PRESS RELEASE 21.08.2003


Hosts continue good build up

Tehran, Iran, August 21 - Fourteen teams from around the world have reached Tehran on Wednesday leaving just China and Venezuela to complete the 16 teams for the 12th Men's Under 21 World Championship, which starts on Saturday.

Canada, the first team to reach Tehran, played a second warm up match against Iran and the host team again had a straight sets win (25-19, 25-17, 25-18) following their 26-24, 25-21, 25-22 win 24 hours earlier in the first match held in Competition Hall One, which will host the championship in Azadi (means Freedom in Iran Language) Sports centre.

"I believe we will be in contention for the gold medal in this competition," said Iran coach Karkhaneh Mostafa. "My team has the ability to do it after this generation won the silver medal in Cairo, Egypt two years ago when they were in the Under 19 catagory."

Iran team will play another warm up match against Germany before the competition proper starts.

Meanwhile, Tunisia arrived following a good preparation schedule which included two international tours, one at home and the other in Bulgaria, and want to continue their successful international career after the senior team won both Arab and African Nations championships, and qualified for the World Cup through the latter.

Tunisian coach Tarabolsi Mohamed stated that the draw put them in a tough group with favorites Brazil and two strong teams in Poland and Canada. "We hope to at least reach the quarterfinals," Trabolsi said.

Brazil, the outright favorites to win the competition, completed their first training session in Tehran as they seek to win their third FIVB title this year following triumphs in the World League and the Boys Under 19 World Championship. Brazil won the cup of this age category twice before in 1993 and 2001.