Press release

Two very exciting days left in Argentina

Young fans from schools in Bahia Blanca have enthusiastically supported the competition from the very beginning

Buenos Aires, Argentina, August 26, 2011 – The 12th edition of the FIVB Volleyball Boys’ Youth World Championship is reaching its peak with Saturday’s matches deciding in Bahía Blanca the gold medal contenders and those who will settle for the bronze in the biennial event for players under 19 years-old.

Defending champions Serbia are one of the four teams along with Spain, France and Cuba still with options to be crowned here. The schedule in Bahia Blanca also features the elimination matches for the 5-8 positions with hosts Argentina now left out of the battle for the metals.

Meanwhile in Almirante Brown many big names like Brazil, Russia and last year’s vice champions Iran, will be playing in rounds for 9-12 and 13-16 places.

But whether playing for one of the medals or just for one perhaps irrelevant position, this is the tournament that serves to season the stars of tomorrow. It is here where the big guys of the future start to wet their feet in the international scene.

All 192 players gave their utmost on the field and were selected by their coaches to represent their countries with pride in the tournament for the rookies.

Let’s enjoy for the next two days the most exciting part of this wonderful FIVB competition.

Bahia Blanca
Semi-finals for Gold Medal

Spain v Cuba 18:00
After a great campaign in the first and second round as surprising team finishing this round with 8 points leading pool F, for the first time Spain will battle for the Gold Medal playing one of the semi-final matches against a Cuba team that grew along the competition defeating the host team, Argentina on the last match of the second round on Friday night. Lazaro Fundora had a superb night against the local team scoring 29 points while Andres Villena is the man to go for Spain.

Serbia v France 21:00
This is an European classic as the two strong teams clash in one encounter to survive on Saturday. The title-holder Serbia had the luxury to rest some of its big cannons during the match against China which was not the case of France on Friday. The team of Jean-Manuel Leprovost had to erase a two-set deficit to prevail against Bulgaria in one exciting contest. Serbia topped Pool E with a 3-0 win-loss mark and 8 points while France finished second in Pool F with 2-1 mark and 6 points. Serbia won the crown in its first appearance ever in 2009 and is looking to repeat. France team is aiming to improve the bronze medal won in the 2007 edition.

Places 5 – 8

Argentina v Greece 11:00
Following a perfect record in the first round, Greece lost all three matches in the next phase of the competition. The best showing for the Greek side was a second place in the 1997 edition. Argentina, which took home the bronze medal two years ago in Italy, is now playing on its own soil for the 5-8 positions. After playing the last match of Friday and opening the action on Saturday, it is going to be interesting to see if they are able to perform physically and how they were affected mentally by the loss to Cuba.

Bulgaria v China 13:00
With both teams having won only one match on the second round (Pools F & E respectively), they will play now for the fifth place.  China best appearance until now was the Silver Medal two editions ago in the year 2007 in Mexico. Bulgaria won its first two matches in the first round and appeared to be like a potential gold medal contender. But since a loss to Egypt in the third outing the team is not the same having lost momentum. The best finish for the team was a bronze medal in 1989.

Almirante Brown
Places 13 – 16
Tunisia v Russia 10:00
These teams with one victory each on the second round will play for places 13-16 in Almirante Brown venue. Russia is coming of a devastating loss in three sets on Friday against Iran. While Tunisia’s best appearance was in the edition 2009 finishing on the 6th place, Russia won a gold medal in the edition 1999 but also with silver and bronze medals during their 10th appearances (two under USSR flag).
Korea v Puerto Rico 13:00
Puerto Rico stands winless in the second round while Korea won one match.  Korea twice collected the bronze medal in the years 1991 and 1993 while Puerto Rico best finish was at home in the edition of 1995 when finished in 4th place.

Places 9 - 12
Brazil v USA 18:00
With three victories and 9 points in this second round, the six-time gold medal winner and only team to participate in all previous 11 editions, Brazil was left out of the fight for the medals for second time in a row. Now they go for the 9th place playing against USA, second ranked team of a very equal Pool H.  USA won the second place of Pool H over Korea due to points-ratio (equal 1-0 record – set won-lost 6-8 each). USA, Korea and Russia each won only one match and collected 3 points apiece.
Iran v Egypt 21:00
Egypt finished second with 2-1 record and 6 points in the second round’s Pool G, but as they only won versus Bulgaria in the first round they could not qualify among the best eight squads.  The African team has never stepped onto the podium in 8 appearances and will face Iran, last edition’s runners-up, winner of 9 points with a 3-0 mark in Pool H.


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