Russian female basketball players - the best in Europe

The basketball players of the women's national team of Russia emerged victorious at the 2003 championship of Europe which ended in Greece. The Russian women beat Czechs 59-56 in the final match staged in the town of Patra on Sunday.

It is the first victory of the Russian female basketball players over the whole period of their participation in European championships. Together with the laurels they also won the right to play at the Olympic Games of 2004 in Athens.

Irina Osipova (16 points), captain Yelena Baranova (14) and Yulia Skopa (11) were the best in the Russian team, and Romana Hamzova (15 points) put on the most distinguished performance in the Czech squad.

The national team of Spain beat Poland 87-81 in the game for the third place. The fifth place went to the already former champions of Europe, French players, who defeated Belgium 94-75. Slovakia ranked seventh, having beaten the team of Serbia and Montenegro 68-67.

Two Russians - Yelena Baranova and Anna Arkhipova, as well as Ann Wauters (Belgium), Lucie Blahuskova and Hana Machova (the Czech Republic) were included in the symbolic selected five of the European championship-2003. Blahuskova was voted the best player of the competition.

It was the sixth European championship for the national team of Russia. The Russians earlier clinched bronze twice (in 1995 and 1999), and became silver medallists in 2001.

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