Budapest, Hungary, 20 July 2019 – Russia won back-to-back women’s titles here Saturday afternoon when they shut out Italy 3-0 (25-12, 25-16, 25-22) to claim women’s gold at the 2019 Sitting Volleyball European Championships.
Russia completed their campaign at the European Championships in Budapest undefeated and without dropping a single set in their seven matches.
They became only the second team in after the Netherlands to claim consecutive titles in the history of the European Championships. Led by tournament MVP Iuliia Mednikova, Russia overhwelmed Italy in the first two sets and then came from behind in the third to complete the clean sweep.
But for Italy too – although their performance didn’t match the magical moments they had provided the previous evening in the semifinal against Germany – the silver medal was a huge historic achievement. It marks the first ever podium appearance for Italy in the history of the competition – and just as importantly, the medal comes together with a ticket to the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.
It was Russia’s second straight and overall gold medal (after a bronze in 2011 and a silver in 2015). A little earlier in Budapest, Germany regrouped after their semifinal performance against Italy and gave Ukraine a run for their money in the bronze medal match.
Ukraine did eventually outlast the Germans in the tie break for a 3-2 (25-22, 19-25, 25-23, 21-25, 15-10) win that secured their seventh straight podium finish since their first appearance in 2007. Germany had been aiming at their first ever medal in the history of the competition, although fourth place is already an improvement over their eighth last time around in 2017.