Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar, May 20, 2015 – Invincible Iran underlined their supremacy over the Asian Men’s U23 Volleyball Championship at the Wunna Theikdi Indoor Stadium Hall B on Wednesday after powering past formidable Korea 25-16 25-21 25-21 in thrilling final showdown to become the first team in history to capture the championship.
It was another remarkable success of Iran, which have already made a clean sweep of all age group titles consisting of the Asian Youth Boys’ U18 Championship in Colombo, Sri Lanka in 2014, the Asian Men’s Junior U20 Championship in Manama, Bahrain in 2014 and the Asian Senior Men’s Championship in Dubai, the UAE in 2013.
Additionally, Iran, whose AVC Senior Ranking was the best in 2013 and taken into consideration for a place in the FIVB Men’s U23 World Championship in Uberlandia, Brazil, represented Asia to test their mettle in the 2013 world meet and returned with a well-earned fifth place overall.
Iran and Korea have already qualified for the 2015 FIVB Men’s U23 World Championship, due to take place in Dubai, the UAE from August 24 to 31, as both sides set up a final showdown in the top-fight competition which guaranteed them to be the Asia’s top two teams to get a nod from FIVB to join the fray in Dubai.
Against Korea in the showdown, Iran fielded the same aggressive line-up which overpowered Chinese Taipei 3-2 in the semi-finals the previous day including Fallah Z.L Mohammad, Fayazi Damnabi Purya, who competed in the gold-winning Iran team at the last year’s Asian Games in Incheon, Korea, Hosseinabadi Javad and Manavinejad Mohammad Javad. Korea relied on Jung Jiseok, Jeong Donggeun and Kim Inhyeok.
Iran performed exceptionally well throughout the whole match, attempting not to make any hasty unforced mistakes. Their determination and consistent play handed Iran the scintillating straight-set 25-16 25-21 25-21 victory over Korea.
Iran jumped for joy and ran around the court, hugged one another and their staff coaches and plunged altogether on the floor surface. Korea left the court disappointed.
Hosseinabadi Javad led Iran with 14 points including 10 kills from 21 attempts, while Kim Inhyeok scored a match-high 10 points for Korea.
“As I said before, we came here with only one goal in mind, that is to win the historic Asian title. I’m very glad that my team have already achieved that target. Next, we have to prepare our team the best in preparation for the Men’s U23 World Championship in Dubai. We will try to do our best out there,” said Iran’s head coach Peyan Akbarii.
In the third-place playoff earlier, Chinese Taipei repeated the similar feat against China, pulling off a dramatic 27-25 25-21 21-25 25-23 victory over the formidable rivals they had already beaten in the pool plays earlier.
Chinese Taipei fielded a strong line-up including left-hander Wu Tsung-Hsuan and twin brothers, Liu Hung-Min and Liu Hong-Jie, while China were strengthened by the two towers, Tang Chuanhang and Mao Tianyi, both of them stand the similar 200cm tall, and hard-hitting Jin Zhihong.
Winning the close opening set 27-25, Chinese Taipei still found their touch to take the second set 25-21 for a commanding 2-0 lead. However, China roared back to snatch the third set 25-21 before losing the hard-fought clash in the fourth set 23-25. Chinese Taipei eventually captured the victory 3-2 and the third place.
Liu Hung-Min collected 19 points for Chinese Taipei including 15 kills from 35 attempts, while team-mates Wu Tsung-Hsuan topped the spiking skill with 16 kills and Chang Liang-Hao captured the pole position in the blocking skill with three points. For the China side, Tang Chuanhang led the team with massive 29 points which included 26 attack hits, with Li Yiyang leading the blocking skill with six points.
The fifth-place playoff saw Myanmar delight their cheering home crowds packing the competition venue by beating Japan in historic match, pulling off a stunning 3-2 (23-25 25-22 25-17 19-25 15-13) victory. Myanmar players celebrated their victory by running along the court and hugging one another, with one player carrying the Myanmar flag around the cour. This is a memorable moment for Myanmar volleyball as they have never beaten Japan before in history and their long wait ended on Wednesday.
Aung Thu topscored for Myanmar with 27 points including 22 kills from 53 attempts. Myanmar also did a good job in blocking skill when Thwin Htoo Zin scored six points from his solid block, added by four points apiece from Do Mae Ni Ko and Aung Thu. Naoya Takano led Japan with 15 points.
Elsewhere, in-form Thailand hogged the limelight to beat India with a comeback 3-2 (20-25 23-25 25-22 25-19 16-14) victory to take the seventh position, while Indonesia toppled hefty Australia 3-1 (25-21 21-25 25-15 25-16) to finish the ninth place.
Qatar thrashed Saudi Arabia in comfortable straight sets 25-18 25-16 25-18 in the 11th-12th place playoff, while Kazakhstan returned with the 13th position following an impressive 3-1 (25-18 20-25 25-18 25-16) victory over the Philippines and Vietnam took the 15th place after outclassing underdogs Maldives 25-18 24-26 25-20 25-20.
WEDNESDAY’S FINAL RESULTS
15th-16th: Vietnam b Maldives 3-1 (25-18 24-26 25-20 25-20)
13th-14th: Kazakhstan b Philippines 3-1 (25-18 20-25 25-18 25-16)
11th-12th: Qatar b Saudi Arabia 3-0 (25-18 25-16 25-18)
9th-10th: Indonesia b Australia 3-1 (25-21 21-25 25-15 25-16)
7th-8th: Thailand b India 3-2 (20-25 23-25 25-22 25-19 16-14)
5th-6th: Myanmar b Japan 3-2 (23-25 25-22 25-17 19-25 15-13)
Bronze-meda match: Chinese Taipei b China 3-1 (27-25 25-21 21-25 25-23)
Championship match: Iran b Korea 3-0 (25-16 25-21 25-21)
- Iran …..qualified for FIVB Men’s U23 World Championship in Dubai, UAE from August 24-31
- Korea…qualified for FIVB Men’s U23 World Championship in Dubai, UAE from August 24-31
- Chinese Taipei
12. Saudi Arabia
Best Setter: Bagheri Mostafa (Iran No.4)
Best Outside Spiker: Liu Hung-Min (Chinese Taipei No.7)
Best Middle Blocker: Kim Inhyeok (Korea No.11) and Hosseinabadi Javad (Iran No.13)
Best Libero: Lee Jihun (Korea No.13)
Best Opposite Spiker: Jung Jiseok (Korea No.14)
MVP: Fayazi Damnabi Purya (Iran No.7)