Kaohsiung, Chinese Taipei, July 18, 2016 – The SMM 18th Taichung Bank Asian Men’s U20 Volleyball Championship came to a successful end Sunday at Kaohsiung Arena, as China prevailed over defending and five-time champions Iran in a five-set thriller of the final showdown to capture their fourth title in the championship’s history.
China b Iran 3-2 (27-25, 21-25, 31-29, 18-25, 15-13)
Both sides put on a great show from the beginning, seeing the the score increasing alternately. China managed to score crucial two points successively after 25-25 tie for a 27-25 win in the first set.
The mighty Iranians were never uncompromising and they returned a 25-21 win in the second set.
The third set was even more thrilling as both teams fought till 29-29. And again, China broke the deadlock and held on their advantage to win 31-29.
Iran were strong enough to even the set again 25-18 to force the rivals for a tie-break, where they staged a miracle of chasing from 1-6 behind to 13-13 tie. However, the final winner still came to China as they could always score at the crucial moment.
“It is a high-level match. And both teams have showed the spirit of never giving up. We stitch to each other. It is not often to see such high-level performance in youth matches.” said Ju Genyin, head coach of China. “Iran is a very strong team. We started our training camp until May 9 and we still have some problems in team chemistry. So it was very difficult to score one by one to win the match. Of course luck also helped us. ”
It is 16 years from last time China won the title in 2000.
Korea b Japan 3-2 (21-25, 19-25, 25-17, 26-24, 16-14)
Korea performed a dramatic reversal over Japan in the bronze medal contest and claimed the third place at the SMM 18th Taichung Bank Asian Men’s U20 Volleyball Championship.
The first two sets witnessed Japan a steady and surely play as they took a smooth win 25-21 and 25-19.
With nothing to lose, the desperate Koreans fought back to a 25-17 and 26-24 victory to set up for a tie-break.
The tie breaker saw both sides stick to each other till 14-14. A serve error by Japan sent Korea to the match point and again a spike error from the Japanese handed the triumph to Korea.
Japan’s No. 18 Takanashi kenta top scored with 33 points, while Korea’s No. 15 Lim Donghyeok contributed the most to his team with impressive 28 points.
“We did not play well in the first two sets but we are lucky enough to find back the attack and defense rhythm in the third set.” said Mr. Lee Sangyeol, head coach of Korea.
“We have thought we might lose the match after going down in the first two sets. However, we executed exactly according to the instruction of our coach. I am very happy to win the match.” said Kim Jeongho, captain of Korea.
In the 5th-6th playoff, Thailand outclassed Turkmenistan in comfortable straight set (25-16, 25-19, 25-23) and were slotted in the fifth place while Sri Lanka toppled the much taller Kazakhstan in straight sets 25-22, 25-16, 25-17 to claim the seventh position.
FINALL TEAM RANKINGS
Second place: Iran
Third place: Korea
4th place: Japan
5th place: Thailand
6th place: Turkmenistan
7th place: Sri Lanka
8th place: Kazakhstan
9th place: Australia
10th place: Qatar
11th place: Iraq
12th place: Chinese Taipei
13th place: Pakistan
14th place: Saudi Arabia
15th place: Bahrain
16th place: Hong Kong, China
Best Outside Spikers: CHN No.3 Yu Yuantai and IRI No.12 Esfandiar Amirhossein
Best Middle Blockers: CHN No.12 Tao Zixuan and IRI No.6 Mojarad Aliasghar
Best Opposite: IRI No.1 Aghchehli Rasoul
Best Setter: IRI No.14 Karimisoucheimaei Javad
Best Libero: Korea No.5 Oh Eunryeol
Most Valuable Player: CHN No.2 Liu Zhihao