LONDON: World Cup holders Russia saved two match points as they came from two sets down to beat world champions Brazil 3-2 in a thrilling Olympic men’s volleyball final.
Russia looked down and out at two sets to love and 22-19 down in the third, but with the title just three points away, Brazil collapsed.
The South Americans, who also lost the 2008 final, failed to complete an Olympic double a day after their women beat the US to retain their title.
Russian coach Vladimir Alenko could barely believe it.
“It’s ‘idiot’s dream’ coming true. They say you can’t enter the same river for the second time, but I tried it,” he said, referring to Russia’s poor showing in Beijing.
Wing spiker Sergey Tetyukhin praised his team for their character. “It’s hard for me to speak. Emotions are overwhelming me. It was a hard match,” he said.
Meanwhile, Italy beat Bulgaria by three sets to one to claim the bronze medal.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 13th, 2012.