Friday, 7 May 2021
Back to FIVB's homepage
RSS RSS l Contact l 
2010 Girls' Youth Olympic Games
21 - 26 August 2010

 Press Release
Belgium and Cuba Youth Olympic Girls’ and Boys’ champions respectively

Belgium and Cuba are the 2010 Youth Olympic champions

Singapore, Singapore August 26, 2010 - Belgium are the inaugural Youth Olympic Games Girls’ Volleyball champions after beating USA in a pulsating final in Singapore on Thursday 3-1 (17-25, 25-20, 25-18, 25-12) while Cuba, thanks to an incredible haul of 35 points from Wilfredo Leon, collected the boys’ title with a 3-1 (25-23, 25-21, 17-25, 25-20) win over Argentina.

The US girls had everything going for them in the first set, when the Belgians looked disorganized on the court however, the momentum switched in the second and there was a point won by the Belgians in the third game that illustrated their resolve to win. Captain Ilka Van De Vvyer dived across the court to get her arm on the ball before it hit the court. She bounced back onto her feet, readied herself for a smash and sent a blistering spike deep into the USA court for a point. "That was a big play," said Belgium’s top scorer with 16 points Laura Heyrman.

2010 Girls' Youth Olympic Games
2010 Boys' Youth Olympic Games 
Women's Youth and Junior World Rankings
Men's Youth and Junior World Rankings 
YOG live coverage

It wasn't as much a pep talk as a simple statement of fact when Belgium coach Julien Van De Vvyer spoke to his girls Volleyball team after they struggled early on against the United States in their gold medal match on Thursday.

"I told them all they lost was one set, and they had not lost the game,"' he said. From that point on, it was a complete reverse on the court at Toa Payoh Sports Hall as everything that had not been working for the Belgians started to click, while the United States saw their game fall apart.

"We never gave up. It is the gold medal game and you can't give up, and we never gave up," 10-pointb hero for Belgium Elien Ruysschaert said.

The win was sweet revenge as the Belgians reversed a loss to the USA earlier in the tournament and while the Belgians celebrated, the USA girls, who desperately missed injured top scorer Elizabeth McMahon, were raw with emotion. "I'm devastated. It's been the hardest game," USA captain Samantha Cash said fighting back the tears. "We didn't commit to do what we planned to do. We lost focus and we couldn't come back."

Meanwhile, with IOC President Dr. Jacques Rogge looking on, Cuban World League star Leon, proved to be the difference with an amazing points haul in the boys' finals. The 16-year-old was unstoppable and although Argentina captain Gonzalo Quiroga did his best with 25 points, Cuba were left celebrating victory in front of a packed arena.

“Leon is our leader, and a role model for the team,” Cuba coach Rodolfo Sanchez said. “He sets the tone, and the team looks up to him. I am proud to have him on my team. Despite being so good, he is humble, and fits in well with the team. I wish him luck for the rest of his life, and he is on his way to becoming the best player in the world.

“However the entire team played a really fantastic tournament, they all should be extremely proud of themselves. It is a great privilege to play in the finals. I’m tremendously proud of my players. The best teams in the world competed, and this team deserved to win.”

On Wednesday, Peru beat Japan for the bronze in the girls’ event while Russia overcame Serbia in the boys’ competition for third place.

Download highresolution

More press releases
26/08/2010 2010 Youth Olympic Games - blog
26/08/2010 FIVB congratulates YOG and Singapore for outstanding event
26/08/2010 Belgium and Cuba Youth Olympic Girls’ and Boys’ champions respectively
26/08/2010 Belgium rally for girls' Volleyball title
26/08/2010 "This is a historic moment for my players"- Julien Van Den Vyver
26/08/2010 Belgium earn the first YOG gold medal ever in the final against USA
26/08/2010 Tough to split USA and Belgium in Girls YOG final
25/08/2010 Youth Olympic Games - Photo of the Day (Day Five)
25/08/2010 "This is a wonderful result" - coach Natalia Malaga
25/08/2010 Peru clinch first medal at Youth Olympic Games thanks to girls' win over Japan
25/08/2010 A Day in the life of a Youth Olympic Volunteer
25/08/2010 “This tournament gave us the experience we need for the future"- captain of Singapore, Joelle Shu Yu Lim
25/08/2010 Egypt beat hosts Singapore to fifth
24/08/2010 Belgium and USA to vie for YOG Girls' gold
24/08/2010 Youth Olympic Games - Photo of the Day (Day Four)
24/08/2010 “We knew it was not going to be easy” - U.S. coach Rodney Wilde
24/08/2010 USA advances to the final to face Belgium again
24/08/2010 Good reception was the secret behind Belgium's victory
24/08/2010 Belgium advance to Youth Olympic Games finals
23/08/2010 Peru and USA top pools at YOG Girls' competition
23/08/2010 The silent work of a key player
23/08/2010 "We got it done, but it wasn’t pretty" - USA coach Rod Wilde
23/08/2010 USA clinch Pool B and semifinal spot with 3-0 win over Egypt
23/08/2010 Coach Low has plans for Singapore improvement
23/08/2010 Peru expecting tougher competition in the semifinals
23/08/2010 Peru earn second straight-set win
23/08/2010 Volleyball legend Feng Kun - A role model for rising stars
22/08/2010 Semifinal spots up for grabs on day three of YOG Girls' competition
22/08/2010 Japan and USA dominate day two of Girls' YOG
22/08/2010 "Most exciting game I have ever played in" - Taylor Simpson

  Photo gallery