Alexander Kabanov was a national coach for over three decades ©Getty Images

Russian double Olympic water polo champion Alexander Sergeyevich Kabanov, has passed away weeks after his 72nd birthday.

Kabanov, who won gold with the Soviet Union at the 1972 Munich Olympics and the 1980 Moscow Olympics, died yesterday. 

During his playing career, he became the world champion in 1975 and 1982 as well as European champion in 1983.

He was also a winner of the World Cup in 1981 and 1983, winner of the gold medal at the 1984 Friendship Games {a replacement for the Olympics during the Soviet boycott of Los Angeles 1984}; and a two-time winner of the World Universiade in 1970 and 1973.

Kabanov was also part of the 1976 Montreal Olympics team that were shocked in the group stage, unable to defend their Olympic title from 1972.

He was also a national champion at club level for Moscow State University and CSK Navy, who won the European Champions Cup and the Super Cup. 

He also captained the Soviet Union national team for many years. 

Outside of playing, Kabanov graduated from the Armenian State Institute of Physical Culture in 1984 as a teacher in physical education and would go on to coach for a large part of his life.

In 1988 he became the head coach of the water polo team for the Central Sports Club of the Navy and from 1985 to 1992, coached the Soviet Union national team.

From 1994 to 1996 and then from 2000 to 2006, he was the head coach of the men's national team of Russia and from 2009 to 2013, he served as the head coach of the Russian women's national team.

As Russian men's coach, the team won the gold medal at the 2002 World Cup, the 2002 World League and the Olympic silver medal at Sydney 2000 and Olympic bronze at Athens 2004.

He also coached Soviet and Russian teams to world bronze in 1986, 1994 and 2001 as well as the 1985 and 1987 European Championships titles.

He led the women's team to a European title in 2010, as well as two bronze medals at the World Championships in 2009 and 2011.