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Date: 8/24/2014

As Koprivnica, so Nanjing: For the second time this summer Russia and Korea will compete for gold in a final of an international women’s younger age category competition. At the Women’s Junior (U20) World Championship in Croatia, Korea took the trophy, at the Youth Olympic Games the Russian U18 team will aim to take revenge.

After the Asian champions had won over the European champions Sweden from the final in a real thriller before (25:24), the second girls’ semi-final in Nanjing was a one-sided affair for the European runners-ups against Brazil (30:22), so the Russians are the only still unbeaten girls’ team.

In the preliminary round Russia had beaten Korea by 36:31 – now both sides go for gold on Monday (25 August at 18:00 hrs. local time) in the JSC Gymnasium in Nanjing.

Like also occurred already in the preliminary round before, Brazil and Sweden fight for the bronze medal at 13:00 hrs. local time. In the first stage of the competition the Scandinavians had easily beaten the Pan-American champions by 32:24.


Girls’ tournament, semi-final:

Russia – Brazil 30:22 (17:7)

The one-sided encounter had already been decided at the break, when the powerful and brilliantly defending Russians had built the base for the win by a double-figured 17:7 result. Like against Sweden in the preliminary round the Pan-Americans were chanceless both in defence and attack – but now hope to defend the bronze medal they had won at the 2010 premiere of the Youth Olympic Games in Singapore.

A 3:1 Brazilian lead was the wake-up call for the Russians, who then really overran their competitors and scored from all cylinders. The 4:4 was the last equal result, then the Europeans scored an incredible 13:3 series until the halftime buzzer thanks to seven fast break goals, punishing every Brazilian mistake in attack immediately, backed by goalkeeper Anastasia Titovskaya (10 saves in the first half).

Knowing that they are in the final, the victors decelerated and saved some powers after leading 22:10, allowing Brazil to reduce the gap and even to “win” the second half by 15:13. Brazilian goalkeeper Flavia Lima Gabina was the tower of power of her team after the break, saving an overall of 18 Russian shots. Bruna Almeida de Paula was best scorer by six goals, as in the Russian team nearly all player stroke with Vernigorova and Belikovba on top by five goals each. The closest gap was five goals at 25:22, but the Russian win was never endangered.

After winning the silver medal at the 2010 YOG in Singapore due to an unlucky final defeat against Denmark, now the Russian girls will try to make their first appearance on the winners’ podium in this competition on Monday.