory in Round 1 of the elimination stage over Lithuania’s Monika Povilaityte and Ieva Dumbauskaite. The Latvian crowd was obviously supportive of the team from their neighbouring country, but despite that, Makroguzova and Birlova survived a late scare in the second set to emerge victorious after cancelling three set points for their opponents… The young, humble, yet determined Nadia will now try to add another chapter to her success story when playing the highly competitive Swiss team comprising of Joana Heidrich and Anouk Vergé-Dépré.

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News nr. 9 of 25
18/08/2017 16:03:00
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17/08/2017 19:27:00
Home stars Graudina and Kravcenoka write fairy tale in Jurmala

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