PRESS RELEASE 20.09.2004



Morocco claim trophy

Nairobi, Kenya, September 20, 2004 - It was thrills and spills as the 11th edition of African Nations Championships Junior Men Volleyball Championships ended with Morocco being crowned the new champions after beating Tunisia in a thrilling final match at Kasarani on Sunday.

Never before has high quality Volleyball among juniors been witnessed in Kenya as Morocco beat a determined Tunisian side 3-2 (23-25, 25-22, 23-25, 25-21, 11-15) sets in a match befitting a final. The two finalists automatically qualified to represent Africa at the Word Championships that will be held in New Delhi, India next year.

It was a thriller and a deserved victory that summed up the description of the final in the Moi International Sports Centre Kasarani. Both sides reached the last two without losing a match and the encounter between the two North African nations turned out to be a befitting climax of the championships.

By the first official technical time out Tunisia led 8-6 but Morocco fought back with Zakaria once again producing some magic which saw his side pull away to lead 16-15 at the second official technical time out. From there the two sides exchanged the lead before Morocco took the first set.

The second set belonged to Tunisia as Mrabet Marrone and Ben Brick, who was voted Most Valuable Player of the tournament, led their attack which saw Tunisia level matters at 1-1.

As if determined to make a repeat in the third set, Tunisia took the early initiative and jumped to an 8-2 lead. But Morocco fought back to lead 16-15 before claiming the third set.

Despite Morocco taking an early lead in the fourth set, Tunisia led at 8-5 before tying the match at 2-2 with an excellent fourth set victory.

In the fifth set the crowd was treated to a great finish as Morocco took the lead 1-0, 2-0, 2-1, 3-1, 3-2, 4-2, 5-2 and 6-2 before Tunisia fought back to trail 8-6. However, there was no denying Morocco victory as Esseddyq attacked and defended superbly to seal Tunisia's fate and be crowned the new champions.

Meanwhile, outgoing champions Egypt, who had lost to Morocco in the semifinals, had to settle for the bronze medal after beating hosts Kenya 3-0 (25-19, 25-16, 26-24) in the play off for third.