Tijuana & Mexicali, Mexico, June 26, 2013 – Once again the time has arrived for the fans of volleyball to watch in action some of the stars of the future as the 13th edition of the FIVB Boys’ U19 World Championship gets underway at the familiar cities of Tijuana and Mexicali in the State of Baja California, Mexico.
These same cities successfully hosted the 2007 championship when Iran edged past China in five sets (21-25, 25-22, 26-24, 31-29, 15-7) to capture the gold medal in front of a packed house at the Multi-Purpose Gymnasium of Baja California High Performance Center.
For the first time in the history of the age-group competition twenty sides, representing the five continents within the FIVB, have been divided in four pools of five teams to battle for the supremacy of the category for boys under 19 years old.
Appropriately for a new-look tournament, there will be new champions as 2011 winners Serbia failed to qualify. There will also be new silver medallists after Spain were unable to make it to Mexico.
Brazil are the most prolific medalist in the history of the competition with a total of seven, including one silver and one bronze, followed by Russia with five (two gold, two silver as Soviet Union and one bronze) and Italy with four (one gold, two silver and one bronze).
They are the only team to have completed a hat-trick of titles, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (1989), Porto, Portugal (1991), Istanbul, Turkey (1993) and San Juan, Puerto Rico (1995) and they will be keen to begin a new run of success this year.
Iran, who won the championship in 2007 have qualified as well and while Russia will provide fierce opposition in their pool, they will be confident that they can get past France, Finland and Rwanda.
The pool composition is as follows:
Pool A: Mexico, China, Belgium, Tunisia and Poland. Pool B: Argentina, Cuba, Japan, China and Turkey. Pool C: Russia, Iran, France, Rwanda and Finland. Pool D: Brazil, United States, Egypt, Korea and Algeria.
Coaches statements on the eve of the start of the competition:
Steven Vammedegael of Belgium: “We ended up at third place at the European Championship and it was a good progress for our team who played together for the season. Brazil came to Belgium for friendly matches and it was a good experience. The top sixteen teams of the world are here and for sure it will be a hard tournament.”
Ju Genyin of China: “Our team is very young but we are here to do our best and our goal is to be among the top-eight. We finished second to Iran at the Asian Tournament which is very strong but this time we are going to be more focused.”
Oscar Licea of Mexico: “We have made some adjustments after playing some friendly matches at the mini-camp we held with some other teams who arrived early. We are catching a good rhythm and the guys can’t wait to start competing.”
Czaja Weislaw of Poland: “We have been preparing for one year and hope to be among the top three here. We finished second at
the European Championships and our next goal is to take this team to the junior ranks. They come from our school of volleyball.”
Lofti Ben Slimane of Tunisia: “Our team is the second in Africa behind Egypt. It is a new team coming up. Normally these players have a good future but they need time to develop. They need to learn how to get into the high level.”
Julian Alvarez of Argentina: “It is going to be a world championship of a great level. We have played several friendly matches with different teams that are here and we are ready for the competition. We hope to be among the best.”
Daniel Nejamkin of Chile: “We hope to fulfill high expectations and reach our goals. For Chile is an honor to be back in a World Championship after almost 30 years out.”
Rodolfo Sanchez of Cuba: “In the last tournament we won our first medal in this age-group category –a bronze in Argentina and the guys are very enthusiastic about that. Our team is well prepared and we have a lot of illusions.”
Honda Hiroshi of Japan: “We will try to get the best out of this competition and we will try to get a medal.”
Ali Kazim Hidayetoglu of Turkey: “The preparation has been good. We have plenty of confidence and are ready for things to come.”
Slimane Belmadi of France: “Our players have big potential but they are very young and still need to develop so the tournament is very important for them. They are here to learn to play consistently at a high level. Our goal is to win but if they play good, that’s enough for me.”
Pertti Honkanen of Finland: “Our goals are to improve as a team and also for the players individually. This tournament is the best place to get information about where we are. It is a long tournament and we have time to improve day by day and see what happens.”
Iraj Mozaffari of Iran: “Our target here is to be champions. I expect Russia, China and Cuba to be strong teams while I don’t know much about Brazil. We won the Asian Championships but our tactics have changed since that and we have four new players.”
Alexander Karikov of Russia: “I called up my players to start training seven months ago and we captured our fifth European Championship last April against Poland. We have very good individual players like Victor Poletaev and Pavel Pankov, the best player and best server of Europe.”
Jean Marie Vianney of Rwanda: “Our goal being objective is to move to the next round. Our players are from secondary schools and we finished third at the African Championships behind Egypt and Tunisia.
Ghomari Sidi Mohammed of Algeria: “We expect to move further and advance in a good position. We have good and strong rivals like Egypt, Korea, Brazil and USA”.
Percy Oncken of Brazil: “Our players have trained hard in the B Super League in Brazil, and also held joint training camp with Mexico in Saquarema as preparation for the tournament.”
Mohamed Ellakany of Egypt: “We won the African Cup six months ago in Algeria and need to have a good result here. Our group is very strong and we expect to have tough matches against USA, Brazil and Korea. And Algeria is also in our pool.”
Kim Young-Il of Korea: “We expect that team Korea finish among the four best teams in this tournament”.
Colin McMillan of United States: “We are very excited to compete at the world championship with the caliber of athletes that are here. We feel really excited about the opportunity that is in front of us.”
Year Gold Silver Bronze
2011 SRB ESP CUB
2009 SRB IRI ARG
2007 IRI CHN FRA
2005 RUS BRA ITA
2003 CHN ITA BRA
2001 BRA IRI RUS
1999 RUS VEN POL
1997 ITA GRE JPN
1995 BRA ITA JPN
1993 BRA JPN KOR
1991 BRA USR KOR
1989 BRA USR BUL