Soviet sports reporters and photographers do not share the personal fame of their U.S. brothers in the craft but they were on their marks last week as the U.S. men's and women's basketball teams played their first games against Russian opponents in Moscow. Herewith, from Trud (as translated for The New York Times) and Sovfoto, a novel sample of their work:
It is difficult to overestimate the interest of the sporting public in the playing of the American basket-ballers in the Capital. Yesterday, long before the beginning of the games, lovers of sport gathered far from the central stadium named for Lenin, hoping for a chance to get in to see these outstanding matches.
Every row inside the Sports Palace was filled with people. Flags of the United States and of the Soviet Union hung over the stands. Friendly words of greeting in both English and Russian were hung above one of the stands....
The American and Soviet basketball players marched onto the court to stormy applause. The guests were heartily greeted in the name of the Basketball Federation of the U.S.S.R., sportsmen of Moscow and sporting fans by Comrade Bessonov, chairman of the Basketball Federation.
Then the president of the Amateur Athletic Union of the United States Mr. [Kellum] Johnson took the floor to reply. He said: "Dear friends of the Soviet Union. We are very glad to visit your country and are sure the games here will promote friendship among our sportsmen. We also are sure that your sportsmen in the United States will receive the same kind of hospitality. We have a high regard for Soviet sportsmen. Long live friendship between our people."
These words of Mr. Johnson were drowned by a stormy ovation in the hall. Then he presented to the captains of the Soviet teams, N. Maksimilyanova and M. Valdmanis, souvenirs, bronze statues of basketball players. Then followed the national anthems of the United States and U.S.S.R. Our sportsmen presented the guests with large bouquets of spring flowers. Then the teams met in the center of the court and in pairs, shoulder to shoulder, left the court.
The women's teams lined up for the game. Before the beginning of the match the American girls huddled and the coach gave them a final pep talk. With a loud shout, the guests ran to their positions. Then the starting signal was heard. The struggle began.
After 25 seconds a buzz was heard among the spectators when Yeryomena made the first score. By the end of the first minute our sportswomen are ahead, 3 to 0. But here 20-year-old K. Washington, who turned out to be a wonderful offensive leader, made 2 points. Then L. Davidson put her team ahead. But immediately the Soviet basketball players, due to the efforts of M. Otsa, moved ahead again. During the first minutes something was wrong with the foul shots of the Americans. Meantime our girls increased the score, 7 to 4, then 8 to 4. But then the most dangerous sharpshooter of the American team, N. White, cut the lead and then Washington tied the score.
Both teams demonstrated a number of brilliant combinations. Soon the tempo picked up and the game was converted into a fascinating sporting performance.
Especially remarkable on our team was Yeryomena, who was ably assisted by Maksimilyanova and Otsa. On the guests' team, the guard, K. Garmes, who demonstrated wonderful long shots, and Washington played a brilliant game. As far as the tall B. Sykes is concerned, our team succeeded in neutralizing her in the first period. At the end of the first half the result was 29 to 25 in favor of the home team.