Russia defeated Brazil 3-2 in the final of the women's world volleyball championships in a tough match yesterday to win their first major title.
The Russians, who bowed to Brazil in the second stage here and also twice in the World Grand Prix, pulled off a stunning 15-25, 25-23, 25-18, 20-25, 15-13 victory in the final.
Since the former Soviet Union collapsed, Russia have never won any of the three big volleyball events -- the Olympics, the World Cup and the world championships -- settling for silver in the 2000 and 2004 Olympics and the 1999 World Cup.
They have been third in the past three world championships.
The Brazilians, who came into the tournament as favorites after winning their third straight and sixth overall World Grand Prix in September, have also never won the three majors before.
Earlier in the day, underdogs Serbia and Montenegro defeated defending champions Italy 25-22, 25-22, 25-21 for bronze.