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Review 2013 – China were untouchable at FIVB Women's U20 Championship

Tournament MVP Zhu Ting celebrates after the final of the FIVB Women's U20 World Championship
 Lausanne, Switzerland, December 28, 2013 – As part of our end-of-year review series, www.fivb.org looks back at China’s brilliant performance in the FIVB Women’s U20 World Championship in the Czech Republic city of Brno. 

After going through the tournament without dropping a set, China showed that they were a cut above the rest of the competition and finished off by beating Japan 3-0 (25-13, 25-17, 25-15) in the gold-medal match. 

It meant China finished with a 24-0 record in sets and an 8-0 record in matches to secure their first U20 world title since 1995. 

“It’s just about hard work,” was the understated way China coach Xu Jiande summed up his side’s success. 

Zhu Ting, who was joint leading scorer in the tournament with the Dominican Republic’s Elizabeth Martinez, was voted MVP. 

In the final, Zhu scored 26 points and in front of 4,000 enthusiastic spectators at the Kajot Arena hit the winning point with a powerful block.

“We are happy with today’s result,” Xu said. “In terms of body height, Japan was one of the smallest teams here in Brno. However, the Japanese team played with heart and fighting spirit. China can learn a lot from them. There is no secret to China’s success in this age category; it is just hard work.” 

For Japan, their second-place finish was a surprise considering they began the tournament ranked ninth in the world. On their way to the final, they beat Turkey and Italy to show that there are still plenty of players coming through the ranks in Japan, while the silver was their first medal at the U20 level since 1985. 

“Congratulations to China, they deserve their first place after a fantastic run here in Brno,” Japan coach Yasuhiro Fukuda stated. “We learned a lot during the tournament. We did not expect to go so far, but with every game we won, we grew a little bit more. In the end, it was a successful combination of strong defence and exceptional teamwork.” 

Brazil won the bronze medal with a 3-0 (28-26, 25-21, 25-18) victory over Italy. Having competed in every U20 World Championship, the Brazilians now hold 12 medals from 17 tournaments: six gold, four silver and two bronze. 

“We wanted the gold,” Brazil captain Rosamaria Montibeller said. “But we are very happy with this bronze medal.”

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