Russia wins 1st gold medal of men's volleyball at London
Updated: 2012-08-13 03:08:42
LONDON -- The Russian men's volleyball team won their first ever Olympic gold medal since 1980 by coming from behind to beat Brazil in a five-set thriller on Sunday.
The Russians captured their first Olympic gold medal with the 19-25, 20-25, 29-27, 25-22, 15-9 final victory. Brazil, the top-ranked team, had to settle for the silver. Russian star Dmitriy Muserskiy once again top scored for his side with 31 points, as Brazilian Wallace de Souza offered a team high 27 points.
Brazil stood on top of the podium in 1992 and 2004. They lost to America to in the final of Beijing Games in 2008.
Italy won the bronze medal earlier in the day with a four-set victory over Bulgaria.
Brazil dominated the opener with powerful serves and fast attack by wing spiker Murilo Endres and opposite hitter Wallace, thanks to tricky pass by setter Bruno Rezende, the son of the Brazillian head coach Bernardo. The Russians could barely organize effective counterattacks for their poor reception, surrendering the set 25-19.
Russia fought back strongly in the second set, but Brazil edged to lead 5-4 and extended the margin to 11-6 with a 6-2 run. The two sides traded blows, but Brazil managed to control the court with better blocking. They won the set 25-20.
The third set saw the teams tie 9-all and Brazil led narrowly into the second technical timeout 16-15. Brazil launched an impressive 5-3 run to lead 21-18, when top scorer Muserskiy and Sergey Tetyukhin staged a brilliant wave of attacks to the Brazilian court to level up to 22-22.
The two sides exchanged lead and each wasted two set points to tie 27-all, when Musersky's kill and Alexander Sokolove's block pulled one set back 29-27.
The teams fought even harder in the fourth set, but it's Russia to control the rhythm of game with better reception and more effective spikes. Brazil sent on its legendary player Gilberto Godoy Filho, or better known "Giba", but he failed to change the situation as the determined Russia fully exhibited their height over net. With a serve-out from Endres, Russia won the set 25-22
It's Muserskiy's decisive spikes in the decider to help Russia lead 7-4, when Maxim Mikhaylov joined in him to push the lead to 14-7. Brazil saved two match points, with one controversial spike-out by Muserskiy. The players regrouped on court and Muserskiy didn't let the fans down this time. He send the restlessness of the Earls Court venue to the peak with a kill -- Russia won the match 15-9.