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Germany and Russia play for European gold in Berlin

 
More than 7,000 fans were in attendance on Friday for the semis of the 2013 Women's EuroVolley at Max-Schmeling-Halle in Berlin

Berlin, Germany, September 13, 2013 – Germany and Russia will battle for gold at the 2013 CEV Volleyball European Championship in Berlin, after advancing from Friday’s semifinals, which also resulted in both teams securing a place at the FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Championship 2014 in Italy.

On Friday, Germany made crowd-pleasing comeback to edge Belgium 3-2 (18-25, 20-25, 25-21, 25-21, 25-11) in what was a remake of this year’s European League final game. In the other semifinal, Russia swept Serbia in straight sets 3-0 (25-23, 25-19, 25-12) to get the right to vie for gold on Saturday. 

Belgium had their chances to make history and continue their chase for gold as they were leading 2-0 against Germany, but were unable to stay alert until the end. However, with the support of thousands of fans – including newly elected International Olympic Committee President Dr. Thomas Bach – the home heroines bounced back and cruised from behind to secure the win. In Saturday’s semi-finals Germany will once again fight for gold, after coming up short two years ago and settling for silver in Belgrade.

“It is an amazing feeling,” said Germany head coach Giovanni Guidetti. “We won against a very strong team. Congratulations to my players; even in the most difficult moments of the match they never gave up. Moreover, it was a victory for the supporters. More than 7,000 fans pushed us beyond our limits. Thanks to them we managed to make an incredible comeback.”

In Friday’s first match at Max-Schmeling-Halle, Russia downed 2011 European champions, Serbia, in straight sets 3-0 (25-23, 25-19, 25-12). Though the group has completely changed after the London Olympics and many well-known stars such as Sokolova and Gamova have left the national team, Russia confirmed their supremacy especially at the net, blocking Serbia’s spikers.

“I’m very satisfied,” said Russia mentor Yuriy Marichev. “We had a good preparation. The key factor in today’s match was a strong defense against the Serbian’s opposite players, mainly Jovana Brakocevic. It worked as expected.”

Russia and Germany will fight for gold on Saturday, as well as the right to represent Europe at this year’s World Grand Champions Cup in Japan.

Russia try for their 18th title in the competition while Germany will try to follow up on the gold medals claimed by the former German Democratic Republic in 1983 and 1987. As for Belgium, the “yellow tigers” will try to seize their first European medal playing 2011 European champions Serbia.



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