Bosnia and Herzegovina’s hopes of winning the men’s European Sitting Volleyball Championships title for the 10th consecutive time came to an end with a semi-final defeat to Russia in Porec.
The match proved to be a thrilling encounter at the Inter Sport Zelena Laguna, with a full five sets required to separate the teams.
Russia struck the early blow in the contest by winning the opening set 25-18, only for Bosnia to win the second by the same scoreline.
The holders were pushed to the brink of defeat when Russia clinched the third set 25-19, putting them one away from a place in the final.
With their title on the line, Bosnia once again brought themselves back into the match by winning the fourth 25-20, ensuring the contest would be settled in a deciding first to 15 set.
Russia were able to hold their nerve to claim the set 15-12, as they booked their place in the gold medal match.
They are due to face Ukraine, who came from behind to beat hosts Croatia 16-25, 25-15, 25-16, 25-18.
Russia and Ukraine could claim both titles at the Championships, with their women’s squads having also advanced to tomorrow’s final.
Russia proved untroubled by The Netherlands in their semi-final, as they swept to a straight sets 25-19, 25-11, 25-12 win.
Ukraine then emerged as comfortable winners against Finland.
A strong performance from the Ukrainian team saw them claim a 25-17, 25-13, 25-16 win.
The participants in the semi-final line-up were yesterday confirmed as qualifiers for next year’s World Championships.
The Netherlands were already assured of taking part as hosts but Finland, Russia and Ukraine’s participation was rubber stamped.
Competition is due to conclude tomorrow with the gold and bronze medal matches.
The top three men’s teams in Porec will also compete at the World Championships.