Tokyo Olympics Men's Volleyball: ROC stops Brazil from reaching fifth consecutive final

Russians, who beat Brazil in four sets, will meet France in the final.

Players of the Russian Olympic Committee celebrate winning the men's volleyball semifinal match against Brazil at Tokyo Olympics.   -  AP

Defending champion Brazil was humbled by the Russian Olympic Committee in the men’s volleyball semifinal at the Ariake Arena on Thursday. The Russians won 18-25, 25-21, 26-24, 25-23, in two hours and eight minutes, to end Brazil’s hopes of making it to the gold-medal match for the fifth Olympics in a row.

The two giants in the sport have often produced exciting action when their paths crossed. Thursday’s match was no exception.

The Russians, playing in their seventh successive semifinals at the Olympics, showed remarkable tenacity to take the third set, in which they were trailing by eight points at one stage, at 12-20. They won that set and in the next, came up with winners at crucial junctures to ensure that the game didn’t go into a decider.

READ MORE: Tokyo Olympics 2020 Women's Volleyball: Serbia to take on US in semifinal

Maxim Mikhaylov was the standout performer for the ROC, with 22 points. He was well supported by Egor Kliuka (15) and Ivan Iakovlev (12).

For the Rio gold-medallist, Yoandy Leal Hidalgo (18), Lucas Saatkamp (13), Wallace de Souza (11) and Ricardo Lucarelli Souza (10) were the main scorers.

In Saturday’s final, the Russians will take on France, which defeated Argentina 25-22, 25-19, 25-22.

The results (semifinals):

Men: ROC bt Brazil 18-25, 25-21, 26-24, 25-23; France bt Argentina 25-22, 25-19, 25-22.

Beach Volleyball:

Men: Anders Berntsen Mol & Christian Sandlie Sorum (NOR) bt Martins Plavins & Edgars Tocs (LAT) 21-15, 21-16; Viacheslav Krasilnikov & Oleg Stoyanovskiy (ROC) bt Cherif Younousse & Ahmed Tijan (QAT) 21-19, 21-17.
Women: April Ross & Alix Klineman (USA) bt Anouk Verge-Depre & Joana Heidrich (SUI) 21-12, 21-11; Mariafe Artacho del Solar & Taliqua Clancy (AUS) bt Tina Graudina & Anastasija Kravcenoka (LAT) 23-21, 21-13.

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