Bodniyeva takes over as head coach of Russian women
The Russian women’s national team will head into the EHF EURO 2022 qualifiers with a new coach.
Two weeks before the start of the qualifiers in October, the Russian federation has appointed former player Lyudmila Bodniyeva as head coach, replacing Alexei Alekseev whose contract expired last month.
Bodniyeva is the first female head coach of the national team. She worked as an assistant to Alekseev at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, where Russia won the silver medal.
“Our priority was the appointment of a coach who knows European handball and the trends in the development of the sport. Lyudmila Bodniyeva meets these requirements,” said the president of the Russian handball federation, Sergey Shishkarev.
“She has performed in Europe for a long time, has an interesting and successful coaching experience. In Tokyo, Bodniyeva made a significant contribution to our Olympic silver.”
Bodniyeva said she was “grateful” for getting the chance to lead the team.
“I am sure that the potential of the current players of the national team, and those girls who replace them, allows the team to claim the highest places in European and world handball," she said.
As line player, Bodniyeva helped Russia win world title twice
As a line player, Bodniyeva helped Russia win the world title in 2001 in Italy and again in 2005 at their home tournament, where she was awarded MVP. She also won bronze and silver at the European Championships in 2000 and 2006, respectively, and made the All-star Team on numerous occasions.
On club level, Bodniyeva first played 10 years for Aqva Volvograd in Russia before joining Krim in Slovenia in 2003, where she ended her career in 2013.
Bodniyeva remained a familiar face on handball courts across Europe after her retirement, working as an EHF delegate. She recently joined the coaching staff of Russian champions CSKA.
Bodniyeva will lead the Russian national team for the first time at the EHF EURO 2022 qualifiers against Switzerland on 6 October and Lithuania three days later.
In December, Russia will compete at the World Championship 2021 in Spain, where they meet Cameroon, Serbia, and Poland in the preliminary round.
Photo Lyudmila Bodniyeva courtesy of Handball Federation of Russia