PRESS RELEASE 03.04.2005


Poland new champion

Riga, Latvia, April 3, 2005 - Poland took the Boys' Youth European Championship title after defeating France in the final here in Riga, Latvia on Sunday (3:2). After the Polish team finished second place in 2001 and 2003, Poland finally captured the European title. Italy claimed the bronze medal.

Although Poland was the underdog in the final against France, the Polish team won the match and therefore took the European title in a spectacular final, watched by almost 1'500 spectators including the Latvian Prime Minister Argans Kalvitis.

France started well in the first set and kept the lead until 20-18. At that moment Poland scored some great points, clinching the set after a first lead (25-23). In the second set there was hardly any difference between the two teams, but again it was Poland who won the set 25-23 with the French team saving three set points.

During the third set France improved their play drastically, gaining an important lead (22-17) before Poland managed to close the gap (22-21). But this time France kept concentrated, finally winning the third set.

In the fourth set France was definitely the better team, virtually blowing Poland off the court (25-13). With the match tied at 2-2 the French team took a 4-1 lead in the tiebreaker, but at 10-10 Poland was back at the level of the first two sets. It was Bartosz Kurek who scored the last point for Poland (15-12), being voted Best Attacker of the event. Other Pole Jakub Jarosz was voted Most Valuable Player of the tournament.

Italy took the bronze medal with an extremely easy victory over Slovakia, the surprise team of the semifinals (3:0).

The tournament Riga turned out to be a real spectator magnet. Almost 12'000 fans passed the entry gates in the six days of play, a new record for a Youth European Championship. With an average of 370 spectators per match a record for the Youth European Championships was broken. Previous record holder was Liberec (CZE) in 2001 with an average of 300 spectators per match. Riga also broke the record number of the maximum spectators present per match: when Latvia opposed France, 1'450 spectators were in the arena. The previous record was set in Czech Liberec, where for the final between Russia and Poland 1'300 fans were present. Furthermore a lot of matches were covered on different television stations in Latvia.

Individual Awards:
Most Valuable Player: Jakub Jarosz (POL)
Best Attacker: Bartosz Kurek (POL)
Best Server: Emmanuel Ragondet (FRA)
Best Blocker: Michele Parusso (ITA)
Best Setter: Davide Saitta (ITA)
Best Libero: Adrian Stanczak (POL)
Best Receiver: Rafael Mrozek (FRA)

Youth European Championship 2005
Boys Final Round in Riga (LAT)

Final result
POL - FRA 3:2 25-23, 25-23, 21-25, 13-25, 15-12 116 mins

Bronze Medal Match
ITA - SVK 3:0 25-14, 25-14, 25-22 57 mins

Match for 5-6 place
BUL - RUS 0:3 19-25, 21-25, 14-25 62 mins

Match for 7-8 place
SCG - SLO 1:3 20-25, 17-25, 25-22, 20-25 86 mins

Match for 9-10 place
GER - LAT 2:3 27-25, 21-25, 10-25, 25-22, 10-15 121 mins

Match for 11-12 place
EST - ESP 3:0 25-23, 25-21, 25-21 75 mins

Final Ranking
1. Poland
2. France
3. Italy
4. Slovakia
5. Russia
6. Bulgaria
7. Slovenia
8. Serbia & Montenegro
9. Latvia
10. Germany
11. Estonia
12. Spain

The first six teams of the Youth European Championship 2005 qualify for the FIVB Youth World Championship in Algeria from 21 August to 1 September 2005

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