Russia are the champions of Europe!

It was a fantastic day for Russian sitting volleyball as their men’s and women’s teams both won gold at the 2017 European Championships.

Both finals saw Russia take on Ukraine and the matches followed a similar pattern. Both teams were able to establish early leads in the match and never looked back as they showed their dominance throughout.

In the men’s match, Sviatoslav Kartashev, Aleksandr Savichev and tournament Most Valuable Player, Viktor Mikenin, all scored over 10 points to help their team to a 3-0 (25-18, 25-14, 25-17) win.

The Most Valuable Player in the women’s competition was Iuliia Mednikova from Russia. She has been outstanding throughout the tournament and once again shone in the final with 16 points to take her team to a 3-0 (25-18, 25-14, 25-17) victory.

The Netherlands are the women’s bronze medallists after a 3-0 (25-18, 25-16, 25-23) win over Finland. The Finnish team were able to compete throughout the match and almost took the Netherlands to a fourth set, but it wasn’t to be and the Dutch team claimed the bronze medal they missed out on 2 years ago.

The men’s bronze medal went to Bosnia & Herzegovina after they beat Croatia. It was always going to be difficult for the host nation as they faced the 9-time European champions who were desperate to make amends for their defeat in yesterday’s semi-final. Croatia pushed Bosnia close in the opening set but from then on Bosnia were able to control the game and eventually ran out 3-0 (25-21, 25-16, 25-18) winners.

Germany finished 5th in the men’s competition after an extremely tight win against their neighbours, the Netherlands. The Germans were 2-0 up before the Netherlands won the third set and came within 2 points of taking the match to a deciding set. Instead though, Germany finished on a high and sealed a 3-1 (25-23, 25-16, 18-25, 25-23) win. In the men’s 7-8th playoff match, Serbia came from behind to beat Poland 3-1 (21-25, 25-21, 25-18, 25-17).

Latvia finished in 9th place as they successfully went through the 9-13th playoff pool undefeated. Their final match was a 3-0 (25-23, 25-17, 26-24) win over Hungary who finished in 11th place. The other game in the pool saw Turkey beat Italy 3-1 (25-15, 26-28, 25-14, 25-21) to secure Turkey 10th place and leave the Italians in 12th.

The final rankings for the competition are:

1. Russia
2. Ukraine
3. Bosnia & Herzegovina
4. Croatia
5. Germany
6. Netherlands
7. Serbia
8. Poland
9. Latvia
10. Turkey
11. Hungary
12. Italy
13. Georgia

1. Russia
2. Ukraine
3. Netherlands
4. Finland
5. Slovenia
6. Hungary
7. Italy
8. Germany
9. Croatia