Russia Wins Women's Volleyball Title


Thursday, November 16th 2006, 6:26 am
By: News On 6


OSAKA, Japan (AP) _ Russia defeated tournament favorite Brazil in five sets Thursday to win the women's world volleyball championships.

Ekaterina Gamova scored a match-high 28 points and Lioubov Shashkova added 19, helping Russia to the 15-25, 25-23, 25-18, 20-25, 15-13 victory.

It is Russia's first world title since 1990 _ when it was known as the Soviet Union _ and sixth overall.

``It means a lot because this is the first gold medal for Russia after three bronze medals,'' captain Natalia Safranova said. ``After we became Russia, we did not win the title, but now we have the gold medal again. That is very important for us.''

Ekaterina scored the winner as the Russians rallied from 13-12 down to avenge their loss to Brazil in the World Grand Prix final. The Brazilian women were seeking their first world title.

Russia coach Giovanni Caprara praised his top players.

``We could win this title for the first time in 16 years because we found three players at the highest level: (Elena) Godina, Gamova and Shashkova,'' he said. ``These three players have a very strong motivation, and without strong motivation it is impossible to play well.''

Serbia and Montenegro defeated defending-champion Italy 25-22, 25-22, 25-21 to claim the bronze medal.