Press release

Russia collect eighth gold medal in men’s junior event

Russian players celebrate the eighth gold medal earned by the country in 16 appearances in the FIVB Men's Junior World Championship

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, August 10, 2011 – Russia added another gem to its long collection of gold medals in the FIVB Men’s Junior World Championship following a thrilling 3-2 (25-19, 23-25, 21-25, 25-18, 15-12) victory over Argentina in the title’s match of the 2011 edition at Maracanazinho Gymnasium in Rio de Janeiro on Wednesday.

Russian Leonid Shchadilov, the best spiker of the tournament, was named the Most Valuable Player. Teammates Igor Filippov (best blocker) and Aleksey Kabeshov (best libero) were also awarded in the closing ceremony.

It is the eighth time –including four under the Soviet Union flag- that Russia finish at the top of the biennial competition for men under 21 years-old. They previously won the gold in 1977, 1981, 1985, 1989, 1995, 1999 and 2005. It is also their 13th medal overall taking sole possession of first place in that department –one more podiums than Brazil.

The silver medal for Argentina had historical significance since their previous best honor had been a bronze medal in 2009 when the event was held in Pune, India.

Live scoring, results, news and photos on FIVB Volleyball Men's Junior World Championship Brazil 2011.

"A gold medal is everything. That's how I feel,” Russia’s coach Sergey Schlyapnikov said. “We had a lot of information about Argentina and we knew it was going to be a tough game. I think the key for us was a quick recovery from our psychological problems."

“I want to congratulate Russia, but also my team as we played a great tournament without having the star players Russia has,” Argentina’s coach Juan Manuel Cichelo said. “We are real champions too. I am happy for Argentina’s first gold match chance, but I am also sad because we were so close of the win and couldn’t make it”.

The bronze medal went to Serbia who defeated United States 3-1 (25-15, 25-20, 23-25, 25-13).

This bronze medal is a big goal we achieved,” Serbia’s coach Milan Zarkovic said. “Seven of my players won the Youth World Championship two years ago and it’s important for them to be among the top three teams in the world in the Junior’s age, too.”

“Fourth place is the worst position you can have as you have lost the two most important matches,” U.S. Coach John Hawks IV said, “but I am sure many other teams would like to be in our place and I am happy for my players.”

Gold Medal Match
Russia 3, Argentina 2

Volleyball powerhouse Russia improved its supremacy by winning its eighth gold medal in the biennial tournament. The second world-ranked team in Youth and Junior defeated top-ranked Argentina in a dramatic five-setter (25-19, 23-25, 20-25, 25-18, 15-12) to confirm its condition as the most prolific winner of the tournament. Russian opposite Andrey Kolesnik scored 18 points in the deciding match to be the top scorer of the meeting. Teammates Oleg Tsentalovich and Most Valuable Player Leonid Shchadilov scored 12 points each. Argentineans Agustín Ramonda and Nicolas Mendez charted 15 and 14. Russia held the advantage in blocks (17-13) and in service aces (7-3). In attacks the champions had the edge 55-54 and made 29 errors to 30 by Argentina.

Bronze Medal Match
Serbia 3, United States 1

Fifth Youth and Junior world-ranked Serbia earned the bronze medal by scoring a 3-1 (25-15, 25-20, 23-25, 25-13) victory over United States. The Serbians were making their second appearance in the tournament. It was the best position ever for USA in the tournament as the American side had finished in seventh place on three occasions. Serbian captain and opposite Aleksandar Atanasijevic topped the scorers with impressive 24 points. Outside hitters Uros Kovacevic and Milan Petric added 13 and 10 to the winning side. USA's most effective players were wing spiker Taylor Sander (13) and opposite Joshua Taylor (10).

5th Place Match
Brazil 3, Iran 2

Hosts Brazil claimed fifth place by edging Iran 3-2 (25-22, 20-25, 19-25, 25-22, 15-10) in a well fought duel at Maracanazinho Gymnasium. Brazilian opposite Luan Weber was the top scorer for the home team by registering 29 points, all but one via spikes, while Ricardo Lucarelli posted 17. In the Iranian side, most of the points were produced by opposite Amir Ghafour (26) and outside hitter Mojtaba Mirzajanpour (24). The fifth place for Brazil is their lowest position since they finished sixth in the editions of 1985 and 1987.

7th Place Match
Spain 3, India 2

Spain mounted a spectacular comeback from two sets down to defeat India (21-25, 17-25, 25-21, 25-12, 19-17) and claim the seventh place. Francisco Ruiz and Borja Ruiz led Spain with 21 and 17 points respectively while Andres Villena started the last three sets and contributed 14 points. India’s T.D. Ravikumar had a match-high 21 points. The seventh place for Spain equals the best finish of the country achieved in the 1995 edition.

9th Place Match
Belgium 3, Germany 2

Belgium survived the duel with Germany for ninth position prevailing in a five-setter by score of 25-22, 22-25, 22-25, 30-28, 15-11. The tandem of Sam Deroo (27) and Francois Lecat (23) combined to score 50 points for the winning team. Germany’s Simon Hirsch led all the scorers with 34 points, including 8 blocks. The losing squad had a big advantage in blocks (26-9) while the Belgians responded by dominating in the serving ace department (13-6). After Belgium came back to win the fourth set, Germany faltered in the fifth and fell behind early. The team rallied, but it was not enough to beat Belgium.

11th Place Match
Canada 3, Japan 0

Canada claimed the 9th position following a 3-0 (25-23, 25-20, 25-19) over Japan in the first match of the day in Niteroi. Tommy Belisle led Canada with 18 points while Takashi Dekita and Taiki Tsuruda totaled 16 and 13 for Japan. The Canadians benefited from 31 unforced errors committed by the losing side and held a 6-1 advantage in the blocking category. Canada improved from the 12th place in 2009 but was short from its best position ever, a fifth place in 1999.

Final positions: 1. Russia, 2. Argentina, 3. Serbia, 4. United States, 5. Brazil, 6. Iran, 7. Spain, 8. India, 9. Belgium, 10. Germany, 11. Canada, 12. Japan, 13. Bulgaria, 14. Tunisia, 15. Egypt, 16. Puerto Rico.

Individual awards: MVP: Leonid Shchadilov (RUS); Top Scorer: Aleksandar Atanasijevic (SRB); Best Spiker; Leonid Shchadilov (RUS); Best Blocker: Igor Filippov (RUS); Best Server: Amir Ghafour (IRI); Best Setter: Jesus Bruque (ESP); Best Receiver: S. Kanagaraj (IND); Best Libero: Aleksey Kabeshov (RUS).

Highest Scorer by Day

Day 1 (August 1) 31 points by Simon Hirsch (Germany) in the 3-1 loss to India
Day 2 (August 2) 47 points by Takashi Dekita (Japan) in the 3-2 victory over Bulgaria
Day 3 (August 3) 27 points by Steven Morales (Puerto Rico) in the 3-2 victory over Tunisia
Day 4 (August 5) 21 points by Racem Siala (Tunisia) in the 3-1 victory over Egypt
Day 5 (August 6) 30 points by Selvaprabhu Dhanabaln (India) in the 3-1 loss to Serbia
Day 6 (August 7) 26 points by Tommy Belisle (Canada) in the 3-1 victory over Tunisia
Day 7 (August 8) 30 points by Noah Marrero (Puerto Rico) in the 3-2 loss to Tunisia
Day 8 (August 9) 26 points by Amir Ghafour (Iran) in the 3-0 victory over India
Day 9 (August 10) 34 points by Simon Hirsch (Germany) in the 3-2 loss to Belgium

Top 5 Scoring Performances

47 – Takashi Dekita (Japan) in the 3-2 victory over Bulgaria on August 2
38 – Aleksandar Atanasijevic (Serbia) in the 3-2 victory over Iran on August 2
34 – Simon Hirsch (Germany) in the 3-2 loss to Belgium on August 10
31 – Simon Hirsch (Germany) in the 3-1 loss to India on August 1
30 – Selvaprabhu Dhanabaln (India) in the 3-1 loss to Serbia on August 6
30 – Noah Marrero (Puerto Rico) in the 3-2 loss to Tunisia on August 8

Top 5 Blocking Performances

11- Mohamed El Askolany (Egypt) in the 3-1 victory over Germany on August 2
11- Igor Filippov (Russia) in the 3-1 victory over Serbia on August 9
9 – G.R. Vaishnav (India) in the 3-1 loss to Serbia on August 6
8 – Lucas Van Berkel (Canada) in the 3-2 loss to Serbia on August 3
8 – Simon Hirsch (Germany) in the 3-2 loss to Belgium on August 10

Top 5 Service Ace Performances

6 – Amir Ghafour (Iran) in the 3-2 loss to Brazil on August 10
4 – Andrey Kolesnik (Russia) in the 3-0 victory over India on August 2
4 – Uros Kovacevic (Serbia) in the 3-2 victory over Iran on August 2
4 – Paul Sprung (Germany) in the 3-1 victory over Puerto Rico on August 5
4 – Stijn D’Hulst (Belgium) in the 3-2 victory over Germany on August 10
4 – Francois Lecat (Belgium) in the 3-2 victory over Germany on August 10

Top 5 Set Scores

36-34 (India versus Brazil) in second round on August 7 in Rio de Janeiro
34-32 (Puerto Rico versus Germany) in second round on August 5 in Niteroi
33-31 (Japan versus Bulgaria) in first round on August 2 in Rio de Janeiro
30-28 (Serbia versus Iran) in first round on August 2 in Niteroi
30-28 (Spain versus United States) in second round August 6 in Rio de Janeiro
30-28 (Belgium versus Germany) in 9th place match August 19 in Niteroi

Top 5 Scoring Matches

235 – India def. Brazil 36-34, 22-25, 21-25, 25-17, 16-14 in second round on August 7 in Rio de Janeiro
225 - United States def. Spain 25-21, 20-25, 26-24, 28-30, 15-11 in second round on August 6 in Rio de Janeiro
225 – Belgium def. Germany 25-22, 22-25, 22-25, 30-28, 15-11 in ninth place match on August 10 in Niteroi
224 –Serbia def. Iran 23-25, 22-25, 30-28, 25-18, 15-13 in first round on August 2 in Niteroi
223 – Japan def. Bulgaria 20-25, 20-25, 33-31, 25-18, 15-11 in first round on August 2 in Rio de Janeiro
223 – Tunisia def. Puerto Rico 27-29, 25-21, 25-21, 23-25, 15-12 in semifinal 13-16 on August 8 in Niteroi

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