Serbia beat Turkey in five sets to retain their title ©CEV

World champions Serbia edged out hosts Turkey in a thrilling five-set final to retain their Women's European Volleyball Championship title in Ankara.

Serbia lost the opening set and were pushed all the way by the home side before recording a battling 21-25, 25-21, 25-21, 22-25, 15-13 triumph at Ankara Arena.

The result handed Serbia a second straight continental crown and their third in the past five editions of the tournament.

It also saw Serbia maintain their dominance of women's volleyball as they added the European title to the gold medal they won at last year's World Championship.

Serbia will be among the favourites for Olympic gold at Tokyo 2020 next year, where they will bid to better the silver medal they earned at Rio 2016.

Their pursuit of a second consecutive European crown began badly as Turkey, backed by a raucous crowd inside the arena, took the opening set.

Turkey, bronze medallists in 2017 and 2011, had chances in the second set but Serbia hit back to level.

A tense third set also went the way of Serbia, the pre-tournament favourites, before Turkey recovered to win the fourth to send the final into a decider.

But the hosts were to be left disappointed as Serbia showed the mentality of champions to take the fifth set and the title.

Serbian Tijana Bošković led the game's scoring charts with 23 points, while Meryem Boz amassed 16 points for the beaten Turkish team.

Italy claimed the bronze medal with a 25-20, 25-23, 26-24 win over Poland.