Russian coach Alekno to lead Iran at Tokyo 2020


Lausanne, Switzerland, November 19, 2020 – Russian coach Vladimir Alekno was named Iran men’s national team head coach on Wednesday.

The former Russian national team mentor was selected among a number of candidate coaches, including Daniel Castellani, Andrea Giani, Ferdinando De Giorgi and Lorenzo Bernardi.

The 53-year-old coach who led Russia to victory at the London 2012 Olympic Games will succeed Serbian coach Igor Kolakovic, who vacated the position in March.

Alekno will now lead the reigning Asian champions at the 2021 FIVB Volleyball Nations League and at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, where Iran are grouped with hosts Japan, Poland, Italy, Canada and Venezuela in Pool A. The other pool comprises of Brazil, USA, Russia, Argentina, France and Tunisia.

Alekno was born on December 4, 1966 in Belarus. He started playing at the age of ten and went on to study at a sports college in Minsk.

His volleyball career as a player included stints at SKA Minsk, CSKA Moscow, Bulgaria’s Levski, Italy’s Asti and Spoletto and France’s Cannes and Tours, where he later coached from 1999-2004. He currently coaches Russian club Zenit Kazan.

He coached the Russian national team over several periods, and led the team to two Olympic medals (gold at London 2012 and bronze at Beijing 2008) and to gold medal victories at the FIVB Volleyball World League and FIVB Volleyball World Cup in 2011.