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Alexandrov Returns to Russia
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Alexandrov lends a hand to Natalia Kalinina at the 1990 Goodwill Games

Former Soviet women's head coach Alexander Alexandrov will take over as head coach of the Russian women's team after 15 years in the United States.

Alexandrov's return should boost the struggling Russian team, former pupil Svetlana Boginskaya said Wednesday.

"It will take some time," Boginskaya told IG. "He is a great coach and strong leader."

Alexandrov will be the new head coach of the Russian women's team, taking over for Viktor Gavrichenkov.

Alexandrov was the personal coach of gymnastics legend Dmitry Bilozerchev, who won the 1983 world all-around title at age 16. In January 1989, Alexandrov was named head coach of the Soviet women's team, which won gold at the 1989 and 1991 Worlds, and the 1992 Olympic Games.

He moved to the U.S. in 1993, and has coached at several clubs in Texas. At Karolyi's Gymnastics and Brown's Gymnastics in Houston, he used his expertise to build basics in young gymnasts who went on to international fame, including Dominique Moceanu and Carly Patterson.

Boginskaya, a three-time Olympian and 1989 world all-around champion, called Alexandrov her favorite coach, and said she expects him to have an impact again in Russia. The Russian women had a disappointing Olympic Games in Beijing, placing fourth as a team and winning no individual medals.

"First he will work on finding a team of right people for the national coaching staff and bringing back the discipline and the respect of coaches and gymnasts," said Boginskaya, who also lives in Houston. "It will not be easy, but he has been there before and he knows what it takes to get back on top."

External Link: Russian Gymnastics Federation

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