Korea take World Champs berth with win over Japan
September 8, 2013 - Korea secured their ticket to the FIVB Men’s
World Championship in 2014 after defeating Japan 3-0 (25-20, 25-20,
25-13) in Pool D of the Asian Men’s Final Qualification
Tournament. Both Australia and Korea have
booked their tickets to the World Championship next year after finishing top of
Pool A and Pool D respectively.
In the Asian Men’s Final Qualification Tournament, the 16 teams are split into four pools of four teams. Only the top ranked team in each pool will win a place at the 2014 FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Championship, which will take place in Poland from September 3 to 21, 2014.
At the end of the four-day competition in Japan, Korea maintained a perfect record with three wins and nine points without losing one set while host Japan clinched six points from a record of two win and one losses, followed by Qatar with three points and winless New Zealand.
With Sunday’s win, Korea secured its ninth appearance in the FIVB Volleyball World Championship. The last time Korea competed at the World Championship was in 2006 when the team finished in 17th place. This is, however, the first time that Japan will not take part in the Championship after 14 consecutive appearances in the FIVB World Championship since 1960.
Korea upset Japan 3-0
Korea beat Japan 3-0 (25-20, 25-20, 25-13) after a closely contested first set, which went to the second technical time-out 16-14 in favour of Korea. Korea then took continuous points taking the score to 19-14 until an ace by Kunihiro Shimizu narrowed the gap to 20-18. But powerful spikes by Korea led the team to win the set 25-20.
Korea enjoyed a 16-14 advantage again in the second set. Japan made a lot of errors especially in serving which led Korea to win the set 25-20. Korea dominated the third set with good defense and offense, which helped them lead at 8-5 and then at 16-7. Korea finished the match 25-13 with a decisive serve point by Jeonghwan Kim.
Kwangin Jeon led Korea with 20 points including 15 spikes, three blocks, and two aces. Japan’s leading scorer Tatsuya Fukuzawa got 10 points.
Kyoungmin Ha, captain of Korea said, “I am happy to win this match. We could perform better than we prepared. I am satisfied with how we played today and proud of getting a ticket to the World Championship. It is uncertain if I will be selected as a member of Korean team in the World Championship next year. But even if I wouldn’t be selected, I would like to cheer for my teammates.”
“Before the start of the tournament, the team had a training camp for a month and I concentrated on getting players in shape,” said Kiwon Park, head coach of Korea. “I think we could compete in the best condition and that is why we won today’s match against Japan.”
Qatar clinched their first win against New Zealand 3-0
Qatar clinched their first win against New Zealand 3-0 (25-22, 25-22, 25-21) to finish third. In the first set, Qatar took the lead 8-6. New Zealand then rebounded with spikes by Benjamin Glue to tie the score at 18-18. An ace by John Chigbo and spikes by Jumah Mohamed, however, gave Qatar the lead again to end the set 25-22. In the second set, Qatar dominated the game 16-9. Although New Zealand managed to bring up the score against Qatar to 18-15 they still found it difficult to overcome their opponents. Qatar finished the set 25-22. The third set was close throughout with Qatar finally taking the set 25-21 to conclude the match. Qatar’s Mubarak Hammad scored top with 23 points, while Benjamin Glue scored 18 points for New Zealand. Qatar had seven aces to New Zealand’s one but New Zealand had the edge in blocking points with 8 to 6.
“As we lost two first games, ending the tournament with victory is good feeling for us,” said Jumamh Mohamed, captain of Qatar.
Igor Arbutina, head coach of Qatar said, “For us, it is important to finish with victory. This is the best positive thing.”