Defending champions Russia maintained their machine-like progress at the European Men’s Volleyball Championships today as they won their fourth consecutive preliminary match, beating Finland 3-0.
With only one of their pool C matches at the Stožice Arena in Ljubljana, Slovenia their place in the round-of-16 due to start on September 21 is assured.
The Championships are being staged for the first time across four countries - France, Belgium, The Netherlands and Slovenia, with Paris due to host the bronze- and gold-medal matches on September 28 and 29,
In other preliminary round action today, the pool C hosts strengthened their chances of accompanying Russia to the knockout stages as they beat Turkey 3-0.
Germany, beaten by Russia in the 2017 final in Poland, earned their first win of this year's Championships after successive defeats, earning a 3-0 victory over Austria,
But their chances of progressing from pool B - which is being played at Palais 12 in Brussels - are still not great, with the hosts, who finished fourth in 2017, in the lead on three wins.
A 3-0 win over Bulgaria tonight has established France top of pool A - being played at Sud de France Arena in Montpellier – with four victories.
Earlier in the day, Greece beat Romania 3-1.
Poland remain in charge in pool D - being played jointly in Rotterdam and Amsterdam – as they earned their third win tonight, 3-0 over the Czech Republic.
Ukraine kept in the hunt to progress with a 3-1 win over Montenegro.
Pool matches are due to continue tomorrow.