Triumphant squad return to Moscow

Russia's basketball team have arrived home after winning the European Championships in Madrid. The victory means they automatically qualify for next year's Olympics in Beijing.

In the airport the team received a warm welcome from friends, family, and of course fans. Supporters waited for hours in the bitter cold to greet their heroes.

Russia's basketball squad beat hosts Spain 60-59 in a thrilling final. It was one of the tightest games in the history of the competition, and a game worthy of the final.

Defence was the key for both sides in a very tight match. Spain were in front for most of the match, but Russia came back in the fourth quarter, holding their nerve in a nail-biting finish.

Jon Robert Holden sank the winning two-pointer just seconds before the end of the game.

Russian, Utah Jazz forward, Andrey Kirilenko scored a game-high of 17 points and was voted the most valuable player of the tournament.

Although the Soviet Union won the European basketball Championships many times, until now Russia had been unable to repeat the feat.

For most of the team this is their biggest win ever.

One member of the winning team, Aleksey Savrasenko, says he's looking forward to winning more medals: “It was a great challenge, I was playing in the national team for seven years and we didn’t win anything at all.  And now we come home with gold from the European championships. This is simply a great achievement. That’s the most valuable reward in my collection – at least up until now. More tournaments are coming and we’ll see what we can do there. I’m proud of being a part of this team, working with such great players under the guidance of a top coach.  I want to thank everyone who has contributed to this win.”

The victory came on an emotional day of sport in Russia. Just a few hours earlier the women's tennis team won the Federation Cup in Moscow by beating Italy in the final. 
Unforturnately that success was not matched by the men's volleyball team. They were beaten by Spain in the final of the European Championship, again in Moscow.