July 21 - Olympic champions Russia became the third country to win three or more Volleyball World League titles after an impressive 3-0 (25-23, 25-19, 25-19) victory over nine-time champions Brazil in Mar del Plata, Argentina, with Italy defeating Bulgaria 3-2 in the bronze-medal match.
After previous victories in 2002 and 2011, Russia's men became only the second country to simultaneously hold International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) World League and Olympic titles, and after that memorable 3-2 win in London last summer, the world's number two ranked side secured their third successive win over ranking leaders Brazil.
Following the victory team member Alexey Spiridonov (pictured top, left) said "every point was made of gold".
"I can't explain this feeling," he added.
"This is the second time I have won a World League, and it is a win not only for my team, but also for my country."
The result marks Russia's 14th World League medal although they still trail behind Brazil's record of 17.
After scoring 65 points in the final and 201 in the earlier intercontinental round, Russia's Nikolay Pavlov was named the tournament's most valuable player, although Bulgaria's Tsvetan Sokolov and Italy's Ivan Zaytsev were the highest scorers in the final round.
All three players were named in the 2013 World League Dream Team, along with Russia's Dmitriy Muserskiry, Italy's Emanuele Birarelli and Brazillians Lucarelli, Mario and Bruno.
Brazil had beaten Bulgaria 3-1 in the semi-final, with Russia defeating Italy by the same score-line.
After subsequently battling to a 3-2 (21-25, 25-21, 25-20, 21-25, 15-7) victory over Bulgaria, Italy's bronze medal was their first podium finish since 2004 and - Russia - boosted their overall medal count to 14, while Bulgaria finished fourth for the fifth time despite having never secured a podium position.
The other two final round contenders, hosts Argentina and Canada, each departed in the preliminary stage after finishing bottom of their respective groups.
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