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2009 FIVB Men's Grand Champions Cup
Osaka - Nagoya, Japan
18 - 23 November 2009

 
 Press Release
Japan seizes seventh gold at Asian Men’s Championship

Japan celebrate their seventh Asian title
Manila, Philippines, October 5, 2009 — In a showdown of Asian Volleyball supremacy at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium on Monday, Japan battled back from a set down to defeat Iran 1-3 (19-25, 25-18, 25-23, 25-22) and win the 15th Asian Senior Men’s Championship.

It was Japan’s seventh gold in 15 appearances at the tournament, and follows titles in 1975, 1983, 1987, 1991,1995 and 2005.

Iran made due with silver, its best result in 13 championship appearances, bettering the bronze it won in 2003.

By reaching the finals, Iran had already booked a spot at the FIVB World Grand Champions Cup in November, as Japan had already qualified for the tournament as hosts.

Blocking was the key to Iran’s fantastic performance in the first set. Japan’s floor coverage and serves were unstable, causing them to lag almost the entire set. Japan’s sporadic moments of glory came from the back-court attacks of Tatsuya Fukuzawa and Kunhirio Shimizu.

Iranian captain Alireza Nadi and co-middle blocker Seyed Mohammad Mousavi Eraghi, meanwhile, figured prominently in their team’s blocks. Japan could not control the pressure from the taller Iranians’ blocks and lost the first set 25-19.

Japan finally found their rhythm in the second set. Southpaw Shimizu pressured the Iranian reception with his rocket serves, while setter and captain Daisuke Usami successfully disguised Fukuzawa’s attacks from virtually all over the court.

Iran tried to narrow Japan’s increasing lead by beefing up its reception with substitutions in the back row. Wing hitters Farhad Nazari Afshar and Mohammad Mohammad Kazem kept the team’s hopes alive with hits from both sides of the net but Japan took the second set off a beautiful kill behind the attack line by Fukuzawa, 25-18.

Although Japan tried to continue pressing Iran’s floor defence with their patiently executed attack and counter-attack play, the third set saw errors pile up on both sides. Several errors and violations uncharacteristic of Japan plagued them. Iran, meanwhile, started to become unhinged later as they also collected their share of errors from serves and attacks. Wing hitters Shimizu and Mohammad Kazem led their respective teams in offense. Outside hitter Fukuzuwa again finished off the set by deflecting a hit from Iran’s block, 25-23.

Iran came out of the fourth-set huddle with renewed confidence as they bombarded Japan with attack combinations early in the set. Mousavi Eraghi contributed points with his quick attacks as well. Japanese floor coverage, however, was impeccable, enabling the team to consistently launch its own attack combinations. Their confidence grew as they dug and even blocked almost every ball that went their way, while Iran could not shake off the jitters as they committed errors at the net. Japan took the set, match and the championship off an Iranian service that went long, 25-22.

In the bronze medal match, Korea and China faced off in a battle of sheer offensive power that lasted until the fourth set. Korea won the match to capture their seventh bronze in fifteen editions.

Kim Yo-Han engineered a compelling scoring routine for the Koreans, staying undaunted by the threat of the Chinese blockers. Team captain Kang Don-Jin also stepped up to scoring duties for the Koreans especially during crucial plays. The team’s good reception also charted important saves for the Koreans. China, on the other hand, suited up its players from the bench, but could not seem to cook up the right combination of substitutions to quell the Koreans.

RESULTS

Semifinal:

1st-2nd: Iran vs. Japan 1-3 (19-25, 25-18, 25-23, 25-22)

3rd – 4th: Korea vs. China 3-1 (25-23, 25-22, 22-25, 25-23)

5th – 6th: Kazakhstan vs. Indonesia 3-1 (18-25, 25-22, 10-25, 17-25

7th- 8th: Australia vs. Chinese Taipei 3-0 (25-15, 25-21, 25-14)

9th – 10th: Myanmar vs. India 0-3 (21-25, 16-25, 16-25)

11th – 12th: Lebanon vs. Vietnam 3-0 (25-23, 25-24, 25-22)

13th -14th: Qatar vs. Thailand 0-3 (17-25, 24-26, 21-25)

15th – 16th: Sri Lanka vs. Philippines 0-3 (match cancelled due to early department of SRI)

 

FINAL STANDINGS

1.     Japan

2.     Iran

3.     Korea

4.     China

5.     Kazakhstan

6.     Indonesia

7.     Australia

8.     Chinese Taipei

9.     India

10.   Myanmar

11.   Lebanon

12.   Vietnam

13.   Thailand

14.   Qatar

15.   Philippines

16.   Sri Lanka

17.   Hong Kong

18.   Maldives

 

INDIVIDUAL AWARDS

Best Scorer                        Kim Yo-Han (KOR)

Best Spiker                        Andri (INA)

Best Blocker                       Seyed Mohammad Mousavi Eraghi (IRI)

Best Server                        Kim Yo-Han (KOR)

Best Libero                        Yeo Oh-Hyun (KOR)

Best Setter                         Han Sun Soo(KOR)

Best Receiver                     Yeo Oh-Hyun (KOR)

Most Popular Player             Kim Yo-Han (KOR)

Most Valuable Player           Tatsuya Fukuzawa (JPN)

 


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