Russia Beat Brazil for Women's Volleyball Worlds Title
  2006-11-16 16:48:02      Xinhua

Olympic runner-up Russia cameback from one set down to beat Brazil 3-2 Thursday in Osaka to claim the title of the 2006 women's volleyball World Championships.

Russia's players celebrate their win at the FIVB women's Volleyball World Championship after their final match against Brazil in Osaka, western Japan November 16, 2006. (Photo source: sina.com)

Russia was taken one hour 50 minutes to wrap up the final of the tournament 15-25, 25-23, 25-18, 20-25 and 15-13.

Ekaterina Gamova had the match-winning spike at the middle of the net after a brilliant block combined by Yulia Merkulova and Marina Akulova as the Russians sealed the victory with a 4-0 run in the deciding set.

The 26-year-old Gamova had 28 points to lead Russia on 24 killsand four blocks, while Lioubov Shashkova gained 19 points and Elena Godina gained added 13.

After looking sluggish and losing the opening set without any efficient block, Russia came back strongly in the second and thirdsets as they gradually found their tune and took the following twosets 25-23 and 25-18.

The Russians tried to defeat Brazil in three straight sets, butthe Brazilians, who won a fourth straight World Grand Prix title in September, launched some excellent offense with a sequence involving of their key player Helia Souza and managed a 22-17 lead.

Russia geared up with a 3-1 run, but Brazil soon answered with a 3-1 run to finish the set 25-20.

The Brazil side, who never won a World Championship title, returned to the court with more solid defense and led the match at13-11.

Russia, who made too many mistakes during the deciding set, finally found their scoring vein. Backed on Gamova and Shashkova, the Olympic runners-up, launched an amazing 4-0 run to win the last set 15-13.

Early on Thursday, Serbia rallied to beat defending champions Italy 3-0 for the bronze medal.



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