RIGA (Olympics) - Elena Danilochkina didn’t just help Russia win the EuroBasket Women last year in Poland to qualify for the London Games.
She wrote her name in permanent ink in the history books of basketball in her homeland with one of the finest shooting performances of all time in the tournament.
The off guard, who turned 26 in January, made 54.5% (18 of 33) of her shots from behind the arc and buried 51.9% (40 of 77) of her attempts from the floor overall.
There were question marks about the Russian backcourt before the EuroBasket, but certainly not after.
Danilochkina emerged as the most dangerous shooter in the game and was justifiably named the EuroBasket Women MVP.
A year on from that memorable summer, Danilochkina is training with Russia before the London Games.
This will be the first time that she has played at the Olympics.
“In the team is a good working mood and the work is on schedule,” she says.
As part of their preparations, the Russian women have travelled to Latvia and while there, they are taking on Riga Medical University men’s team in friendly games.
“To me, there are no surprises,” she said of facing a men’s side.
“I've played a few games with men's teams before.
“It’s easy to get injured in these types of games, especially when men play rough.
“And yet in these games – it’s a nice game experience.”
In the first meeting on Tuesday, the Russians fell 72-68 and Danilochkina had a team-high 11 points.
Russia coach Boris Sokolovskiy said: “I think that the level of resistance, hardness, which we encountered in this game playing against the men's team will not be much different to the style of play that is typical for (women’s sides) Team USA and Australia.
“By the way, these teams often spar with men's teams,” he said.
“I can say that for us, this practice is not new.”