Russia`s winning streak in volleyball World Cup stopped
World bronze medallists Bulgaria stopped Russia`s match-winning streak to keep their Olympic hopes alive in the men`s World Cup volleyball tournament on Friday.
Bulgaria stunned the Athens Olympic bronze medallists 25-21, 23-25, 25-22, 22-25, 15-12 to improve their win-loss record to 7-2, leaving Russia with a 8-1 record.
The top three finishers in the 12-team round robin competition will qualify for the Beijing Olympics next year.
"It was a very difficult game, and I`m really, really happy that we won today," said Matey Kaziyski, the best scorer of his side with 22 points.
"Because it was maybe the most important game for us and this gives us quite a big chance to qualify for the Olympics, which was our goal here. Russia played very good, but the chance was on our side today."
Bulgaria`s coach Martin Stoev said he was pleased to have secured the team`s first win against Russia in four years.
"Russia and Brazil lost only one game, while we lost two. We can`t lose any more to qualify for the Olympics," said Stoev, whose team will take on Japan and Argentina in the last two days.
Russia`s coach Vladimir Alekno said his team was still in with a chance of qualifying.
"In football, Russia were considered as an underdog, but they reached the finals in the Euro 2008. Anything can happen in sports," he said.
Earlier in the day, world champions Brazil outgunned Argentina 25-20, 25-22, 25-16.
"We are not happy, because we played under our average," said Brazil`s coach Bernardo Resende.
"Against Russia tomorrow, we must search inside because it is a completely different match against such an experienced and powerful team as Russia. We have to play much better and control their power and try to use our speed."
African champions Egypt posted their first win, beating South Korea 21-25, 25-16, 25-19, 25-22, while Puerto Rico were 25-17, 25-17, 25-23 winners over Tunisia.