“After the game if was difficult to hold the tears of joy and pride for Russia as I heard our anthem.”
A year removed from Eduard Romanov’s winning goal in the final game at London 2012 to push the team to the top of the podium, Russia are looking for an extra source of energy.
The team is coming off a bronze-medal finish at August’s CPISRA Intercontinental Cup in Barcelona, Spain, where they qualified for the 2015 World Championships. But they are just barely holding onto their world No. 1 ranking, sitting two points ahead of Paralympic silver medallists Ukraine.
Brazil are in third, followed the Netherlands in fourth.
With the road to Rio 2016 for Russia having begun this year at the Intercontinental Cup, they would like to mirror their outcome from 2012 at the next Games.
“These were the happiest seconds, too difficult to describe,” said Ramonov previously told Paralympic.org in regards to the London 2012 gold-medal match.
“Then, I did not know yet that this (score) was final. We were prepared for tense and hard final.”
It was in the 44th minute of the game that Romanov sprinted to reach a high ball over the top of the Ukrainian defence. With great technique and skill, he buried his shot into the bottom corner with a fine finish.
Ukraine kept driving forward to try and find an equaliser to force extra-time but Russia held on for the all-important victory. At the final whistle, they piled on top of each other to celebrate their first gold medal since Sydney 2000 – one of the best celebrations at all of London 2012.
“After the game if was difficult to hold the tears of joy and pride for Russia as I heard our anthem,” Ramanov said. “I felt great happiness and joy.
“The stadium was great and I liked the entire atmosphere. It was great to see tribunes full of people. I felt a lot support from our fans.”
Within the next three years, Ramanov and his teammates will do everything in their power to hear their anthem again come Rio 2016.