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Russia defend world title in fantastic display of volleyball

 
Russia triumph as champions of the world

Ankara, Turkey, September 1, 2013 – Russia claimed the FIVB Volleyball Men's U21 World Championship title with a fantastic performance in the gold medal match with Brazil.  The team around coach Mikhail Nikolaev made volleyball look like an easy game as they were too strong for the South American powerhouse by 3-0 (25-16, 25-16, 25-20) to defend their champion’s title from 2011.  Victor Poletaev’s phenomenal contribution to this final victory, as well as his performance throughout this tournament earned him the honour of being selected as the Most Valuable Player.

 

Russia beat Brazil at the Olympics and in the World League. So we had to do it today,” Russia’s captain Egor Feoktistov said. ”We were worrying about this match, but we also prepared hard. We were as an organic whole today which was necessary to play effectively. We also had a good spirit that could help us not to let our opponents to lead. Surely Brazil is a very good team and it just happened that today we could be better. I want to thank my coach and my team for our success.”

 

”We have been dominant during all previous games and we felt that we have to win today, but it also created a big psychological pressure on us. Maybe if we had not been favourites, it would have been easier, but our players could deal with this psychological pressure and they could play effectively,” coach Mikhail Nikolaev added.

 

This is Russia’s fifth title in the history of the competition, but they also have four more gold medals as an inheritance from the Soviet Union.  On the other hand, for Brazil this is the 13th medal out of the 17 editions of this world championship.

 

Italy completed the podium with the bronze medals after they defeated France by 3-1 (25-21, 25-16, 20-25, 28-26) in the third place classification match.  On Sunday’s last competition day in Ankara and Izmir, the final classification matches for the distribution of the places from 5th to 16th were also played to determine the final ranking of the tournament.

 

The championship was officially closed with an awarding ceremony at Baskent Volleyball Hall in Ankara, where FIVB Board Member Philip Berben and Turkish Volleyball Federation President Ozkan Mutlugil presented the cup and the gold medals to the Russian team.

 

 

MVP:

Victor Poletaev (RUS)

 

Best team of the World Championship:

Setter: Murat Yenipazar (TUR)

Opposite: Alan Souza (BRA)

Outside Spikers: Egor Feoktistov (RUS), Thibault Rossard (FRA)

Middle Blockers: Edoardo Picco (ITA), Ilyas Kurkaev (RUS)

Libero: Alperay Demirciler (TUR)

 

 

Gold Medal Match

 

Brazil v Russia 0-3 (16-25, 16-25, 20-25)

 

Russia claimed the FIVB Volleyball Men's U21 World Championship title with a fantastic performance in the gold medal match with Brazil.  The team around coach Mikhail Nikolaev made volleyball look like an easy game as they crushed the South American powerhouse by 3-0 (25-16, 25-16, 25-20) to defend their champion’s title from 2011.

 

Russia took charge of the situation in the first set.  With a solid contribution of eight points from left-handed opposite Victor Poletaev, the European team cruised to an impressive 25-16 to take the lead.  In the second set Brazil stepped up their blocking performance in search of a response, but so did Russia.  Poletaev continued to fly as his team made another giant step towards the title with another convincing 25-16.  The South American side kept trying to find the stop button on the Russian machine with their opposite Alan Souza spiking one point after another, but there was no stopping to Victor Poletaev & Co.  Russia continued to dominate through the end when captain Egor Feoktistov’s powerful spike registered the last point of the championship to stop the clock at 25-20.

 

Victor Poletaev scored four of Russia’s eight aces that gave them the biggest advantage in this final.  He added another 13 attacking points and 3 blocking points for a total of 20 to become the best scorer of the game.  Alan Souza was Brazil’s most prolific player with 14 points.

 

 

Bronze Medal Match

 

Italy v France 3-1 (25-21, 25-16, 20-25, 28-26)

 

Italy triumphed with the bronze medals from U21 World Championship. The European champions won the third place classification match against France after a dramatic ending that shaped up the final 3-1 (25-21, 25-16, 20-25, 28-26).

 

Italy managed to come from behind in the first set and win it by 25-21.  They completely dominated in the second set and doubled their advantage after a convincing 25-16.  However, the Italians lost some of their concentration in the third set, but still attacked successfully.  France showed some great blocking to take the edge.  They were the better team in the conclusive moments of the set to win it by 25-20.  In set four France were cruising towards a tie-breaker as they had a six-point advantage at 21-15.  However, they could not hold on to it and their opponents managed to catch up and level the score.  France were ahead again at 24-23, but could not capitalise on three set points before an ace by Edoardo Picco and a successful block by Enrico Diamantini gave Italy the two break points they needed to win the set by 28-26 and the match by 3-1.

 

Italy’s Luca Borgogno and France’s Julien Winkelmuller emerged as the best scorers of the match with 15 points each.  Substitute Gabrielle Nelli contributed another 14 points to his team’s victory.

 

 

Classification 5-6

 

Iran v Turkey 3-1 (19-25, 25-21, 25-18, 25-18)

 

Iran finished the U21 World Championship in Turkey in the prestigious fifth place. They recovered from a set down to achieve a 3-1 (19-25, 25-21, 25-18, 25-18) victory over the home team of Turkey in front of the many noisy supporters of both teams at Baskent Volleyball Hall in Ankara.

 

Led by Metin Toy, the Turkish offense made the difference in the first set, as the team’s opposite player scored 6 spiking points, including the won that finished it off at 25-19.  The Iranians were quick to respond as they continued their successful blocking and took advantage of Turkey’s abundant errors to win the second set by 25-21.  The powerful attacking performance by the Asian team gave them the advantage in the third set.  Milad Ebadipour Ghara and Javad Hosseinabadi were unstoppable at the net as middle blocker Zarchoub Fallah was the one who put the ball on the floor for the final 25-18.  Turkey tried to get their powerful offence back into rhythm, but simultaneously committed plenty of mistakes to let the fifth place slide away to Iran after another convincing 25-18 in the fourth and final set.

 

Milad Ebadipour Ghara tallied 19 points to top the scorers’ chart of the match.  Baturalp Burak Gungor and Metin Toy were the best scorers for Turkey with 14 points each.

 

 

Classification 7-8

 

Argentina v India 3-2 (22-25, 23-25, 26-24, 25-19, 15-7)

 

Argentina finished the U21 World Championship in Turkey in seventh place. They came from two sets behind to hammer out a 3-2 (22-25, 23-25, 26-24, 25-19, 15-7) victory over India to leave their opponents in the eighth position.

 

Indian spikers Kumar Sohan and Anup D’Costa led India to a 25-22 win in the first set with the latter hitting for the last point.  Both teams stepped up their blocking efforts to provide for a more competitive second set, but the Asian team was once again able to stay on top – 25-23.  Between sets two and three coach Fabian Muraco made several substitutions that proved successful.  Despite making too many errors in the third set, the South Americans emerged victorious by 26-24 to stay alive in the match.  Improving both their blocking and serving performance, Argentina broke away in the fourth set to close it at 25-19.  They established their total superiority in the tie-breaker to win it by 15-7 and achieve a complete turnaround for the final 3-2 in the match.

 

Gonzalo Quiroga excelled with 21 points to become the best score of this classification match.  Anup D’Costa was India’s most prolific player with 15 points.

 

 

Classification 9-10

 

Serbia v Japan 3-0 (25-16, 25-21, 25-23)

 

Serbia held off a relentless Japan to claim the ninth place at the U21 World Championship with a 3-0 (25-16, 25-21, 25-23) victory at Ataturk Hall in Izmir.  Coming to the competition as big contenders for the title, the ninth position is surely a disappointment to the Serbs, despite this win.

 

Uros Kovacevic was the main offensive threat for Japan with 16 points, followed by Mihajlo Stankovic and Drazen Luburic with 14 points each. Takahiko Imamura led the Japanese scorers with 9 points, followed by Naoya Takano 8.

 

After Serbia went easily through winning the first and the second sets, Japan came strongly in the third set with a lot of motivation to look for a comeback, but the Serbs returned to their rhythm to win the third set by narrow 25-23.

 

 

Classification 11-12

 

USA v Canada 3-0 (25-16, 25-17, 25-18)

 

USA outclassed neighbours Canada in straight sets – 3-0 (25-16, 25-17, 25-18), to finish 11th in the final ranking.

 

USA started the match with their best outcome using their serving power to conclude the job as quick as possible. Michael Henchy was the best scorer on the winning side with 12 points, while Jarrid Ireland and Bradley Gunter led Canada's scorers with 10 points each. The big dominance for USA in serving and blocking was the key factor to end the match in style with a wider gap than their preliminary Pool C match that ended in straight sets also in favour of USA.

 

 

Classification 13-14

 

Egypt v Tunisia 2-3 (25-17, 19-25, 25-23, 23-25, 7-15)

 

Tunisia prevailed against North African rivals Egypt in the fight for 13th spot at the U21 World Championship. In a classic African clash, the Tunisians emerged victorious by 3-2 (17-25, 25-19, 23-25, 25-23, 15-7).

  

Leading Tunisia's scoring was opposite spiker Adam Oueslati with 25 points, followed by outside hitter Malek Chekir with 24. Egypt's leading scorer was middle blocker Mohamed Masoud who posted 19 points in a losing effort. Mostafa Abdelrahman charted 13.

 

Egypt started highly concentrated and won the first set with the quick attack strategy through their middle blockers. The Tunisian coach changed the strategy and returned his middle blocker Elyes Garfi to his original position as he blocked well to tie the match at 1-1.  Again, Egypt led in the third set before the Tunisians came back aggressively to win the crucial points of the fourth set and the tie-breaker to earn a victory against their rivals.

 

 

Classification 15-16

 

China v Mexico 3-2 (22-25, 24-26, 25-19, 25-20, 15-9)

 

China concluded their campaign in the 15th position following their exhausting five-set encounter with Mexico that brought them a 3-2 (22-25, 24-26, 25-19, 25-20, 15-9) victory.

 

Mexico ruled in the first two sets, surprising their opponents after both teams played five-set matches the day before. Then China returned to the court with another overview to win the third and the fourth sets setting up another tie-breaker for both teams within 24 hours.  The Chinese were more spirited and won to achieve a complete turnaround.

 

Outstanding outside hitter Zhenghui Liang was his team’s best scorer with impressive 24 points followed by opposite attacker Tingwei Yan who scored 19 points including 5 in the fifth set. The firing Mexican hitter Roberto Rincon set one of the competition best scoring performances with 31 points followed by Julian Duarte with 15 points. Although both teams were very near in the skill statistics, the Chinese were more prominent in their fighting in the defensive action in the backline, where they succeeded to win the crucial points towards the tough win.

 

 

Final Ranking

 

1. Russia
2. Brazil
3. Italy
4. France
5. Iran
6. Turkey
7. Argentina
8. India
9. Serbia
10. Japan
11. USA
12. Canada
13. Tunisia
14. Egypt
15. China
16. Mexico
17. Estonia
18. Morocco
19. Venezuela
20. Rwanda

 

 

Honours

 

Year

Gold

Silver

Bronze

2013

Russia

 Brazil

Italy

2011

Russia

Argentina

Serbia

2009

Brazil

Cuba

Argentina

2007

Brazil

Russia

Iran

2005

Russia

Brazil

Cuba

2003

Poland

Brazil

Bulgaria

2001

Brazil

Russia

Venezuela

1999

Russia

France

Brazil

1997

Poland

Brazil

Russia

1995

Russia

Brazil

Italy

1993

Brazil

Italy

Czechoslovakia

1991

Bulgaria

Italy

USSR

1989

USSR

Japan

Brazil

1987

Korea

Cuba

USSR

1985

USSR

Italy

Cuba

1981

USSR

Brazil

Korea

1977

USSR

China

Brazil

 

 

FIVB Volleyball Men's U21 World Championship - Performances

 

Top Scoring Performances

36 – Aimable Mutuyimana of Rwanda v Venezuela (August 29)

34 – Zouhair El Graoui of Morocco v Estonia (August 29)

33 – Luigi Randazzo of Italy v Russia (August 26)

31 – Roberto Rincon of Mexico v China (September 1)

31 – Zouhair El Graoui of Morocco v Egypt (August 26)

30 – Alan Souza of Brazil v USA (August 28)

28 – Alan Souza of Brazil v Iran (August 30)

28 – Luigi Randazzo of Italy v Serbia (August 28)

28 – Victor Poletaev of Russia v Brazil (August 23)

27 – Roberto Rincon of Mexico v Tunisia (August 31)

27 – Islam Abdelkader of Egypt v China (August 31)

26 – Benjamin Patch of USA v Serbia (August 31)

26 – Victor Poletaev of Russia v Italy (August 26)

26 – Yan Tingwei of China v Egypt (August 23)

25 – Adam Oueslati of Tunisia v Egypt (September 1)

25 – Willner Rivas of Venezuela v Rwanda (August 29)

25 – Pablo Koukartsev of Argentina v China (August 28)

24 – Malek Chekir of Tunisia v Egypt (September 1)

24 – Zhenghui Liang of China v Mexico (September 1)

24 – Yuki Ishikawa of Japan v Canada (August 31)

24 – Yuki Ishikawa of Japan v Tunisia (August 30)

24 – Jose Martinez of Venezuela v Rwanda (August 29)

 

Top Blocking Performances

7 – Qin Zhen of China v Turkey (August 25)

6 – Jose Martinez of Mexico v China (September 1)

6 – Pavel Pankov of Russia v France (August 31)

6 – Kevin Soo of Estonia v Venezuela (August 31)

6 – Edoardo Picco of Italy v Serbia (August 28)

6 – Diamantini Enrico of Italy v Venezuela (August 24)

6 – Walid Mehdi of Morocco v India (August 24)

6 – Takuya Takahashi of Japan v Estonia (August 23)

6 – Elyes Garfi of Tunisia v Rwanda (August 23)

 

Top Blocking Performances by Team

27 – Italy v Serbia (August 28)

19 – Mexico v Tunisia (August 31)

19 – Egypt v China (August 31)

18 – China v Turkey (August 25)

17 – USA v Serbia (August 31)

17 – Italy v Venezuela (August 24)

16 – Canada v Japan (August 31)

16 – China v Egypt (August 31)

16 – Italy v Argentina (August 30)

16 – Brazil v Venezuela (August 26)

16 – Brazil v France (August 25)

15 – Russia v France (August 31)

15 – Estonia v Venezuela (August 31)

15 – Turkey v China (August 25)

15 – India v Egypt (August 25)

15 – Russia v Brazil (August 23)

15 – Brazil v Russia (August 23)

 

Top Serving Performances

6 – Victor Poletaev of Russia v Brazil (August 23)

5 – Jason Les Mccarthy of Canada v Mexico (August 30)

5 – Jose Martinez of Estonia v Morocco (August 29)

5 – Taavet Leppik of Estonia v Morocco (August 29)

5 – Luigi Randazzo of Italy v Serbia (August 28)

5 – Eduardo Carlos of Brazil v Italy (August 22)

5 – Hosseinabadi Javad of Iran v Estonia (August 22)

 

Top Serving Performances by Team

12 – Russia v Brazil (August 23)

12 – Canada v Tunisia (August 22)

11 – Russia v Italy (August 26)

10 – Egypt v China (August 31)

10 – USA v Rwanda (August 22)

10 – Iran v Estonia (August 22)

 

Highest Scorer by Day

Day 1: Zouhair El Graoui of Morocco v China 21 (August 22)

Day 2: Victor Poletaev of Russia v Brazil 28 (August 23)

Day 3: D'Costa Anup of India v Morocco 22 (August 24)

Day 4: Uros Kovacevic of Serbia v Ganada 23 (August 25)

Day 5: Luigi Randazzo of Italy v Russia 33 (August 26)

Day 6: Alan Souza of Brazil v USA 30 (August 28)

Day 7: Aimable Mutuyimana of Rwanda v Venezuela 36 (August 29)

Day 8: Alan Souza of Brazil v Iran 28 (August 30)

Day 9: Islam Abdelkader of Egypt v China, Roberto Rincon of Mexico v Tunisia 27 (August 31)

Day 10: Roberto Rincon of Mexico v China 31 (September 1)

 

Highest Set Score

Pool A: Morocco v Egypt , 32-30

Pool B: Japan V Mexico , Japan v Estonia , Mexico v Estonia , Iran v Japan 29-27

Pool C: Tunisia v Canada , Rwanda v USA 29-27

Pool D: Brazil v Italy, 35-33

Round of 16: Serbia v Italy 30-28

Quarterfinals: France v Turkey 27-25

Classification 1-4: Italy v France 28-26

Classification 5-16: China v Egypt 31-29

Classification 17-20: Morocco v Estonia 30-28

 

Highest Scoring Matches

Day 1: Japan v Mexico 3-1 (23-25, 29-27, 25-17, 25-16) – 187 points

Day 2: Estonia v Japan 3-2 (27-29, 25-23, 19-25, 26-24, 15-8) – 221 points

Day 3: Mexico v Estonia 3-1 (25-22, 25-19,17-25, 29-27) – 189 points

Day 4: France v Brazil 3-2 (25-23, 25-18, 17-25, 24-26, 16-14) – 213 points

Day 5: Italy v Russia 3-2 (23-25, 27-25, 30-28, 11-25, 15-12) – 221 points

Day 6: Italy v Serbia 3-2 (21-25, 25-19, 25-21, 28-30, 15-5) – 214 points

Day 7: Estonia v Morocco 3-2 (22-25, 25-22, 28-30, 26-24, 15-12) – 229 points

Day 8: Italy v Argentina 3-2 (25-20, 23-25, 20-25, 25-15, 15-11) – 204 points

Day 9: Egypt v China 3-2 (29-31, 25-23, 17-25, 25-13, 19-17) – 224 points

Day 10: Argentina v India 3-2 (22-25, 23-25, 26-24, 25-19, 15-7) – 211 points

 

 

 

 

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