PRESS RELEASE 08.09.2003


2003 World Women’s Under-20 Volleyball Championship

SUPHAN BURI, Thailand, September 8, 2003 – All four Asian teams went down to their respective rivals on the final day of the group round-robin preliminaries, as Cuba, Puerto Rico, Algeria and Chinese Taipei all bowed out from the World Women’s Under-20 Volleyball Championship in Suphan Buri, Thailand on Monday.

On the day when luck was not with Asia, formidable Belarus produced a scintillating come-from-behind 15-25 25-20 24-26 25-20 15-9 victory over South Korea, while China suffered a straight-sets demolition at the hands of Germany by losing 16-25 22-25 27-29.

Also facing the same fate were Chinese Taipei and hosts Thailand, with the former going down to Ukraine in four sets 21-25 22-25 25-20 16-25 and Venezuela recovering from an two-set deficit to stun the latter 22-25 19-25 25-17 25-22 15-11.

In the other matches, the Netherlands made a clean sweep in the preliminaries after mercilessly crushing African champions Algeria in straight sets 25-20 25-9 25-18 and Russia brushed off Puerto Rico’s challenge to win 25-15 26-24 25-15.

Defending three-time world champions Brazil lost their first set of the Championship on Monday, but captured their third successive victory after beating Turkey 27-25 25-17 18-25 25-20, while European champions Poland showed former world champions Cuba the early exit from the Championship, storming past the formidable North American team 25-17 25-11 21-25 25-22.

After the conclusion of the preliminaries on Monday, invincible the Netherlands collected six points to top Group A, while Russia recorded five points, the same as South Korea and Belarus in Group B, but the Russians had a better sets-won ratio to top the group. Undefeated Germany captured the top spot in Group C with six points, while title-hotshots Brazil stamped their authority in Group D.

Four unlucky teams - Algeria, Puerto Rico, Chinese Taipei and Cuba, all of them finished fourth in their respective groups - A, B, C and D - to leave the competing arena with their heads low in disappointment after they failed to make the cut for the next round.

Tuesday is a rest day for all 12 participating teams left in the championship. The play-off elimination and play-off seeding rounds will resume on Wednesday (September 10).