Suphan Buri, Thailand, July 6, 2003 - European champions Russia survived a challenge from China while defending five-time champions Brazil went down to Asian champions India in a hard-fought four-set thriller at the World Boys' Under-19 Volleyball Championship on Sunday.
The towering Russians, at an average of 201cm against China's 197cm,
Set up and early first set 6-3 lead before the Chinese tightened their defense and slowed them.. It was Wang Zhen who unleashed several thundering
spikes to tie 21-all for China, but Russia set their defense and allowed them only one more point before taking the first set.
Russia then took command in the second set and helped by exceptional serving from Alexei Ostapenko and well supported by Roman Danilov's devastating spikes, they raced to 8-3. china regrouped but failed to get back into the set, which the Russians polished off 25-15.
China held off Russia in the vital third and leveled at 21-21, but capitalizing on their height advantage, again Russia prevailed 25-23 in what was, despite their 3-0 victory, a thrilling match.
"We relied mostly on blocks and fierce spikes, "said Russian coach Serguei
Chliapnikov. "I'm glad that everyone did his part well."
"I think Russia is too strong for us and tipped to be the strongest among all participating teams," Chinese head coach Xin Chunsheng said, adding that he thought his lineup would have a good chance against Egypt in their next encounter.
Meanwhile, Asian champions India continued their supremacy on Sunday, stunning Brazil 3-1 (25-19, 25-21, 22-25, 25-20) to shake up the standing order in what is expected to be a tough battle for the title.
In other matches Australia scored their second straight win downing Puerto Rico 3-2 (20-25, 25-22, 18-25 25-22,15-10), while Thailand scored their first win by ousting Venezuela 3-1 (25-19, 19-25, 25-20, 25-20). African champions Egypt brushed off Slovakia 3-0 (25-22, 25-22, 29-27), Czech Republic tamed Poland 3-0 (25-22, 25-18, 25-22), Iran outclassed The Netherlands 3-0 (25-21, 25-21, 25-21) and Italy crushed Morocco 3-0 (25-15 25-16 25-16).
Story by Preechachan Wiriyanupappong AVC South East Asian Zonal Press Officer