Osaka: Russia defeated tournament favourite Brazil 15-25, 25-23, 25-18, 20-25, 15-13 on Thursday to win the women's volleyball World championship.

It is the first time Russia has won the women's world title since the then-Soviet Union won in 1990. The Soviets also won in 1952, 1956, 1960 and 1970.

"It means a lot because this is the first gold medal for Russia after three bronze medals," said captain Natalia Safranova. "After we became Russia, we did not win the title, but now we have the gold medal again. That is very important for us."

After a slow start, the Russians found their rhythm in the second set.

They dropped the fourth set but came back to win the tie-breaker.

In the bronze-medal match, Serbia and Montenegro defeated defending champion Italy 25-22, 25-22, 25-21. AP

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