Qatar score historic victory at Asian men’s club volleyball championship
Shanghai, China, July 8, 2012 – A relentless Qatar team upset a partisan home crowd when the Gulf region country team edged China’s Shanghai Tangdynasty team off the top podium spot, winning the title of the 2012 Asian men’s club volleyball championship for the first time on Sunday.
Qatar won the championship match 17-25, 25-23, 25-17, 25-22 in one hour and 41 minutes.
Qatar’s best previous finish at the regional tournament was the second place in 2009.
As Qatar will host the FIVB Men’s Club World Championship in October this year in the country’s capital city Doha, China thus also qualified for the world championship, as the Asian championship’s runners-up.
Even before Sunday night's victory, Qatar had already created one of the Shanghai event’s biggest surprises when they downed defending champions Iran on Saturday. With one set to their credit though, the Iranians unbelievably failed to hold down and lost three sets in a row to surrender the match.
Last year’s bronze-medalists China turned Saturday a day for China as they elbowed last year’s runners-up Kazakhstan out of the title contention. China came from one set down to win three consecutive sets over Iran, 21-25, 25-15, 25-18, 25-20.
Iran’s head coach Mawia Alajnaf said at the post-match press conference on Saturday that his players were too much stressed.
China has steadily gone up the ladder one slot a year, from a fourth-place finish in 2010 to the third place last year. But their ambitious advance towards the championship title came to a halt Sunday, in front Qatar, a team Chinese head coach Wang Jian had described as superior over his side.
The runner-up finish at the Asian championship on Sunday itself is already a great leap forward and their debutant presence at the men’s club world championship is worthy of more praise and value.
In earlier matches on Sunday, Iran swept over Kazakhstan in straight sets to win the third place. Thailand outscored Vietnam three sets to one to take the fifth slot and Japan outclassed India three sets to two to finish seventh.
Final team rankings:
1st: Al-Arabi, Qatar
2nd: Shanghai Tangdynasty, China
3rd: Kaleh Mazandaran, Iran
4th: Almaty, Kazakhstan
5th: Chongburi, Thailand
6th: PTSC, Vietnam
7th: Toray Arrows, Japan
8th: ONGC-India, India
9th: Migrasiya, Turkmenistan
10th: Samator, Indonesia
11th: AWC, Myanmar
12th: ETESAIAT, Afghanistan
14th: ALQADSIA, Kuwait
15th: BUYNT-UKHAA, Mongolia
Winners of individual awards:
Best Scorer: Christian Pampel, Qatar
Best Attacker: Mahmoudi Shahram, Iran
Best Blocker: Mohamed Ibrahim, Iran
Best Server: Hidalgo Salvador, Qatar
Best Setter: Saed Al-Hitmi, Qatar
Best Libero: Jihua Tong, China
Most Valuable Player (MVP): Hidalgo Salvador, Qatar