TIJUANA & MEXICALI, Mexico, August 17, 2007.- Three continental champions – France (Europe), Brazil (South America) and Iran (Asia) – joined India, Argentina, Belgium, China and Poland to compose the top eight teams of the 2007 FIVB Boy’s Youth World Championship, after an emotional and surprising final round day on Friday in Mexico, were the French squad beat the six time world champion Brazil and reborn from the ashes, edging Germany by ratio difference. Pools E and F will play in Tijuana for the first eight places starting on August 20th, while Pools G and H will compete in Mexicali for the 9th to 16th positions.
In Pool B in Mexicali, France challenged the mighty Brazilians, stealing the three sets from them and giving a huge lesson 27-25, 25-20, 25-21 in 78 minutes of intense Volleyball, with Kevin Le Roux as best scorer with 12 points. The Brazilians, silver medalists in the last Youth WCH 2005 did not react at the French connection, but qualify to the next round by ratio. In an earlier match, Germany beat the African champion Egypt 3-0 (25-17, 25-17, 25-19), but could not get the tickets because France’s victory changed the story.
In Pool C, the brave team of Argentina, considered the other big surprise of this tournament after beating USA and Russia, set the local supporters in Tijuana alights with some truly exciting spells of Volleyball despite their 2-3 defeat against China. The South American squad powered through the two first sets 26-24, 25-16, but fell fighting under the Asian force 23-25, 23-25, 13-15 in the fifth set. Chinese Chen Ping was the best scorer with 23 points.
Meanwhile defending two-time world champions Russia came from behind and beat USA 3-2 (17-25, 20-25, 25-23, 25-18, 15-13 in a very exciting match of 106 minutes, giving the chance to the China team to qualify by ratio points. Russians dashed any hopes USA may have had for a berth in the second round.
In Mexicali Pool D saw a great match were Poland beat Puerto Rico 3-0 (25-22, 31-29, 25-15). The European team rising to their utmost motivation managed to win the fast and technical Caribbean with high spirit. The 15 points of scorer Mateusz Jasinski were decisive for the team of Poland to stop the Puerto Rican intentions of qualifying to the second round. Ulises Maldonado also scored 15 points for his side.
In other match in Mexicali, Cuba set their most efficient competition performance as they pulled off a great 3-0 victory (29-27, 25-17, 25-22) over Iran. The Norceca team showed power and enthusiasm over a discrete Iran squad that already had the qualification in their pocket.
In Tijuana, Pool A saw the victory of Belgium over the African team of Tunisia. The Europeans that are playing for the very first time in a Youth World Championship win 3-0 (25-15, 25-18, 25-17), allowing India to top the group, as both qualified for the next round. India beat host Mexico 3-1 in the last match of the day 30-28, 25-27, 25-15, 25-16, with Mandeep Singh as best scorer with 21 points.
Saturday and Sunday are rest days before the second round on Monday.
2007 FIVB Boy’s Youth World Championship
1st Round Standings
Pool A: 1. India, 2. Belgium, 3. Mexico, 4. Tunisia
Pool B: 1. France, 2. Brazil, 3. Germany, 4. Egypt
Pool C: 1. Argentina, 2. China, 3. USA, 4. Russia
Pool D: 1. Poland, 2. Iran, 3. Cuba, 4. Puerto Rico
Pool E: Brazil, Argentina, Iran, India
Pool F: France, China, Poland, Belgium
(The 1st and 2nd ranked team of Pool E and F will qualify for the Semi Finals. The 3rd and 4th ranked team of Pool E and F will qualify for the play off 5 – 8)
Pool G: Egypt, USA, Puerto Rico, Mexico
Pool H: Russia, Germany, Cuba, Tunisia
(The 1st and 2nd ranked team of Pool G and H will qualify for the play off 9-12. The 3rd and 4th ranked team of Pool G and H will qualify for the play off 13-16).