FIVB VolleyWorld 10/2013 - English - page 12

Pankov to the fore as U19s get golden
Russian summer under way
Russia’s boys’ U19 team showed that the future of volleyball
in their country is in safe hands by carrying off the FIVB Boys’
U19 World Championships and
looks back on the
action from Mexico.
Anyone with any doubts as to whether the future of Russian volleyball
was in safe hands had them wiped away at the FIVB Boys’ U19 World
Championship when the east Europeans won the gold medal and
added the 2013 U19 title to their two previous successes at the 1999
and 2005 editions.
Alexander Karikov’s side held off an impressive China side in the
final with a 3-1 (25-23, 22-25, 25-17, 25-14) victory and in doing so
they added the world crown to their European title. In beating China
they completed an unbeaten run in the tournament that began
with wins over Iran, France, Rwanda and Finland in the group stage
and continued with victories over USA, Cuba and Iran again in the
elimination rounds to set up a gold medal clash with China.
“When I arrived in Mexico fourteen days ago I had in my mind that
the final match would be against China, so I was mentally prepared
for it,” Karikov said. “The reason for that thinking was the minimal
mistakes this team makes.”
“I talked to my players about the need to produce strong serves
and organise the block. When we lost the second set I told them to
remember our plan and that the only way to win against China was
with our serves. Then we started to serve better and better.”
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