The Russian men’s team survived three match points in an epic final against Bosnia and Herzegovina in Budapest before retaining their European Sitting Volleyball Championships title - and earning a Tokyo 2020 ticket.
The victory completed a clean sweep following the earlier success of Russia’s women’s team at the National University of Public Service.
Russia won 26-24, 23-25, 23-25, 25-22, 17-15 against opponents who had already secured a Tokyo 2020 place through winning World Championships silver last year, and who had secured 10 European titles between 1991 to 2015.
Russia’s Viktor Milenin won the most valuable layer (MVP) award after masterminding the comeback in the tie-break from 12-14 down.
Germany returned to the European podium for the first time since winning silver in 2015 after beating Ukraine 25-20, 25-18, 25-22 in the bronze medal match.
(1/2) Which teams have made it to @Tokyo2020?@russiavolley (M) join the party after winning the 2019 #EuroSittingVolley crown 👑! Read more about their victory here: https://t.co/8ZItkPQmxC pic.twitter.com/oDVydUon3n— World ParaVolley (@ParaVolley) July 23, 2019
Russia’s women also retained their title with a 25-12, 25-16, 25-22 win over Italy.
The squad completed their campaign undefeated, not dropping a single set in their seven matches, and became only the second team after The Netherlands to claim consecutive European titles.
Led by tournament MVP Iuliia Mednikova, Russia overwhelmed Italy in the first two sets and then came from behind in the third.
But the silver was a historic achievement for Italy, marking their first podium appearance at a Europeans -and earning them a spot at Tokyo 2020.
Ukraine outlasted Germany in the tie break to secure bronze by a scoreline of 25-22, 19-25, 25-23, 21-25, 15-10, thus securing a seventh successive podium finish since their first appearance in 2007.