Milan, Italy, September 25, 2010 – The 17th edition of the FIVB Men’s World Championship got under way with more than 60,000 fans taking in the action across six different cities on Saturday with Egypt, Italy, Brazil, Cuba, Russia, Puerto Rico, USA, Argentina, Bulgaria, France, Poland and Serbia all victorious in their respective pools.
A total of 24 teams have been split into six groups in the first round of this 15-day competition where teams from each group play each other once with the top three teams in each group advancing.
Pool A in Milan
Egypt beat Iran 3-0 (25-21, 25-17, 25-21)
Italy beat Japan 3-0 (25-20, 25-16, 25-14)
Egypt made the best possible start to the 2010 Men’s World Championship with a convincing win over Iran. Ahmed Abdelhay top-scored with 19 points as Egypt reversed a 3-2 loss in their last encounter against Iran at the 2009 Grand Champions Cup. “We did not make many mistakes and that is why we managed to win,” Egypt coach Antonio Giocobbe said.
The second match in Milan saw home team Italy beat Japan for the 22nd time out of 29 FIVB matches between the two teams with a thorough straight-sets win, much to the joy of a packed Mediolanum Forum. “After last season and as we are playing in our own country it was a match full of emotions but we were very good at maintaining our composure and kept the match under control,” Italy captain Valerio Vermiglio said.
Pool B in Verona
Brazil beat Tunisia 3-0 (25-14, 25-21, 25-14)
Cuba beat Spain 3-2 (21-25, 25-18, 25-19, 20-25, 15-13)
Reigning world champions Brazil beat a youthful but promising Tunisian team – with Brazilian goalkeeper Dida of AC Milan looking on - despite missing setter Marlon who had stomach problems, and his absence may prove more significant in later matches. “We are worried about Marlon, his condition became worse during the night for his intestinal problems,” Brazil coach Bernardo Rezende said. “He has been visited in Modena by a specialist. We hope to have him back for the next matches, hopefully for the third phase but the most important thing for us is Marlon's health, not his recovering time."
In the second match in Verona Cuba pipped Spain in a five-set thriller 3-2 (21-25, 25-18, 25-19, 21-25, 15-13).
Pool C in Modena
Russia beat Cameroon 3-0 (25-11, 25-20, 25-22)
Puerto Rico beat Australia 3-1 (25-22, 25-22, 26-28, 25-19)
Cameroon had plenty to thank libero Alain Fossi Kamto for as the world No. 21 reached double figures for the first time against the world No. 2 Russia, the six time champions who completed a straight-sets win with World League top scorer Maxim Mikhaylov and Yury Berezhko contributing 14 and 11 points respectively. The only other time these teams have met in an FIVB competition was at the 1989 World Cup which Russia won 3-0 (15-6, 15-5, 15-2). “We wanted to score as many points as possible but our team didn’t play as well as we can,” Cameroon captain Malloum Abbas El Hadj said.
In the second match Puerto Rico beat Australia for the first time in an FIVB competition with a well worked win. Australia had won the only previous encounter between the two sides in the 2007 World Cup but the experience of Puerto Rico prevailed on this occasion. “I am a little bit disappointed because I think we had chances of winning the first two sets but the experience of Puerto Rico allowed them to score key points,” Australia captain Benjamin Hardy said. “They played really good defence and scored some points in incredible situations.”
Pool D in Reggio Calabria
Argentina beat Venezuela 3-0 (25-23, 25-17, 25-18)
USA beat Mexico 3-2 (22-25, 19-25, 25-18, 25-22, 15-11)
Argentina beat Venezuela for the first time in FIVB history with big guns Facundo Conte and Rodrigo Quiroga leading their team to a stunning straight-sets victory.Conte was the game’s top scorer with 18 points while Quiroga used his experience to score the critical points of each set. Carlos Tejeda was Venezuela’s best scorer (11 points). Venezuela have won both of the previous two encounters between the teams. “I'm extremely happy,” Argentina captain Rodrigo Quiroga said. “We played a perfect game, especially from the tactical point of view. It was important to start well this World Championship.”
Meanwhile Olympic champions USA rebounded from two sets down to clinch a difficult victory over neighbours Mexico in a 3-2 thriller in the second game in Reggio Calabria.
Pool E in Turin
France beat Czech Republic 3-2 (25-19, 22-25, 25-21, 24-26, 15-10)
Bulgaria beat China 3-0 (25-14, 25-19, 25-22)
The day’s highest points haul of 28 by Antonin Rouzier led France to a 3-2 win over the Czech Republic in Turin. World No. 12 France were made to work hard for their victory against a side ranked 24 places below them. The Czech Republic's Jan Stokr tallied 26 points to finish as the day’s second top scorer. “We lost very important points in the fifth set and we are not very happy because we were supposed to win,” Czech Republic captain Andrei Hudecek said.
Bulgaria opened its 2010 FIVB Men's World Championship campaign with a straight-sets victory over China in Turin. "I would like to say that I'm happy for the victory,” Bulgaria captain Vladimir Nikolov said. “We know that we are strong, we feel powerful in a physical way but it wasn't easy."
Pool F in Trieste
Poland beat Canada 3-0 (25-22, 25-21, 25-13)
Serbia beat Germany 3-0 (25-21, 25-21, 25-13)
Poland scored a convincing straight-sets victory over Canada to record their fifth win from as many matches against their North American opponents. “We definitely felt a lot of energy as we played in front of a full house,” Canada captain Louis-Pierre Mainville said. “The presence of so many Polish fans did not affect us, actually we enjoyed very much playing in front of a packed hall.”
The second match saw Serbia confirm their status as real contenders for the medals at the 2010 FIVB Men’s World Championship with a superb display of power and magnificent technical skills to outclass Germany in straight sets. “I did not expect to win that easy, especially after Germany had won two out of the three matches they played against Brazil," (just prior to the World Championship) said Serbia captain Nikola Grbic.
Pool A (Milano): Italy 2, Egypt 2, Iran 1, Japan 1.
Pool B (Verona): Brazil 2, Cuba 2, Spain 1, Tunisia 1.
Pool C (Modena): Russia 2, Puerto Rico 2, Australia 1, Cameroon 1.
Pool D (Reggio Calabria): Argentina 2, USA 2, Mexico 1, Venezuela 1.
Pool E (Turin): Bulgaria 2, France 2, Czech Republic 1, China 1.
Pool F (Trieste): Serbia 2, Poland 2, Canada 1, Germany 1.
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FIVB Press Department Director
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FIVB Press Department Director - Richard Baker
Mobile. +39 334 914 1332