July 13, 2003 - Brazil became the 2003 Boy's Under-19 World Championship title holders for the sixth time after a stunning 25-22 26-24 25-19 victory in the final in Suphan Buri, Thailand over Asian champions India on Sunday.
The victory was not only another impressive addition to the collection of championship titles for Brazil but it was sweet revenge on the team to whom they lost in the group round-robin preliminaries.
The resounding win, infront of Thailand’s 21st Prime Minister Banharn Silapa-Archa, sends out a warning to the volleyball world
that Brazil remain an indomitable giant not to be toppled easily in the near
future. The South American champions landed thei first Boy's U19 World title in 1989 in
the United Arab Emirates before stretching their aurra of invincibility for
another three successive times in 1991, 1993 and 1995.
Their nightmarish performances were in the 1997 and the 1999 editions in
Tehran and Riyadh where they produced fifth and seventh place finishes respectively. However, they restored their
pride in Cairo two years later to land the world title after thrashing Iran
in straight sets in the final showdown.
Against formidable India, Brazil got solid performances from their starters
including hard-hitting Danilo Cruz de Carvalho and Antonio de Almeida
Silmar. Nevertheless, India, unbeaten en route to Sunday’s final clash,
took the advantage initially, thanks to their strong back-court game and
Ratish’s fast spikes. India took the commanding 11-7 lead before Brazil
stormed back with spectacular spikes and efficient blocks to snatch the
hard-fought first set 25-22.
Sanjay Kumar, who won two individual titles including the Most Valuable
Player Award at the India-hosted Asian Championship last April, and Srikant
P. Satya, were the principal players behind India’s strong comeback in the second set,
with Kumar penetrating the Brazilian defence with his exceptional spikes to
help India lead 10-7.
Buoyed by parochial fans who shouted all the way “Come on India, Come on
India”, the Indians maintained their poise, started producing the goods and
advanced to 18-15. As India headed swiftly for the set win, Brazil gathered
their courage and determination to catch India at 23-all before moving ahead
to clinch the closely-contested set 26-24.
After going down in two straight sets, India tried to decipher the tough
rivals’ tactics and came out with a more aggressive game. The Indian fans came
to life after their team stayed in front 17-14. However, their joy did not last long, as the Brazilians regrouped to prove that their five-time
triumph in the World Championship was no fluke.
They stormed on with a powerful attack, making the spirited Indians
unable to stop the Brazilian onslaught. Brazil captured the set 25-19 and
the world title. After the win, the Brazilian
players hugged each other, jumping with great joy and laughter. As the
Brazilians were overjoyed with the sixth world title, India left the
battlefield with their heads low in great despair.
“I’m very happy to see Brazil win the world title again," Brazilian head coach Oncken Percy
said. "My boys played according to plan, trying to refrain from
making any mistakes.
"India also played well, but we were in better form.
It’s the greatest moment since we not only avenged them for the 1-3 loss in the group round-robin preliminaries, but also it is our sixth world
crown. Everyone did his best today. I’m very appreciative of everyone’s
dedication ranging from the hard training to the tough competitions. It’s a
memorable success for our team,”
Earlier, Iran downed the Czech Republic 3-1 (25-21 20-25 25-21 25-18) to finish in
third place, while Russia came back from a first set loss to beat
Thailand 3-1 (25-27 25-19 25-19 25-21) and take fifth spot. In the
seventh place play-off, Puerto Rico powered past Australia in straight sets
25-23 26-24 30-28.
Individually, Russia and Iran shared two titles, with Iranian
Mohammad Soleymani winning the Best Scorer Award and Moslem Mohammadizadeh
the Best Receiver Award respectively.
Russian Alexei Ostapenko grabbed the Best Server Award, with teammate Roman
Danilov taking home the Best Spiker Award. Brazilian Danilo Cruz de Carvalho
won the Best Blocker Award, while Puerto Rican Edgardo Hernandez claimed the
Best Digger Award and Indian Kamaraj S. Ramaswamy took the Best Setter
4. Czech Republic
7. Puerto Rico
1. Best Scorer – No.14 Mohammad Soleymani (Iran)
2. Best Spiker – No.9 Roman Danilov (Russia)
3. Best Blocker – No.12 Danilo Cruz de Carvalho (Brazil)
4. Best Server – No.7 Alexei Ostapenko (Russia)
5. Best Digger – No.12 Edgardo Hernandez (Puerto Rico)
6. Best Setter – No.2 Kamaraj S. Ramaswamy (India)
7. Best Receiver – No.5 Moslem Mohammadizadeh (Iran)