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NEWS

Looking for a sportive duel between Iran and USA Team

 
Iran won the gold medal in 2007 at Tijuana, Mexico
 

Bassano del Grappa and Jesolo, Italy, August 27, 2009 - Apart from all the major political arenas of this world, there is a very special platform where the youth from different countries meets only thinking about the sportive challenge. One of these stages is set up for Friday with the FIVB Boys’ Youth Volleyball World Championship getting underway in the city of Jesolo and featuring the opening day clash between the teams from the U.S. and Iran.

For most of the players it will be their first appearance at a World Championship. Only in the Iranian team does the coach and two players know the atmosphere of a WC already. Jovica Cvetkovic, 52, coaches the Iranian team since 2007 and after winning the first world championship title two years ago he could celebrate the most successful part of his career. In the final of 2007 in Mexico, the Iranians won in five sets (21-25, 25-22, 26-24, 29-31, 15-7) against China. Previously they had won silver (2001 in Egypt) and bronze (2003 in Thailand).

Fahred Salafzoon and Hamed Bagherpour are the only returning players from the world championship team. Fahred is now setter and captain and for the coach one of the most important players. Cvetkovic loves to work with the Iranian Boys: “They all have a perfect education and a good culture. For me it is the best job.” And about the opening match for his team vs. USA he says: “We are here to play volleyball. We are all part of the volleyball family and have to be sportive and fair.”

For Andy Read, Coach of the U.S. Team, this is his first World Championship participation. Read was the head coach of the Boys' Youth National Team last summer, leading the team to the title at the NORCECA Championships in Miami, Florida, where the team did not lose one game.

This summer, Read is coaching the same group at the Boys’ Youth World Championships here in Italy. While the men's national team, by winning the gold medal in Beijing, celebrated at the Olympic Games a triumphant success, the youth squad is still waiting to win a medal. Only twice the U.S. Boys have been represented at a World Championship occupying a seventh place in 1995 in Brazil and finishing in the fifteenth position in Mexico in 2007.

Therefore Andy Read and his boys hope to do better this time: “In this year we can be one of the best teams. My players are nervous but well trained.”

Concerning the match vs. the defending champion of Iran, Read says: “For some people in the world it may be a game of high tension. But we are not politicians. We are sportsmen.”

Moreover, it is not the first duel between teams of these nations in this year. At the World Men’s Junior Championship in India in early August, the Iranians won in the second round against the U.S. boys in five sets.

The USA vs. Iran match on Friday in Palaturismo in Jesolo will start at 12:30 local time. In the preliminary Pool B, Japan meets Serbia at 10:00. In Pool D India plays Japan at 15:30 and Brazil goes against Russia at 18:00.

In the action in Bassano del Grappa, Algeria faces Spain at 10:00 and Argentina debuts against France at 12:30. Then, in the afternoon session, Tunisia meets Puerto Rico at 15:30 and hosts Italy plays Egypt at 18:00.





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