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France beat ROC in men’s volleyball final to win first gold

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France beat the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) team in the men’s volleyball final on Saturday in a sensational five-set match to grab their first Olympic gold medal in the sport.

The ROC took the silver and Argentina upset 2016 gold medallists Brazil to claim the bronze at Ariake Arena.

France, ranked fourth in the world, edged the second-ranked Russians 25-23 25-17 21-2521-25 15-12, repeating their success in the preliminary round.

The French took the first two sets with consistent defence and a barrage of clever serves and attacks but the ROC recovered momentum to win the following two, leading to a dramatic ending after a tight rally in the final set.

France’s outside hitter Earvin Ngapeth led the way, scoring 26 points, while Jean Patry and Trevor Clevenot recorded 15 and 11 points respectively.

Earlier, Argentina stunned the world number one team Brazil in a tense five-set bronze match, sending them home without an Olympic medal for the first time since 2000.

Reuters

Photo Players of France celebrate with their gold medals in the Men’s Volleyball category of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Ariake Arena in Tokyo, Japan, 07 August 2021. EPA-EFE/FAZRY ISMAIL