Former Soviet Water Polo Player and Russian Coach Aleksandr Kabanov Dies

Former Soviet water polo player and coach Aleksandr Kabanov died on June 30 at the age of 72. 

Kabanov represented the Soviet Union at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich and the 1980 Olympic Games in Berlin, being one of only 4 water polo players to ever win two Olympic gold medals for the country. 

He also won two gold medals as a member of the Soviet Union’s team at the World Championships in both 1975 and 1982. 

Overall, he competed for 19 years playing in over 432 games for the Soviet Union’s National Team. 

After his career as a player, Kabanov became a coach for the Soviet Union’s men’s national team until the country was dissolved in 1992. He later served as the head coach of the Russian men’s National Team from 1994 – 1996 and 2000 – 2006 and of the Russian Women’s National Team from 2009-2013. 

During that run, he coached the men’s team to an Olympic silver medal in 2000 and a bronze medal in 2004, along with several world championships bronze medals in 1986, 1994, and 2001. 

Kabanov is the third most-decorated water polo player and coach in Olympic history with his 4 medals coming behind only Dezso Gyarmati and Ratko Rudic. 

For his contributions to the sport, Kabanov was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 2001. 

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