Bangkok, Thailand, December 9, 2022 – As 2022 is coming to an end, Asia’s volleyball-governing body AVC has put together a list of its major indoor and beach volleyball events the AVC affiliated National Federations and their determined players had actively participated this year.
The Asian volleyball family has also experienced an absolute roller-coaster ride in 2022, thanks to remarkable teams and players pushing their limits in a bid to strive for excellence. From AVC- to FIVB competitions, 2022 produced some of the most iconic and memorable volleyball moments, which are bound to surprise and stay with fans for a really long time.
Nonetheless, though the COVID-19 pandemic made an impact in volleyball, with some host countries unable to organise volleyball and beach volleyball events and some tournaments being cancelled and postponed, AVC had worked hard in an effort to tackle problems occurred and make effectively-executed mix and match planning strategies. With support coordination from all affiliated National Federations, the governing body had smooth run of competitions and related activities this year.
Undoubtedly, 2022 had it all for devoted players, teams and adoring fans – sustained volleyball drama, heartbreaks and landmark moments. Take a walk down memory lane through the concluded AVC competitions – 10 AVC Championships and some AVC beach volleyball events held in 2022.
2022 AVC CHAMPIONSHIPS
Asian Women’s Club Volleyball Championship
Semey, a city in eastern Kazakhstan hosted the 2022 edition between April 24 and 30. Only six teams took part in the annual championship. Top teams from powerhouses including China and Japan did not join the fray, with Japan Volleyball Association withdrawing JT Marvelous from the competition due to the COVID-19 infection among their team members. Hosts Kazakhstan fielded two teams in this championship. The final showdown was all-Kazakhs affair, with Kuanysh stunning reigning champions Altay in hard-fought five-set thriller to capture their unprecedented title. Thailand’s Diamond Food picked up bronze following their 3-1 rout of Iran’s Barij Essence in the third-place playoff. Asian Club winners Kuanysh will represent Asia in the 2022 FIVB Volleyball Women’s Club World Championship, due to be held in Antalya, Turkey from December 14 to 18.
Asian Men’s Club Volleyball Championship
Iran’s capital city Tehran hosted the topflight championship between May 14 and 20, with 8 teams including two teams apiece from hosts Iran and Iraq vying for top honour. Hosts Paykan Tehran underlined their supremacy over the championship after 3-2 victory against Japan’s Suntory Sunbirds in the final showdown. M. Shahdab Yazd, another team from the host nation, demolished Kazakhstan’s Taraz 3-0 to claim bronze medal. Asian Club champions Paykan Tehran are now out to prove their talent against the other five strong teams in the on-going 2022 FIVB Volleyball Men’s Club World Championship from December 7 to 11 in Betim, Brazil.
14th Asian Women’s U18 Volleyball Championship
Nakhon Pathom, a city in central Thailand, replaced Uzbekistan’s Tashkent in hosting the 14th championship on the unchanged competition period between June 6 and 13. The Asian Women’s U18 Championship was formerly entitled Asian Women’s U17 Championship, but in accordance with the FIVB Board of Administration Meeting on March 21-22, 2022 which announced to align the FIVB age group categories to Under-19 and Under-21 for both genders, the adjustment of 2022 Age Group Championships have also been considered important for representative women’s age group teams from Asia to compete in the FIVB Age Group Championships in 2023. In this 2022 edition, powerhouses Japan produced epic comeback to beat China 3-2 and successfully retain title, their 8th win in a row and 9 in total. Korea narrowly edged Thailand 3-2 to claim bronze medal. However, top four teams in this championship, Japan, China, Korea and Thailand, have qualified for the 2023 FIVB Volleyball Girls’ U19 World Championship.
21st Asian Women’s U20 Volleyball Championship
The 2022 edition took place in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan from July 14 to 11, with 9 teams vying for top honour and two berths up for grab for the 2023 FIVB Volleyball Women’s U21 World Championship. Japan and China advanced to the final showdown after respectively outplaying Korea and Thailand in similar straight sets. In the final clash, defending champions Japan proved too strong for China to stun the former 12-time winners in thrilling three-setter to reign supreme. Thailand had to be content with bronze medal following their hard-fought five-set thriller in the third-place playoff match against Korea. Japan and China, top two teams in the Asian Women’s 20 Championship, will test their mettle in the next year’s Women’s U21 World Championship.
AVC Cup for Men
The biennial competition was due to initially take place in Chinese Taipei, but due to its strict COVID-19 protocols, the event was reallocated to Nakhon Pathom, Thailand from August 7 to 14. Reigning champions Qatar withdrew to prepare themselves for the 2022 FIVB Challenger Cup in Korea during July 28 and 31. Kazakhstan also withdrew. In the semifinals of the 2022 AVC Cup for Men, Japan shut out Bahrain 3-0 and China struggled to beat Korea 3-2. In the final showdown, tall and terrific Zhang Jingyin, who captured the MVP and Best Outside Hitter during the awards presentation and closing ceremony, steered China, whose players competed in the 2022 FIVB Volleyball Nations League, to sensational 3-0 win against Japan. Bahrain stunned Korea in straight sets in the third-place playoff to claim bronze, their first medal ever in this topflight competition.
14th Asian Men’s U18 Volleyball Championship
The championship, which served as the Asia’s qualification tournament for the 2023 FIVB Volleyball Boys’ U19 World Championship, was held in Tehran, Iran between August 15 and 22. A total of 8 teams strutted their stuff in the top-tier tournament. Defending and consecutive two-time champions Japan made it three in a row after 3-0 blitz over Iran in the final showdown. India grabbed bronze medal after pulling off 3-2 win against Korea in the third-place playoff. However, those top four teams, Japan, Iran, India and Korea, booked their berths for the next year’s World Championship.
AVC Cup for Women
The tournament was hosted by the Philippines between August 21 and 29, with a strong field of 10 teams vying for top honour. However, just five days ahead of the kickoff, Kazakhstan withdrew from the competitive competition, leaving only nine teams including reigning champions Japan, former five-time winners China and the 2010 champions Thailand to strut their stuff at the 10,000-seater PhilSports Arena in Pasig, the battle ground of the topflight nine-day competition. Japan retained their title after dramatic 3-1 win against China in the final showdown and Thailand had to be content with bronze medal after outplaying fast-improving Vietnam in thrilling straight sets in the third-place playoff encounter.
3rd AVC Women’s Challenge Cup
It was the third edition of the tournament contested by the bottom senior women’s national teams of the AVC affiliated National Federations. Hong Kong, China was due to host the first two editions, but could not organise the tournament. The first edition of the biennial competition was initially set to be held in 2018 in Hong Kong, China, but due to unforeseen reasons, the event could not be held. Two years later, the second edition was set to take place in Hong Kong, China again, but the competition was cancelled due to grave concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic. Nakhon Pathom, Thailand hosted the AVC Women’s Challenge Cup, which was made the 3rd edition because the tournament needed to be aligned with the AVC Men’s Challenge Cup, which had been held for two consecutive times and the third edition took place from August 28 and September 3, 2022 in Cholpon-Ata, Kyrgyzstan.
The 3rd AVC Women’s Challenge Cup was held between June 24 and 29 in Nakhon Pathom. However, after completion of the single round-robin competition on June 29, all the participating teams were ranked according to their performances throughout the whole tournament and the best-ranked team were crowned champions to land the prestigious Princess Cup. The second- and third-ranked teams also joined the podium celebration. At the same time, excluding Thailand Women’s U20 squad which also competed in the tournament, the best team among the five participants captured the AVC Women’s Challenge Cup.
On the final day, Thailand Women’s U20 team beat India 3-2 to keep the Princess Cup at home, while Hong Kong, China made a clean sweep in the single round-robin tournament to capture their unprecedented AVC Women’s Challenge Cup.
21st Asian Men’s U20 Volleyball Championship
The championship was held in Riffa, Bahrain between August 22 and 29, with a record 17 teams vying for top honour and two berths up for grabs for the next year’s FIVB Volleyball Men’s U21 World Championship. Defending and consecutive two-time champions Iran made it three in a row and 7 in total after powering past India 3-1 in the final clash. Korea brushed off Thailand in straight sets to pick up bronze medal. Iran and India qualified for the 2023 Men’s U21 World Championship.
3rd AVC Men’s Challenge Cup
The tournament was the last AVC competition of the year, held in Cholpon-Ata, Kyrgyzstan from August 28 to September 4. Sri Lanka hosted the first edition in 2018 in Colombo, with Iraq reigning supreme after 3-2 victory against Saudi Arabia in the showdown. Hosts Sri Lanka claimed bronze medal. The second edition was initially due to take place in Cholpon-Ata in Kyrgyzstan, but was cancelled due to COVID-19 pandemic. The third edition in 2022 was hosted by Kyrgyzstan, with the host team narrowly edging Saudi Arabia 3-2 to capture the eventual tittle. Uzbekistan struggled to beat Mongolia 3-2 to take bronze medal.
Aside from the 10 AVC championships held in 2022, Asian teams also tested their mettle in regional competitions including the Central Asian Men’s Volleyball Championship in Lahore, Pakistan, the inaugural West Asia Women’s Volleyball Championship in Amman, Jordan, the Southeast Asian Games in Vietnam and the ASEAN Grand Prix Women’s Invitation in Thailand and world-class events including the FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Championship in Poland and Slovenia between August 26 and September 11 and the Volleyball Nations League.
In regional competitions, hosts Pakistan underlined their domination over the Central Asian Men’s Volleyball Championship after powering past young Iranians in dramatic four-setter in the final showdown.
In-form Lebanon pulled off straight-set win against hosts Jordan in the final clash to reign supreme over the 1st West Asia Women’s Volleyball Championship between November 13 and 24, 2022.
Meanwhile, the rescheduled Southeast Asian (SEA) Games volleyball competitions between May 12 and 22,2022 in Vietnam saw Indonesia and Thailand retain their respective men’s and women’s titles.
In the ASEAN Grand Prix Women’s Volleyball Invitation from September 9 to 11,2022, hosts Thailand stamped their authority in the three-day tournament following their straight-set win against archrivals Vietnam in the showdown.
In the world-level competitions, the 2022 Women’s VNL saw three teams from Asia – China, Japan and Thailand secure their berths in the VNL Finals in Ankara, Turkey, with the Thai team making their mark to stun strong rivals including world champions Serbia and Rio Games gold medallists China in their preliminary-round campaign. As Italy captured their unprecedented women’s VNL title, China, Japan and Thailand finished 6th, 7th and 8th places respectively, with Korea on the bottom 16th.
Japan, Iran, China and Australia made it to the 2022 Men’s VNL, but only Japan and Asian champions Iran booked their berths in the Italy-hosted Finals. France captured the title, with Japan and Iran in 5th and 7th positions. China and Australia did not make the Finals cut to finish 13th and 16th places respectively.
In the 2022 Men’s World Championship in Poland and Slovenia between August 26 and September 11, Italy landed the eventual title, while Japan finished 12th, Iran 13th, Qatar 21st and China 24th respectively. Serbia successfully defended the women’s crown in the 2022 Women’s World Championship in Poland and Netherlands, while five Asian teams – Asian champions Japan and powerhouses China finished respective 5th and 6th places. Thailand came in 13th position, with Korea and Kazakhstan in 20th and 23rd places respectively.
Hosts Korea, Australia and Qatar finished 3rd, 5th and 7th places in the 2022 FIVB Volleyball Men’s Challenger Cup in Seoul between July 28 and 31. With only eventual champions Cuba promoted to contest the next year’s VNL, all Asian teams testing their mettle in the FIVB Challenger Cup in Seoul missed the cut.
Kazakhstan joined the fray in the 2022 FIVB Volleyball Women’s Challenger Cup in Croatia from July 28 to 31. Hosts Croatia were crowned champions to get promoted to the next year’s Women’s VNL, Kazakhstan failed to make their mark to return with a disappointing 7th position.
2022 AVC BEACH VOLLEYBALL EVENTS
Many beach volleyball events had been organised by AVC in 2022. However, as COVID-19 pandemic still made regional impact on physical and psychological health, activities and overall well-being, to organise AVC beach volleyball events remained a huge challenge not only to the host countries but also the participating teams. Some regular host nations could not organise events, allowing the other nations to step in to host them instead, reflecting the FIVB motto “To Keep the Ball Rolling”. Some beach volleyball events had been postponed, with a few more facing cancellation.
4th Asian U19 Beach Volleyball Championships
The double-gender championships took place at Ban Nong Ya Ma Community School in Roi Et, a Northeastern province in Thailand, between June 2 and 5, with 41 teams from 13 countries including 21 men’s teams strutting their stuff to vie for top honour in both categories and 5 teams per gender in the main draw secured their places for the FIVB Beach Volleyball U19 World Championships in September in Turkey. Hosts Thailand made a clean sweep of both men’s and women’s events, with Phuthanet Khamtao/Saiphirun Ruairung capturing the men’s title with remarkable unbeaten records and Salinda Mungkhon/Samitta Simarongnam winning the women’s crown.
AVC Beach Tour Roi Et Open (Women)
The women’s only event was held from September 10 to 12 at Ban Nong Ya Ma Community School in Roi Et, Thailand as a tune-up tournament ahead of the 2022 Asian Senior Women’s Beach Volleyball Championship at the same competition venue. Chinese Wang Xinxin/Zeng Jinjin stunned Asian winners Woraperachayakorn Kongphopsarutawadee/Tarawadee Naraphornrapat of Thailand in the semifinals and edged past Asian silver medallists Miki Ishii/Sayaka Mizoe of Japan in the final showdown to underline their supremacy over the inaugural AVC Beach Tour Roi Et Open.
Asian Senior Women’s Beach Volleyball Championship
Roi Et, Thailand hosted the topflight championship at Ban Nong Ya Ma Community School from Sept 15 to 17 which saw New Zealand’s Shaunna Polley and Alice Zeimann capture their unprecedented Asian title after pulling off stunning win against Tokyo 2020 Olympic silver medallists Taliqua Clancy/Mariafe Artacho de Solar from Australia in highly-anticipated final showdown.
21st AVC Beach Tour Samila Open (Men and Women)
Thailand hosted another major beach volleyball event when the AVC Beach Tour Samila Open was held at Samila Beach in Songkhla from September 21 to 25. Australians Thomas Hodges/Zachery Schubert and Thailand’s Worapeerachayakorn Kongphopsarutawadee/Tarawadee Naraphornrapat underlined their supremacy over the AVC Beach Tour 21st Samila Open, with the former overcoming a poor start to stun Chinese Ha Likejiang/Wu Jiaxin in the highly-anticipated showdown.
AVC Beach Tour Bandar Abbas Open (Men)
The men’s only event was held in Bandar Abbas, Iran from November 7 to 11, as all participating teams were using this tournament as a tune-up ahead of the Asian Senior Mens Beach Volleyball Championship at the same competition venue. Chinese Ha Likejiang and Wu Jiaxin stamped their authority over this event following their exceptional victory against Zachery Schubert and Thomas Hodges in the final showdown, avenging the loss to the Australian duo in the final clash at the Thailand-hosted AVC Beach Tour Samila Open in September.
Asian Senior Men’s Beach Volleyball Championship
The star-studded championship was held just three days after completion of the AVC Beach Tour Bandar Abbas Open in Iran, with Tokyo 2020 Olympics bronze medallists Cherif Younousse/Ahmed Tijan from Qatar leading star cast and Aussies Christopher McHugh/Paul Burnett back to defend their title. Cherif and Ahmed pulled off stunning win against reigning champions Christopher/Burnett in the final showdown to capture their Asian title for third time.
Meanwhile, beach volleyball players across the continent also took part in events held in some other zones. Among them were the Western Asia Beach Volleyball Qualification Tournament (Men) in Doha, Qatar between January 1 and 3, 2022, the Central Asia Beach Volleyball Championships (Men and Women) in Negambo, Sri Lanka from February 18 to 20, the Northern Marinas Pacific Mini Games 2022 and the rescheduled Southeast Asian Games beach volleyball competitions in Vietnam, where Indonesia and Thailand landed the respective men’s and women’s titles.
More importantly, qualified Asian players went up against much stronger rivals when the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships took place in Rome, Italy between June 7 and 19, reportedly becoming the most-watched Beach Volleyball World Championships in history.
Australians Mark Nicolaidis/Izac Carracher and Qataris Cherif Younousse/Ahmed Tijan emerged as the best two pairings from Asia in this year’s Beach Volleyball Men’s World Championship, with both pairings finishing joint 9th in the topflight championship.
Australians Christopher McHugh/Paul Burnett came in 17th place overall. Thailand’s Surin Jongklang/Banlue Nakprakhong ended in joint 33rd, while Chinese Wu Jiaxin/Ha Likejiang and Iranians Bahman Salemiinjehboroun/Arash Vakili shared 37th position.
In the Beach Volleyball Women’s World Championship, Australians Taliqua Clancy/Mariafe Artacho Del Solar, silver medallists at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, made their mark following their fifth-place finish in the championship. Chinese Wang Fang/Xia Xinyi, Japanese Miki Ishii/Sayaka Mizoe and Thailand’s Worapeerachayakorn Kongphopsarutawadee/Taravadee Naraphornrapat came in joint 17th place. Australians Alisha Stevens/Georgia Johnson returned with the shared 37th position.
Furthermore, top players from Asia, particularly those from Australia, Qatar, China, Japan and Thailand sharpened their expertise against the world’s bests in many Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour events in multiple beach locations.
Related links of AVC
AVC Website: click www.asianvolleyball.net
AVC Facebook: click www.Facebook.com/AsianVolleyballConfederation
AVC Twitter: click: www.twitter.com/AsianVolleyball
AVC Instagram: click: https://www.instagram.com/avcvolley/?hl=en
AVC Youtube: click: Asian Volleyball Confederation
AVC WeChat: Asian Volleyball Confederation