FIVB Volleyball Girls' U18 World Championship

Press release

Everybody had fun: Thai captain Apinyapong

Thailand coach Kiattipong Radchatagriengkai

Tokyo, Japan, November 17, 2013 – Thailand beat Russia for the first time ever in an FIVB competition on Sunday, securing their first win of the FIVB World Grand Champions Cup on the final day at Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium. Thailand won 3-1 (18-25, 25-22, 25-21, 25-23).

Thailand captain Wilavan Apinyapong: I’m really happy with this win against a strong team like Russia. Today, we helped each other in a team effort. We tried to play our game and everybody really had fun. Our players are small so it’s difficult for us to block and get points. We know this, so we play as a team in defence and try to control the ball on our side and counterattack. We just concentrate on each point. We enjoyed the game today and we are very happy.

Thailand coach Kiattipong Radchatagriengkai: I want to congratulate my players. They did a very good job and tried their best to get every point, and they helped each other. Their spirit is very good and it was good for the fans in Thailand watching live on TV. This will give us more confidence and is very important to help improve volleyball in Thailand. Russia are tall and attack powerfully and we couldn’t stop their blocking at the start. Then we tried to make good serves to stop the Russian strategy, as well as defence and counterattack. We couldn’t attack over their blocks; it was like a great wall.

(Re. first win against Russia): This will be a very good memory for us because it’s the first time. We’ve tried to improve volleyball in Thailand over the last 50 years. I’ve coached for 16 years and we never beat Russia. It’s my first time so it’s a great honour for me. I feel good for the president of the Thai Volleyball Association who is working to improve volleyball in Thailand. We’re not going to remain satisfied with this but will continue working to get to the world level.

Russia captain Ekaterina Pankova: First, congratulations to Thailand. They are a great team and their service was terrific today and they had great team play. I thought that they weren’t good at blocking  but today they were great. We were a bit tired after the last three days and couldn’t play our normal game.

Russia coach Iury Marichev: Today was not a good match and we didn’t perform well as a team. We couldn’t do anything today. Now I have to think about what we are missing and try to improve and move forward. 

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