Russia last piece of Boomers Games puzzle

NZ Newswire July 10, 2012, 6:29 pm

The Boomers have the final piece of their Olympic puzzle with Russia confirmed on Tuesday as the last team to join the Australians' pool in the group stage in London.

Russia was one of the last three teams - alongside Nigeria and Lithuania - to book their Games berth at a qualifying event in Venezuela.

The world No.11 Russians were subsequently drawn to join the Boomers in group B, along with China, Brazil, Spain and host nation Great Britain.

Ranked only marginally behind the ninth-ranked Boomers, the Russians will undoubtedly strengthen the competition in Group B, which already included world No.2 Spain, tenth-seed China and the 13th-ranked Brazil.

Great Britain (43rd) is the only group B team not ranked in the top 13 nations in the world.

"There are only 12 spots available in London, and the competition for those spots is intense, so we're not surprised to see Russia join us in group B," Boomers head coach Brett Brown said.

"When you have 213 countries battling it out for just 12 spots, it means that only the best of the best will be in London."

The Boomers, who are in a camp on the Gold Coast, will open their London campaign on July 29 against Brazil before facing European champions Spain on July 31, followed by China on August 2, host nation Great Britain on August 4 and then will close the preliminary round against Russia on August 6.