Russian ladies win Continental Cup final to claim Olympic berth
That final was almost a carbon copy of Saturday’s semifinal against Switzerland for the home side as Anastasia Vasina and Anna Vozakova opened the series by winning the first set against Madelein Meppelink/Sophie van Gestel but eventually lost that match in the tie-break. Good help for the Russian campaign was provided by Evgenia Ukolova and Ekaterina Khomyakova who downed the 2011 U23 European champions Michelle Stiekema and Riemke Braakman in straight sets (21-14, 21-16).
Ukolova and Khomyakova re-started their efforts in the afternoon cheered on by many fans from the stands of the centre court as they played Meppelink/van Gestel. After losing the first set 21-15, Evgenia and Katya were able to bounce back to win 21-19, 15-12. Russia's Olympic dream was turned into a reality when Vasina and Vozakova edged their next opponents, Stiekema/Braakman, in straight sets (21-17, 21-12) to begin the Russian party.
The pair participating in the Olympic tournament will be announced by the National Olympic Comittee in the next couple of weeks.
In the bronze medal match Switzerland’s pairs Muriel Graessli/Tanja Goricanec and Isabelle Forrer/Anouk Vergé-Dépré beat Italy 3-1 thereby securing their pass for the FIVB World Olympic Qualification Tournament next week at “Vodniy Stadium” in Moscow, where the Oranjes will also have a last chance to qualify for the Olympics.