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Japan win junior men's Asian championship, qualify for 2013 junior worlds

Japan, China, Iran and India will move on towards next year's U21 world championship in Turkey
Urmia, Iran, October 8, 2012 - Japan took the top spot on the podium in the 2012 Asian Junior Men's Volleyball Championship. The competition, held in Iran's northwestern city of Urmia, served as a qualification tournament for the FIVB Men's U21 Volleyball World Championship.

By finishing in the top four, Japan, China, Iran and India all advance to the 2013 FIVB Men's U21 Volleyball World Championship which will be held August 1 to 31, 2013, in Turkey.

The Japanese squad beat China 3-0 (25-23, 25-22, 25-23) in the final on October 5 while the hosts, Iran, defeated India in straight sets (25-21, 25-13, 25-11) in the third-place final.

In the gold medal game, China led through most of the first set before Japan finally closed the gap at 19-19 and then snatched a 25-23 win. In the second it was Japan who moved out ahead, and stayed there despite Chinese pressure. They took the set 25-22.

In the third, China took an early 3-1 lead before Japan again caught them. Neither team gave the other any quarter for the rest of the set, tying at 4-4, 6-6, 10-10 and 20-20. In the end, it was again the Japanese who outlasted their opponents and took the set 25-23 to become champions of the 16th Asian Junior Men’s Volleyball Championship.

Both Iran and India had been disappointed by their losses to their semifinal opponents, and it showed. They played without emotion and very slowly. Iran built an early lead in the first set, and although India showed occasional good form on the court and over the net, the Indian players’ team work was lacklustre. The set went to Iran 25-21. During the second set Iran pulled away, going up 16-9, then 23-11, and winning the set by a convincing 25-13 margin. By the third set Iran were fully in gear, cruising to a 25-11 victory to win the set and the game.

Korea clinched fifth place against Chinese Taipei in straight sets (25-12, 25-15, 25-19). Australia, meanwhile, took seventh in a tough match against Thailand. Australia dropped the first and fourth sets in their 3-2 (19-25, 25-16, 25-21, 25-27, 15-10) win.

Final rankings:
5. Korea
6.Chinese Taipei
10.Sri Lanka

Individual awards
Most impressive player: Masahiro Sekita (Japan)
Best scorer: Javad Hosein Abadi (Iran)
Best spiker: Jin Zhihong (China)
Best defender: Kumar Sinha Deepesh (India)
Best server: Alireza Nasr Esfahani(Iran)
Best setter: Mao Tianyi (China)
Best receiver: Gye-Joong Baek (Korea)
Best libero: Raita Takino (Japan)


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