Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, July 26, 2016 – If Russia are to make a run at Olympic Gold in Rio, they will need their talismanic scorer Nataliya Goncharova to be firing on all cylinders.
Competing at a second Olympics after forming part of the team that fell short of the mark with a fifth-place finish at London 2012, Goncharova comes to Rio as the brunt of Russia’s offensive game.
Born in the Ukrainian town of Skole in 1989, her first taste of international volleyball was for her native Ukraine as they took gold at the 2006 Women’s Junior European Championship with Goncharova earning the MVP award in the process.
But it is her exploits for Russia that have seen her become one of the world’s top attacking forces, debuting in 2010 and winning a gold medal at the FIVB World Championship that year. She has also won two gold medals at the European Championships, in 2013 and 2015. After moving from the Ukraine in 2007 she joined the club of Dinamo Moscow and has been playing there since, winning national titles in 2009 and 2016.