Russia battled to a 9-7 victory over Spain to win gold at the International Swimming Federation (FINA) Women's Youth Water Polo Championships in Auckland today.
In a final which became a battle of attrition between the two outstanding teams throughout the tournament, the Russians showed superb composure to withstand a Spanish fightback.
Russia took a 3-1 lead in the first quarter before Spain hit back to draw level at 4-4 by halfway.
Two goals early in the third quarter opened daylight, but the Spaniards kept fighting and were never far behind.
Alba Bonamusa gained a crucial score with two minutes left for an 8-7 Russian lead.
Alena Serzhantova, afterwards named the tournament's Most Valuable Player, then fired the ball into the bottom left hand corner to crown the victory.
Italy won 14-13 against The Netherlands in an even closer bronze medal match in the New Zealand city.
The match was initially tied 7-7 before the Italians eventually broke clear in sudden death.
Defending champions United States had to be content with fifth place after edging-out Greece 11-10.