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Women's Volleyball Olympic Games 2004

Match description

China beat Russia 3-2 (28-30, 25-27, 25-20, 25-23, 15-12) - duration 2:19
28-Aug, start time: 20:10, end time: 22:29 - Attendance: 4'242
City: Athens; Hall : Peace and Friendship Stadium
China new Olympic champions
The Chinese won their first gold medal in 1984 in Los Angeles and the Athens finish helped erase the memory of finishing fifth at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games after placing second in Atlanta in 1996 behind Cuba, which captured the bronze earlier Saturday by defeating Brazil 25-22, 25-22, 14-25 and 25-17.

China had set point in each of the first two sets, but Russia was able to overcome three set points in the first set and one in the second to win both sets. The first set was tied 18 times before Ekaterina Gamova's two spikes secured the set for Russia.

The second set was tied 14 times before a Gamova spike and a Lioubov Shashkova's service winner sealed the set for Russia. The tallest in the competition, the 6-foot-8 Gamova had 16 points in the first two sets to lead all scorers while Shashkova had 11.
The third set was tied only four times as China used a 4-1 run to break a 13-13 tie to jump to a 17-14 lead. Russia came back to within one at 19-18, but China scored six of the next eight points to win the set. Hao Yang and Ping Zhang, who had 14 and 17 points, respectively, through three sets, fueled the late run with two points each.

The fourth set saw China lead from the start before Russia used a 3-1 spurt to take its first lead at 13-12. China regained two-point leads at 17-15, 18-16, 19-17 and 20-18 before the Russians put together a 5-1 run to take a 23-21 lead. In an amazing turnaround, China then scored the next four points to win the set as Suhong Zhou, Ping Zhang, Kun Feng and Hao Yang scored the final points.

In the fifth and deciding set, the match was tied for the 50th-time at 3-3 with China taking the lead for good at 5-3. After 10 sideouts, China increased its lead to 11-8. Russia came back to trail by one at 12-11, before China scored three of the next four points with Yuehone Zhang getting the winning spike.

FIVB/TS/RB