Azerbaijan Volleyball History-Nostalgie!


  • Even while volleyball originated in the distant land of America, it has been over 60 years since this popular game was adopted in Azerbaijan and started to attract more and more people every year. In the 1930's our volleyball's level was highly recognized in the former USSR. Among the athletes defending the honor of our sport in those years were volleyball players Boyukkishi Muradov and Ivan Dyachkov. Ivan Dyachkov played the key role in the development of Azerbaijani volleyball in 1946-1947 years. Under his supervision, Azerbaijani men's volleyball team frequently gained victories in the 1950's. With the boost of the interest in volleyball n the country in 1950's a number of very strong volleyball players emerged in Azerbaijan. They were drafted to the USSR teams and participated at the European and World Championships. There was an Azerbaijani volleyball player in the staff of the USSR team ranked 3rd at the World Championship in Paris in 1956. Two years later, our volleyball player Ogtay Agayev won the bronze at the European Championship.



    In 1957 teams of 16 republics (Karelia being the 16th) as well as Moscow and Leningrad (Saint Petersburg) teams competed against each other at the USSR Cup event. In the final game the Moscow team with 7 members of the USSR team in its staff met the Azerbaijani team. In a very tense struggle our players defeated the Muscovites with the final score of 3:2 and won the Cup. The coach of the Azerbaijani team Ivan Dyachkov worked in Cuba for many years and made great contribution to the development of volleyball in this country.
    Coach Shamil Shamkhalov made great efforts for the development of the women's volleyball in Azerbaijan. In 1956 six students of Shamkhalov won the USSR Youths championship. Three years later Shamil muallim went to Moscow with boys' and girls' teams to participate at the All-union School Spartakiad. Both teams won the championship. In 1962 18-years old Inna Riskal was drafted to the USSR team to participate at the World Championship. With the only loss to the Japanese the team ranked 2nd. Inna, who became one of the key players in the USSR team participated in four Olympiads and captured two gold medals and two silver medals.



    Another Azerbaijani volleyball player Vera Lantratova won the Olympiad in 1972. Vera Lantratova and Inna Riskal, being members of the USSR team, often participated at the World and European Championships, winning various titles. Inna Riskal was considered one of the three strongest woman volleyball players of the century.
    At the beginning of the 1960's two Azerbaijani women's teams, "Neftchi" and "Mahsul" participated at the USSR Championship. In the outstanding year for Azerbaijani sport, 1966, the national women's volleyball team, like our football team, won the USSR Championship bronze medal.
    After the appointment to the position of chief coach in 1986 Faig Garayev laid the foundation for the restoration of women's volleyball in Azerbaijan. A year after, our team entered the major league. Ranked 9th in 1989 and 3rd in 1990 the team won its first awards. The women from Baku won the last USSR Championship in 1991.



    In 1992-1993 the team participated at European Top-Team Cup competitions as an independent nation's team and took the 2nd place. Azerbaijani team ranked 1st at the 1993 Bulgaria World Championship elimination stage, won the "Bahar" cup in Rumania in 1994, and ranked 9th at the same year's World Championship thus joining the list of the world's 10 strongest women's teams.Azerbaijan was the 3rd team in Europe and 9th in the World! Our team finished that World Championship in front of the teams like Italy,Ukraine,the Netherlands,,Peru,Romania.





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  • Inna Ryskal – “Caspian Thunderstorm”


    Inna Ryskal – “Caspian Thunderstorm”

    • Name: Inna Riskal (Ryskal)
    • Date of birth: 15.06.1944
    • Birth place: Baku,Azerbaijan
    • Nationality: Azerbaijan (USSR NT member)
    • Club: Neftchi Baku (Neftyannik Baku) Azerbaijan
    • Coach: Shamil Shamhkalov (Azeri SSR NT coach)


    Achievements:


    National Team:


    • 1968 - Olympic champion (USSR)
    • 1972 - Olympic champion (USSR)
    • 1964 - Olympic Silver Medal (USSR)
    • 1976- Olympic Silver Medal (USSR)
    • 1970 - World Champion (USSR)
    • 1962 - World Championship Silver (USSR)
    • 1974 - World Championship Silver (USSR)
    • 1973 - World CUP Champion (USSR)
    • 1963 -European Champion (USSR)
    • 1967 -European Champion (USSR)
    • 1971 -European Champion (USSR)
    • 1966 - European Champion (Junior Team)
    • 1967- USSR Nations Cup Silver (SSR Azerbaijan NT)
    • 1967- USSR Championship Silver (SSR Azerbaijan NT)
    • 1976- USSR Champion (SSR Azerbaijan NT)


    • Club Neftchi Baku:


    • 1966 –USSR Championship bronze
    • 1972- USSR Championship bronze



    Inducted as a Player 2000
    Inna Ryskal was born in 15 June,1944 in Baku, Azerbaijan SSR. She had a long and eventful career with the women's National Team of the former USSR. She played in four Olympiads and brought home four medals, two silver and two gold. No other volleyball player in the world has matched these accomplishments.
    Ryskal started playing volleyball in her hometown Baku, along with track and field athletics, at the age of 12. Coached by Shamil Shamkhalov, later coach of the Azerbaijan SSR Women's National Team, she found that volleyball was her destiny. In 1960 at the age of 15 she was invited to play with the Women's Junior National Team. She moved up to the Women's National Team in 1961 and played with the National Team through the 1976 Olympic Games.
    The Russian strategy was based on pure power and Ryskal was the power hitter of the team, earning her the nickname "Caspian Thunderstorm". A practiced and dependable player who would consistently overpower her opponents, she played in countless International Tournaments. The results were consistent too, with the team taking first place in her very first tournament in 1961, and going on to many more over her years on the National Team.
    She won gold medals at the European Championships in 1963, 1967 and 1971. She won silver medals at the World Championships in 1962 and 1974, a gold medal in 1970 and also won a gold medal at the World Cup in 1973. However, her greatest accomplishment was four consecutive appearances at the Olympics Games in 1964, 1968, 1972 and 1976. During that span, she won four consecutive medals - silver in 1964, gold in 1968, gold in 1972 and silver in 1976.
    Ryskal was awarded the titles of Master of Sports in 1962, Master of Sports of International Class in 1965 and Honored Master of Sports in 1968. She was also awarded the Medal for Labor Valor and Order of the Red Banner of Labor by the USSR. She retired in 1978 from the National Team to work with sports organizations, serving as Director of the Sports Palace "Yantar" and then President of the Sports Club.
    Inna Ryskal is being inducted into the Volleyball Hall of Fame for an outstanding career and record as a volleyball player.

  • Vera Lantratova



    Name: Vera Stepanovna Lantratova
    Date of birth: 11.05.1947
    Birth place: Baku,Azerbaijan
    Nationality: Azerbaijan (USSR NT member)
    Club: Neftchi Baku (Neftyannik Baku) Azerbaijan
    Coach: Shamil Shamhkalov (Azeri SSR NT coach)


    Achievements:

    National Team:


    1968 -Olympic champion (USSR)
    1970 - World Champion (USSR)
    1967 -European Champion (USSR)
    1966 - European Champion (Junior Team)
    1967- USSR Nations Cup Silver (SSR Azerbaijan NT)
    1967- USSR Championship Silver (SSR Azerbaijan NT)


    Club Neftchi Baku:


    1966 –USSR Championship bronze
    1972- USSR Championship bronze