Alexander Ovsyannikov, head coach of both Russian teams, commented on the upcoming tournament:
“Both our teams are going to the European Championship with good attitudes and great expectations to win gold medals. Our plans are based on what our level is. Our athletes had a very productive preparation process, competing on several international tournaments and showing very high level of performance.
Just before leaving to Budapest, our men played three friendly matches with Iran in Aleksin, Tula Oblast. Iran has a very strong team, which won six Paralympic games in last eight years and twice became second. Iran was stronger in the first game (3-2), lost in the second one (2-3), however came back for the third and beat us. Despite the result, we are overall satisfied with the level of our game and acknowledge that the experience gained from playing with such a strong opponent as Iran only plays for our benefit.
I have to say that Europe currently lacks teams which can compare to the level of Iran. All of them are a bit below in class. Therefore, chances for taking gold are almost equal for those teams, having us included. This victory is wished by all, as it guarantees participation in 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo. Finishing second is also acceptable, but only behind Bosnia and Herzegovina, who have already guaranteed their presence at the Paralympics.
Our women, who are currently world champions, are most likely to win the tournament, since their main competitors—United States, China, Brazil—are outside Europe. Indeed, some European teams are strong, but our women are capable of beating all of them.
It would be nice to win the European Championship; however, our fate [women team] does not depend on the victory, since we already qualified to Paralympic games at the world championship.”