Korea win marathon five-setter to join China, Iran, Japan in qualifying for 2013 Boys' U19 World Championship
Korea v India
A tough five-set match between Korea and India was the match of the tournament so far, with Korea prevailing 3-2 (25-21, 25-15, 18-25, 22-25, 21-19) over a determined India squad. Korea took the first and second sets easily, but in third and fourth India came storming back. The game came down to a tie-break set in which neither team could break away, until Korea captain Jeong Dnog-Geun blew a sharp spike to end the set 21-19.
Jeong and India’s Suraj G. Naik both top scored for their teams with 25 points each.
“Players of both team played well – in the tiebreak we could have won three times, but we were not lucky,” said India coach Abhimanyu Singh. “In the first two sets our performance was not good, but in the third and fourth we did our best. in the fifth set we were not lucky and gave the match to Korea.”
“Our Captain was the ace player in our team,” said Korea coach Kim Young-Il. “I praise all my players, we are very happy to be qualified for the World Youth Boys’ Championship of 2013. The Indian team also played well. Working in front of high blocking with tall defenders is our main weak point facing other teams.”
China v Sri Lanka
It took only 61 minutes for China to sweep Sri Lanka in straight sets 3-0 (25-20, 25-22, 25-10). Sri Lanka will therefore face India in a fifth-eighth place classification match.
“China is the best team in this championship,” said Sri Lanka coach Channa Jayasekara. “We had a good fight against them. They are more experienced, though, and psychologically our players had problems facing the China team.”
“These quarterfinal matches are more important for us because a loss would cost us our chance to get a ticket to the World Youth Championship,” said China coach Ju Gengyin.
The top scorers of the match were China’s Tang Chuanhang and Harambage Ishan of Sri Lanka, who recorded 13 and 9 points, respectively.
Iran v Thailand
Home team Iran got their ticket to the U19 World Championship with a 3-0 (25-11, 25-16, 25-23) win over Thailand. The Iranians imposed their dominance in the first set, winning 25-11, and although Thailand improved in the second and third sets it wasn’t enough to overcome their opponents.
“It was a good match in which we had a plan to stop the setter and captain of the opposing team,” said Iran coach Iraj Mozaffari. “We succeeded. I was a bit anxious for the match result, though, since we had many service mistakes. Most probably we will play Japan tomorrow [he spoke prior to the match between Japan and Chinese Taipei], and if we win we are in the final match. Japan is a good team, they play good volleyball.”
Both Iran’s Hekmati Javad and Tangchow Sorrawit of Thailand recorded 14 points, each topping their team. Iran out-served and out-blocked their opponents.
Japan v Chinese Taipei
The last match of day six took place between Japan and Chinese Taipei. Japan’s 3-0 (25-16, 25-21, 26-24) victory meant that they became the final team to earn their ticket to Mexico in 2013, and advanced to face Iran in the semifinals. Chinese Taipei put in a good performance in the third set, but committed several mistakes in service that cost them the match.
“Our players all did well,” said Japan coach Honda Yoshihiro. “In next match with Iran we will try not to make any mistakes. Iran is a good team, and I am glad that we have booked our ticket for the Boys’ U19 World Championship.”
Ishikawa Yuki of Japan led his team with 16 points while Huang Hsiang-Yuang of Chinese Taipei scored 14.