China’s U20 team were in rampant form on their way to the
FIVB Women’s U20 World Championship.
back on a tournament in which Xu Jiande’s side won gold
without even dropping a set.
“It is just hard work;” that was the understated way in which
China coach Xu Jiande summed up the secret to his side’s success.
Considering how successful they were in Brno, Czech Republic then
one can only wonder how much work they had put in to win gold.
After going through the tournament without dropping a set China
showed that they were a cut above the rest of the competition by
beating Japan 3-0 (25-13, 25-17, 25-15) in the gold medal match.
It meant China finished with a 24-0 record in sets and an 8-0 record
in matches to secure their first U20 world title since 1995.
Ting Zhu was voted MVP and she was also joint tournament leading
scorer on 167 with the Dominican Republic’s Elizabeth Martinez. In
the final Ting scored 26 points and in front of 4,000 enthusiastic
spectators at the Kajot Arena hit the gold-medal winning points with
a powerful block winner.
China paint town red with perfect record
“We are happy with today’s result,” Xiu said following the final. “In
terms of body height, Japan was one of the smallest teams here in
Brno. However, the Japanese team played with heart and never-
ending fighting spirit. China can learn a lot from them. There is no
secret to China’s success in this age category. It is just hard work.”
For Japan their second place finish was a surprise result considering
that they began the tournament ranked ninth in the world. On their
way to the final they beat Turkey and Italy to show that there are still
plenty of players coming through the ranks, while the silver was their
first medal at U20 age-group level since they left Milan in 1985, with
the silver medals in their luggage.
Congratulations to China,
they deserve their first
place after a fantastic run
here in Brno.
Japan coach Yasuhiro Fukuda
“We learned a lot during the tournament. We did not expect to
go as far, but with every game we won, we grew a little bit more.
At the end, it was a successful combination of strong defence and
Brazil won the bronze medal with a 3-0 (28-26, 25-21, 25-18) victory
The South Americans maintained their remarkable run at the
tournament with their third place finish. Having competed in
every U20 World Championship they now hold 12 medals from 17
tournaments; six gold, four silver and two bronze medals.
“We wanted the gold,” Brazil captain Rosamaria Montibeller said,
“but we are very happy for this bronze medal.”