LONDON (Olympics) - France have made their second trip to the Olympics a memorable one by pulling away from Russia to earn a spot in the Final and clinch a first-ever medal.
After finishing fifth in 2000, Les Bleues will now take on the USA for gold after winning 81-64 in the Semi-Finals on Thursday night.
Pierre Vincent's team, which captured bronzed at last year's EuroBasket Women and claimed passage to London by winning three games at the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament for Women, remain unbeaten in official competition this summer.
Vincent was overwhelmed at the postgame press conference.
" I have no thoughts. I am just happy," he said.
"You want more?" he smiled, suggesting that he was speechless.
Edwige Lawson-Wade scored 18 points and Emilie Gomis 15 for the French, who led by 14 points in the first half but saw the Russians cut the advantage to 42-40 in the third quarter.
Celine Dumerc, arguably the player of the Olympics so far, hit a three-pointer at the end of the third quarter for a 59-51 French lead and they pulled away for a convincing triumph over the last 10 minutes.
"She has the fire of the Olympics in her every game," said Edwige Lawson-Wade after the game.
"We are all carried along by the Olympic force.
"You are able to do things you are not otherwise able to do."
All 15 players got court-time, while six scored in double figures.
"What is loved about the game is that everybody contributed tonight," Lawson-Wade added.
France will now go up against the United States, who are gunning for a fifth straight gold medal.
After their win over Russia, the French players celebrated on the court, arms raised, as the crowd looked on.
European champions in 2009, now the French are one victory away from the biggest success in their history.