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Date: 8/25/2012

The Russian girls hade made their final step to the final of the only unbeaten teams of the IV Women’s Youth World Championship in Montenegro. By winning their semifinal against Norway clearly 33:27 on Saturday, they took their sixth victory in their sixth match and face Denmark on Sunday (18:15 hrs local times) in the gold medal match.


And this final in Bar is exactly the same constellation with the same players as one year ago the final of the U17 European championship in Brno, Czech Republic, was, won by the Russian girls 24:23 after a real thriller, decided with a last second penalty goal.


Norway will face Romania in the bronze final on Sunday (16:00 hrs local time) after their first defeat at the tournament in Montenegro. To beat the Scandinavians meant also to take revenge for the Russians – as seven weeks ago both teams had dueled in the final of the European Open in Gothenburg, with the better end for Norway (26:22).


The encounter of Denmark and Russia means also the duel of the 2006 and 2008 Women’s Youth World champions – and both will decide the successor of 2010 world champions Sweden.



Semifinal 2: Russia – Norway 33:27 (18:12)

Unstoppable Anna Vyakhireva again was the “head” and the leader of the Russian team in the first half. Before the break she caused unsolvable problems to the Norwegian defence. The right back was the starting point of every decisive action of her team, while the Norwegian defenders left too many holes, through which the Russians could step easily.


The Scandinavians were in lead at 6:5 for the last time, before the Russian express started their full speed mode. As the Norwegians missed too many chances against the Russian wall, their opponent forged ahead by counter attacks – and without their goalkeepers Maria Aarstadt and Andrea Pedersen the margin would have even been higher for Norway than the halftime result of 18:12. Russia got away from 10:7 to 17:8 in minute.


After the break Norway could avoid the Russian counter-attacks, but not the pure power shots from the back court area, who hit the hearts of the Scandinavians hardly. In the middle of the second half both defence sides were nearly missing at all in a great match with a great atmosphere, as both teams could count on big and loud spectator groups in the arena in Bar. The encounter became a duel of the back court shooters of both sides like the top scorers Alena Ikhneva (seven goals for Russia) or Emilie Arntzen (10 goals for Norway) with her team still backlogged by at five or six goals. But the 2011 European bronze medallists gained confidence when reducing from 16:24 to 20:25 and 23:27 in minute 49.


The match that had started as a counter-attack festival from both sides had turned into a tough and powerful clash in the final stages. But as Norway had to shoot early to have a chance to turn the game, they became hectic – and Russia latest decided the game by the 32:25 four minutes before the end.



Statement after the match:

Wjatscheslaw Kirilenko, Russian head coach:  “We had trained hard to play an active and aggressive defence and we counted on this hard training though we missed two injured player. We knew that Norway are a tall, but slow team, so we had to focus on speed in the beginning. And we reached our goal to put Norway under pressure. After those series of counter-attacks we needed to slow down a bit and had to score from the back positions. But in the end we have reached the final. Like in the 2011 final of the European championship I expect a very close and tight match against Denmark, and I estimate us the favourite, as we are the reigning European champions.  We will have to wait and see which team have more power at the end of this tough tournament.”