PRESS RELEASE 14.09.2003


2003 World Women's Under-20 Volleyball Championship

SUPHAN BURI, Thailand, Sept 14, 2003 - Superpower Brazil stormed past Asian champions China to take the title in an heart-pounding tie-breaker showdown at the World Women's Under-20 Volleyball Championship on Sunday.
Brazil came from behind to seal the match 3-2 (22-25 25-22 25-17 21-25 15-10) before a capacity crowd at the Silapa-archa Gymnasium.
Two months ago, Brazil also captured the world title at the same competition venue here when its boys' under-19 squad stunned Asian champions India in a hard-fought five-set thriller.
Unbeaten by their respective rivals en route to the Sunday's climax, the Brazilian girls sacrificed the opening set to China but then toughened up their defense, with powerful hitters Thaisa Menezes and Vieira Silva Elymara uncorking exceptional spikes to help the team clinch the second and third sets 25-22 25-17.
Wang Yi Mei and Lu Yan were the principals in China's strong comeback in the fourth set, with Wang hitting thundering cross-court spikes and Lu overpowering smaller blockers. China took the fourth 25-21.
But Brazil seized control of the tiebreaker taking a commanding 10-5 lead. They allowed China just ten points on their way to their fourth world title.
It was Brazilian head coach Wadson Lima's second world title on Thai soil. He also steered his country's U-18 squad to the title here in Thailand in 1997.
In the play-offs, Poland finished third after outclassing Netherlands 3-0 (28-26 25-23 25-14), Germany came in fifth after defeating Ukraine 3-1 (17-25 25-20 25-18 25-23) and Belarus ended in seventh place after stunning Russia 3-2 (26-24 25-18 18-25 18-25 15-8). Story by Preechachan Wiriyanupappong .

Individual Awards
1. Best Scorer: Manon Flier (The Netherlands)
2. Best Server: Manon Flier (The Netherlands)
3. Best Receiver: Agata Sawicka (Poland)
4. Best Digger: Agata Sawicka (Poland)
5. Best Setter: Guan Jing Jing (China)
6. Best Spiker: Fabiana Claudino (Brazil)
7. Best Blocker: Christiane Furst (Germany)

Final Ranking
1. Brazil
2. China
3. Poland
4. Netherlands
5. Germany
6. Ukraine
7. Belarus
8. Russia
9. South Korea, Thailand, Turkey and Venezuela
10. Algeria, Cuba, Puerto Rico and Taiwan