Casablanca, July 12, 2007 – Following Wednesday night's emotional matches, Thursday and Friday are rest days at the Men's Junior World Championship in Morocco but the teams will have plenty to think about ahead of their semifinals matches. The defending seven-time World champions Russia will face Iran, the new Asian powerhouse on Saturday.
In the other semifinal, the 2003 and 2055 runners up Brazil play Italy. The losers of each match will play on Sunday for the bronze medal defending five-time champions while the winners will fight for the glorius gold.
In the 5th-8th classification round to be played on Saturday in Rabat, Bulgaria face USA at 16:00 h and Cuba against Argentina at 18:30 h. Finally the 9th-12th classification round will be played on Saturday's morning in Casablanca with Japan against Egypt at 09:00 h and hosts Morocco against Slovenia at 11:30h.
After five days of tough competition, Brazil and Russia are the most favored despite Russia's 3–1 victory over Brazil in the first day of the competition in Rabat, which was reportedly considered by the Brazilians as only a warm up for the actual final expected to be between both teams on Sunday. Two years ago in India, the Junior World Championship had a similar final between the South American and the European Champions with the Russian victory 3–0.
Many players have emerged in the first round matches with the most prominent being the Japanese big gun Daisuke Yako, who is the best scorer of the tournament so far with a total of 101 points. The Bulgarian promising wing spiker Tsvetan Sokolov has also impressed with 98 points while the Cuban Yoandy Leal Hidalgo has been also very efficient attacking weapon with 97 points.
Regarding the individual skills after the first round matches, Argentine Facundo Santucci is the best digger, Italian Davide Saitta is the best setter, Italian Matteo Martin ois the best receiver, Bulgarian Ivan Kolev is the best spiker, Brazilian Deivid Costa is the best blocker, Russian Maxim Mikhaylov is the best serve and Japanese Tomohiko Sakanashi is the best libero so far.