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Iran are Asian youth champions

Iran coach Iraj Mozaffari says this five-set win over China caps 12 months of work for his team
Tehran, Iran, November 2, 2012 – Iran claimed their sixth title at the Asian  Youth Boys’ Volleyball Championship on Thursday by defeating their perennial rival China 3-2 (21-25, 25-21, 23-25, 28-26, 15-8) in the final at Azadi Hall in Tehran, in the presence of 2500 local fans. Both finalists had qualified for next year’s FIVB Boys’ U19 World Championship in Mexico, along with Japan and Korea.

This is the first time Asia has had four berths at the FIVB Boys’ U19 World Championship. The last edition took place in Argentina in 2011, with Serbia, Spain and Cuba taking the top three spots.

The best scorer in the final was Iran’s Valaei Akbar, with 20 points. China’s Tang Chuanhang scored 19.

When we started our work about 12 months ago, our main goal was winning this title,” said Iran coach Iraj Mozaffari. We knew it would not be an easy task because we had tough rivals from Asia to compete with. We have worked very hard and I am proud of my players. Today we had a very hard match. The opposing team’s players showed high concentration and were spiking from high jumps, getting great altitude. China’s team is a graceful team.”

“This was a great match, and Iran’s team is also great,” said China coach Ju Gengyin. “We had difficulty spiking and receiving. Iran did not allow us at any time to show our best. We made a lot of mistakes. Iran players from a mental point of view were more relaxed than our players. Spectators with horns and whistles were making a lot of noise and our young players are not accustomed to it. We are defeated, but happy for the berth at the World Championships that was our main goal. Now we have to work to do our best at that competition.”

Japan v Korea
Japan and Korea played a hard and very beautiful match for the bronze medal which ended 3-2 (22-25, 25-20, 26-28, 25-20, 15-10) for Japan.

“First of all I want to thank my players,” said Korea coach Kim Young-Il. “I am responsible for this defeat. Japan’s players had more desire for victory than us. We showed willingness in the first and third sets, but there was not an ace player in our team to lead the team in critical moments. Congratulations to Japan for their third place in this Championship. I am not satisfied with this result, rank four for our team.

“As a coach of high school teams I noticed the high interest from the Iran Volleyball Federation and the mass media in volleyball, and it is an effective element in the progress of volleyball in Iran,” Kim added. “I will inform my students and our people about this supportive spirit.”

“Korea had good reception in this match,” said Japan coach Honda Hiroshi. “Ours was not as good as theirs. But the block was our power point.”

Chinese Taipei v Sri Lanka
Chinese Taipei took fifth rank and Sri Lanka are sixth after their classification match on the last day of competition. Chinese Taipei won 3-0 (25-14, 25-22, 25-23).

“The combination of Chinese Taipei’s attack and defence worked very well,” said Sri Lanka coach Channa Jayasekra. “Today they defeated us through attacking technique. Our block was not as good as yesterday. We are satisfied with the sixth rank.”

“This match was very hard, but we were able to stop Sri Lanka spikes with our blocks,” said Chinese Taipei coach Chiu Pao-Szu. “During the second set Sri Lanka threw us off with substitutions in key moments. Because of the age limit of youth players our mental and physical situation was not good.”

Sri Lanka’s Siddi Haluge recorded 12 points, and Huang Hsiang led Chinese Taipei with 11 points.

India v Thailand
India are seventh and Thailand eighth after another classification match that saw India prevail 3-1 (25-21, 23-25, 25-22, 25-20). India’s Sandeep Kumar was the game’s top scorer with 16 points, while Thailand’s Nanbook Kon scored 16 points.

“We were thinking would get 4th place,” said India coach Abhimanyu Singh. “We did not play well. Especially our defeat by Japan took out our spirit. Our players were not comfortable and they did not sleep all night after our loss to Japan.”

Final Standings:
1st – Iran
2nd – China
3rd – Japan
4th – Korea
(The above four teams are qualified for 2013 World Youth boys’ Championships)

5th – Chinese Taipei
6th – Sri Lanka
7th – India
8th – Thailand
9th – Australia
10th – Kazakhstan
11th – Turkmenistan

Individual Awards:
Most Valuable player – Valaei Akbar, Iran
Best Scorer – Ishikawa Yuki, Japan
Best Setter – Yu Yaochen, China
Best Attacker – Zhang Zhejia, China
Best Blocker – Allahverdian Sahand, Iran
Best Server – Hekmati Javad, Iran
Best Libero – Lee Sang-Uk, Korea


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