7th Boys’ Youth World Championships off to flying start
CAIRO, Egypt – Sep 22 - The curtain went up on the 7th FIVB Boys’ Youth World Championships on Saturday with preliminary round matches and an official opening ceremony that celebrated youth and reflected all the effervescence appropriate to the occasion. Enthusiastic cheers from flag-waving supporters greeted national teams as they marched into the International Stadium Complex for the flag raising ceremony, followed by a colourful cultural program from the host country.
In his address to the opening ceremony, carried by Egyptian national television, FIVB Executive Vice-President and President of the National Organising Committee, Dr. Amir Elwani welcomed participating teams to the championships saying: "We pledge ourselves to do our utmost to pursue the goals of the 2001 Boys’ Youth World Championships.”
Qualifying teams are Egypt, Poland, Czech Republic, France, Iran, Chinese Taipei, Russia, Korea, Venezuela, Slovakia, Brazil, Argentina, Tunisia and Mexico. Italy, the other qualifying team, is not attending. The competition, which runs until September 30, got underway with opening matches in the preliminary round where qualifying teams are divided into four pools for a round robin competition.
Official Draw for Playoff Round
CAIRO, Egypt – Sep 25 - The official draw was held on Monday evening for the playoff round of the FIVB Boys’ Youth Volleyball World Championships. Matches to be played on Wednesday, 26th September.
Playoff Round Seeding Group:
Russia vs. France
Poland vs. Brazil
Playoff Round Elimination Group:
Egypt vs. Argentina
Chinese Taipei vs. Tunisia
There will be no play on Tuesday 25th, which is a tournament rest day.
France - Showing their true colors?
When the French team literally bounced onto the courts here at the 7th FIVB Boys' Youth World Volleyball Championships they showed their colors in more ways than one. Many of the team members, from the captain down, had dyed their hair a different color.
"We wanted to stand out in the crowd. We wanted to be different," said team captain Radoslav Dimitrov, sporting a shock of bright pink locks. Colors range from Radoslav's pink to green, orange, straw blonde and blue. Add this to a couple of dreadlocks and one player with no hair at all and there's little doubt that the French boys have achieved their wish.
They do stand out in the crowd, and in doing so, capture what youth world championships should be all about - not just grooming young athletes for future greatness, but also making sure they have fun and enjoy themselves while garnering experience at top level international tournaments.
Tunisia, Korea through to the quarterfinals
CAIRO, Egypt – 26 Sept - The sun shone for Korea but dipped for Chinese Taipei on Wednesday as play resumed following a competition rest day at the FIVB Boys Youth Volleyball World Championships. Korea moved effortlessly into the quarterfinals by defeating Czech Republic, while Chinese Taipei was powerless to stop the onslaught delivered by the Tunisian side, who also advanced in the day’s first match.
Korea, spurred on by a solid block of vocal fans compete with clap sticks, surged to a 15-9 lead in the first set. Helped along by players of the calibre of Kang Dong-Jin, the tournament’s top scorer so far, the Koreans delivered a stunning display of aerial antics and accuracy to take a quick 25-18 lead in just 22 minutes.
The Czechs tried desperately to stay in the match and took slender leads at 15-4 and 19-18 in the vital second set. They levelled at 22-22 before allowing the Koreans through their defence to take the set 25-21. Again in the decider, the Czechs held on grimly, scraping a string of equalisers together in the last, but vital phase, before finally going down 25-23.
Tunisian coach Rached Chebbi was delighted with his own team’s effort in their match against Chinese Taipei.
“Today we made a very good recovery and proved that in sport, everything is possible,” he commented after their match.
It took Tunisia a few minutes to find their form, but once they did, there was no looking back for the team that caused an upset in the preliminary round by defeating Argentina 3-2. Taipei did notch up a 7-point lead in the first set to be on the scoreboard with 19-12 before the Tunisian side clawed their way back and went on to seal a gripping encounter 27-25. From that point on, the Tunisians never looked back.
They held a determined lead in the second, advancing to 12-9 before the Taipei team reduced the deficit to one point at 22-24. But the attempt was not enough, serving as a mere preview of the third, when the Tunisians overwhelmed the opposition to take the set 25-13.
“We played our best match so far in the tournament,” said Cheppi. He praised the spirit of his players and said their level of play was steadily rising as the tournament progressed. “Today we were the strongest team. We applied pressure and we deserved to win,” he concluded.
Later this evening Venezuela meets Iran in the elimination playoff and host country Egypt must survive a tough challenge from Argentina to stay in the competition.
But the spotlight will be on the first two matches of the playoff in the seeding group. Russia meets the whimsical and creative French side while Poland, a tower of strength in the tournament so far, meets volleyball giant Brazil.
Playoff Round – Elimination Group Tunisia def. Chinese Taipei 3-0 (27-25, 25-23, 25-13)
Korea def. Czech Republic 3-0 (25-18, 25-21, 25-23)
and Brazil emerge as title favorites
CAIRO, EGYPT – 27 Sep - Russia and Brazil dismissed France and Poland respectively in the seeding group playoffs on Wednesday night to become title favorites at the FIVB Boys’ Youth Volleyball Championships at the weekend.
In another playoff elimination, host country Egypt advanced with a 3-0 victory over Argentina to go to the quarterfinals and Iran knocked out Venezuela 3-1.
France and Russia fought it out in a match marked by creative attacking by the French and powerful blocking and serves by the Russians that went to a five set thriller eventually won by the Russians 3-2 (21-25, 25-22, 21-25, 25-14, 15-9).
“We played well but lacked consistency,” said French coach Stephane Faure. “From now on it will be a matter of tactics,” he added, indicating the French were down, but not yet out of the competition.
France started in flying form knocking up a 6-point lead at 16-10 in the first set before the Russians retaliated by closing the gap and conceded only three points to the flying Frenchmen.
The powerful Russians looked more solid in the second set and settled in to drill away at the opposition, trading points back and forth until they leveled at 1-1 by a two point margin. Battle lines were then drawn for the third and again, to the delight of the small crowd, each team pulled out all the shots at their disposal only to see France again in the lead.
The fourth set was a runaway victory for the Russians who put big gun Dennis Kalinine to effective use to take a crushing 25-14 win over the French to make it 2-2 but then French spirits dwindled, letting in the Russians to close the match 3-2.
The match between Brazil and Poland was also a contrast of styles and temperament that saw the two teams produce excellent volleyball as they shadowboxed their way through four sets, exchanging points back and forth on a regular basis. Brazil finally took the match 3-1 (22-25, 25-20, 25-23, 25-17).
In earlier action Iran used their height and power to perfect advantage to eliminate the more slightly built Venezuelan side 3-1 (25-19, 25-19,23-25, 25-21). Earlier in the day Korea knocked out the Czech Republic to advance to the quarterfinals and Tunisia overpowered Chinese Taipei.
Playoff Round – Elimination Group Tunisia def. Chinese Taipei 3-0 (27-25, 25-23, 25-13)
Korea def. Czech Republic 3-0 (25-18, 25-21, 25-23)
Iran def. Venezuela 3-1 (25-19, 25-19, 23-25, 25-21)
Egypt def. Argentina 3-0 (25-12, 25-22, 25-19).
Playoff Round – Seeding Group Russia def. France 3-2 (21-25, 25-22, 21-25, 25-14, 15-9)
Brazil def. Poland 3-1 (22-25, 25-20, 25-23, 25-17).
At the end of play the draw was conducted for the placement of quarterfinals berths.
The Quarterfinal Draw: Russia vs. Tunisia Iran vs. Poland France vs. Egypt Korea vs. Brazil
Matches resume on Friday as Thursday is the tournament’s second rest day.
CAIRO, Egypt – Sep 25 - France and Poland joined the ranks of the elite four with Brazil and Russia as the preliminary round matches concluded Monday at the 7th FIVB Boys’ Youth World Volleyball Championships.
France, in a depleted Pool B made up of three teams after Italy decided not to compete, fought Iran in their deciding match with a thrilling do-or-die style of play that captured the youthful exuberance of the tournament. They emerged victorious 3-1 (25-23,25-15, 18-25, 25-18) in 1 hour 26 minutes to advance to the playoffs. In the morning session Brazil beat Argentina and Russia defeated Korea for their top slots.
“It was more of a disadvantage for us than an advantage to have less matches. It’s not that good to have to sit around and wait to play,” said French coach Stephane Faure. “Tonight we had the feeling that Iran was capable of taking the lead at any time.” Iranian coach Mostafa Karhaneh praised France as “an excellent team”. “We watched a video of their style but they changed their tactics,” said the Iranian coach. He expressed pleasure that his team was able to play in the tournament and said it was a historic occasion. “Sport is an excellent ambassador,” he said. “It can bring all people together.”
France has been frequently mentioned here as a possible contender for the title and it was a tribute to their skill on the court that members of all four first ranked teams turned up to see them play against Iran.
The host country suffered a disappointment in the final match, going down to a stronger Poland in three straight sets. They now have to set their hopes on a good performance in the playoffs.
But while some could celebrate, others had to exit the tournament. Sudan lost to the Czech Republic to finish on the bottom of Pool A, while Slovakia battled through a five set marathon, only to go down to Venezuela. Mexico too played their last match when they were eliminated by Tunisia 3-1 in Pool D.
Final pool rankings after the round robin preliminary round: Pool A: Poland, Egypt, Czech Republic, Sudan. Pool B: France, Iran, ChineseTaipei. Pool C: Russia, Korea, Venezuela, Slovakia Pool D: Brazil, Argentina, Tunisia, Mexico.
Tuesday is a rest day at the championships ahead of the playoffs.
and Korea will contest places 5-6, Tunisia and France to
play for places 7-8.
CAIRO, Egypt – 29 Sept - Poland on Saturday put aside the bitter disappointment of being beaten by Iran in the quarterfinals of the 7th FIVB Boys’ Youth Volleyball World Championships in Friday’s matches and scored a 3-0 (25-18, 26-24, 25-23) victory over Tunisia in the playoffs for places 5-8.
“We won today with our good serves and good blocking,” said Polish coach Grzegegorz Rys. Tunisia, who were relegated to the playoffs for the minor places after losing to Russia, also put up a good fight, especially in the second set, when they vigorously traded points with Poland, pushing them to 26-24.
Poland enjoyed runs of point scoring in the third set, but although Tunisia fought back they just could not find the edge they needed to turn the match around.
Mourad Gara of the Tunisian side was the top scorer of the match with 14 points, while Kamil Kacprzak added 11 points to the Polish tally.
Rys said immediately after the match that his choice would be for Poland to to play France rather than Korea in the final round for places 5th and 6th because he feared the swift and agile style preferred by the Koreans.
“I would prefer to play against France,” Rys said. “We know their style very well.”
That wish, however, was not to be fulfilled. Korea recovered from a 0-1 deficit in the opening set against the colorful French boys to dominate the rest of the match and emerge victorious 3-1 (18-25, 25-21,25-15, 25-21).
To the consternation of the French, the Koreans pulled out every trick in the book, diving all over the court and effectively blocking at the net.
When asked how the Koreans recovered so well from losing the first set, their coach Kim Eun-Chul said: “The French players seemed tired after their match last night so I told my players to serve short. That, and our good combination play, seemed to be effective. Also our blocking timing was very good.”
France will now contest the playoff for places 7 and 8 with Tunisia. Later Friday the tournament’s “Big Four” will contest their semifinal matches, with action guaranteed as Russia meets Iran and host country Egypt faces Brazil.
Results Saturday: Poland def. Tunisia 3-0 (25-18, 26-24, 25-23) Korea def. France 3-1 (18-25, 25-21,25-15, 25-21)
Egypt advances to semifinals
CAIRO, Egypt – 28 Sep - Responding to an ecstatic crowd of home supporters, the Egyptian team delivered a five-set thriller on Friday by defeating France 3-2 at the 7th FIVB boys’ Youth Volleyball World Championships to advance to the semifinals of the championships.
Egypt won the match 3-2 (17-25, 36-34, 19- 25, 25-22, 15-8) to secure their next berth, a face-off with Brazil.
The French boys started well with a comfortable 25-17 victory in the opening set. But the Egyptians rose to the occasion and turned the second set into a thriller that finally went their way 36-34 to level the score at 1-1.
France came back to take the next set 25-19, but again Egypt responded in kind, winning four straight points to level at 10-10, then go on to a three point lead at 13-16. The agile French battled their way through the rest of the set, trading points before going down 23-25 and forcing the decider. Again the French steadied, but at 7-7, the Egyptians moved two points ahead and with the taste of victory, closed out the match 15-8.
Earlier in the evening Brazil and Korea delivered volleyball artistry in their quarterfinal match won by volleyball giants Brazil 3-0 (25-20, 25-21, 25-19), largely due to their exceptional blocking skills.
Korean team officials said later the team been nervous and had difficulty adjusting to playing on center court for the first time in the tournament.
Luiz Fontaeles scored 16 points to be the best scorer for Brazil but it was the team effort and tactics that gave them their victory.
“I studied everything about the Koreans and my players did exactly what they were told to do,” said head coach Percy Oncken.
“Today our players could not block against the tall Brazilians,” said Kim Eun-Chil, the Korean coach.
In early action, Russia beat Tunisia 3-1 (23-25, 26-24, 25-21, 25-20) and Iran defeated Poland 3-1 (19-25, 25-14, 25-20, 25-20) to also move into the semifinals for 1–4th positions. Now Tunisia meets Poland and France meets Korea in the semifinal playoff for positions 5-8.
Russia def. Tunisia 3-1 (23-25, 26-24, 25-21, 25-20)
Iran def. Poland 3-1 (19-25, 25-14, 25-20, 25-20)
Brazil def. Korea 3-0 (25-20, 25-21, 25-19)
Egypt def. France 3-2 (17-25, 36-34, 19-25, 25-22, 15-8)