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Russia's judo head coach, Ezio Gamba (Ria Novosti / Alexey Danichev)

Italian coach Ezio Gamba, who led Russian judokas to their best ever Olympic display in London's 2012 Games, will continue to helm the country’s men's squad.

The Russian men dominated the judo events in the British capital, winning three golds, a silver and a bronze medal.

Under Gamba’s leadership, Russia returned to the Olympic podium after 32 years of absence.

As an athlete, the Italian took part in four consecutive Summer Games, claiming the gold for lightweight judo in Moscow's 1980 Olympics.

The board meeting of the Russian Judo Federation also announced that Anatoly Rakhlin will continue heading the women’s team until at least the end of the year.

The female squad couldn’t match the men’s London success, however, returning home without a single medal in the bag.

Italy′s Ezio Gamba, Olympic judo champion (L) at the 22nd Summer Olympics in Moscow. (RIA Novosti / Vladimir Rodionov)
Italy's Ezio Gamba, Olympic judo champion (L) at the 22nd Summer Olympics in Moscow. (RIA Novosti /
Vladimir Rodionov)
SOURCE: rt.com

Judo-Gamba accepts Putin's offer to remain Russia coach

Oct 1 (Reuters) - Italian Ezio Gamba will stay as chief coach of the Russian judo team until the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro after agreeing to extend his contract with the national federation on Monday.

"We've discussed it for some time but it has become official - now I'll coach both the men's and women's teams for the next four years," Gamba, 53, told reporters during the Russian national championships in the Siberian city of Kemerovo.

Since being appointed coach of the men's team shortly after the 2008 Beijing Olympics, where Russia failed to claim a single medal, Gamba has overhauled the national team set-up, helping the Russian men to win five medals, three of them gold, in London this year.

One of the most memorable sights of the Olympic tournament was that of an ecstatic Russian President Vladimir Putin, himself a black belt judoka, embracing Tagir Khaibulaev after he won his country's third gold in the 100kg weight class.

"Two weeks ago Vladimir Putin asked me to train the girls also," said Gamba, who won a judo gold for Italy at the 1980 Moscow Olympics.

"I will try to re-build their programme as well. I think the Russian women could win at least three medals in Rio in 2016." (Reporting by Marina Maiorova; writing by Gennady Fyodorov; Editing by Clare Fallon)

SOURCE: reuters.com

Head coach of the Russian national men's judo team, Italian Ezio Gamba will be training the women’s national team as well in the next Olympic cycle.

In the next two weeks, he will be presenting a training plan for the teams.

Gamba has announced plans of revamping the coaching staff of the women's team, although he will be holding on to experts who went through the previous Olympic cycle.

Ezio Gamba, 1980 Olympic champion, led the Russian men's team to three gold, one bronze and one silver award at the Games in London, which surprised even the skeptics.


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