Tehran, Iran, August 29 - In a day of major surprises, Brazil, Bulgaria, South Korea and Poland qualified for the semifinals of the 12th Men's Under 21 World Championship in Tehran following fantastic victories over Iran, Russia, Germany and Serbia and Montenegro respectively.
It was a sad day and a major shock for the organizers who were one of the favorites along with Russia and Brazil for the title. But they had the toughest of assignments in trying to beat the Brazilian big guns. Despite the 13,000 fans in attendance Brazil still triumphed in straight sets (25-21, 25-20, 25-20).
Bulgaria caused one of the upsets of the tournament when they beat the Russian juggernaut 3-1 (25-21, 16-26, 25-23, 25-19) in a super match which saw Matey Kaziyski and Danail Milushev shine for the victors.
Bulgarian coach Brunko Gavrolov was proud of the victory. "We were confident and steady, so we just applied our tactics to win the nervous match," he said.
In the other matches South Korea continued their superb run with a 3-2 (24-26, 25-21, 25-19, 23-25, 15-11) win over Germany. The Korean superstar Dong-jin Kang was the man of the match after he led his team with talented hits and blocks to win the critical points.
"Kang destroyed our hopes to be in the semifinals," German coach Michael Warm said. "He is a marvelous player and the main cause of his team's success."
In the final quarterfinal match Serbia and Montenegro, the second best team after Brazil so far in the competition, beat the highly technical and tactical Poland 3-1 victory (26-24, 25-23, 22-25, 25-23) after a very high performance of the match superstar Michal Winiarski.