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20.10.2016, 12:16
Daria Dmitrieva: Russia’s rising handball star
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EHF EURO Key Players: Daria Dmitrieva only turned 21 two months ago, but young age has not prevented her from becoming one of Russia’s stars set to shine brightly at the Women’s EHF EURO 2016
 

Daria Dmitrieva: Russia’s rising handball star

Daria Dmitrieva’s first match in Russia’s senior women’s national team took place not even two years ago. But from the moment she stepped on the court in Russia’s opener at the EHF EURO 2014, her rise to the top has been unstoppable.

Handball experts watching her play already call her “the player who decides the game” and the team’s “true playmaker”.

“She has a very strong shot and she is tactically well trained. I feel comfortable when I play with her in a team. She's really a good player,” says Russian international Anna Vyahireva.

Even though Dmitrieva’s career seems to have sky-rocketed over the past two years, there is little surprise in it if one looks at more years than just the period between 2014 and 2016.

Winning gold at all levels

Daria Dmitrieva started to play handball when she was seven years old in her native town Tolyatti. When she was 16, she was nominated for the first time for Russia’s under 17 national team. In the four years she played for Russia’s youth and junior teams, she won the younger age category EHF EURO events in 2011 and 2013 as well as silver at the World Championships in 2012 and 2014.

The skills she showed during those years were enough for Russia head coach Evgeny Trefilov to nominate Dmitrieva for the EHF EURO 2014 in Hungary and Croatia, and the first match proved his decision right.

Dmitrieva scored seven goals against Hungary, became her team’s best scorer and the “Player of the Match” – ever since she is a shoo-in at the Russian national team.

Her importance was underlined was once more when she was named the All-star centre back at the Rio 2016 Olympics at which Russia won gold.

“One of Daria's most important qualities is that she is very skilled in both defence and attack,” says Trefilov.

“She is quite a versatile player who has a lot of experience also as right back, a position she can play very well if necessary.  Perhaps she is a bit too straightforward as a playmaker right now, but I think this will settle with age.”

A “talented child” for decisive games.

Dmitrieva is not afraid to take on responsibility, no matter the importance of the match. Actually: the more important, the better for her.

One example: In the Olympic Games semi-final against Norway, Dmitrieva was suspended for two minutes just 37 seconds into the match. But she pulled herself together  and played one of her career’s best matches, scoring seven goals.  

“She wants to win every time and everywhere. She always wants to achieve the maximum. I can see this on court that she always wants to show the best she can,” says Trefilov.

But despite the fact Dmitrieva played a key role in Russia’s golden campaign at the Olympic Games, Trefilov still calls her a “talented child”.

“She is only just starting her career. Daria already shows a good game, but I think she can make progress in many aspects, it is necessary to keep moving forward. I will help her in this,” says Trefilov.

"Furthermore, she has a good character. I think it is very important for a professional athlete. She is not arrogant, she is friendly, a modest girl. I hope she will keep it and will remain like this in the future.”


TEXT: Filipp Kolotushkin / ts
 
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