Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar, August 11, 2019 – Chinese Taipei underlined their supremacy over the 3rd Asian Men’s U23 Volleyball Championship to capture their unprecedented title in the top-flight biennial competition following their dramatic 3-1 (25-21 25-20 19-25 25-23) win against India in the highly-anticipated showdown at Hall B inside the Wunna Theikdi Indoor Stadium on Sunday.
Chinese Taipei, consecutive two-time bronze medallists, reigned supreme over the 16-team tournament. Learning that they won the prestigious title for the first time, the Chinese Taipei players and staff coaches jumped for joy, hugged one another and were all-smiles. En route to winning their maiden title, Chinese Taipei lost just once to Pakistan in Pool C round-robin preliminaries.
India picked up silver medal, their best performance in this Asian age-group competition. They came in 8th place in 2015, but did not join the fray in 2017. Asia’s powerhouses Iran won the first edition in Nay Pyi Taw and repeated the similar feat with a back-to-back title at home in Ardabil.
Earlier, indomitable Japan had to be content with the bronze medal after outplaying Pakistan in thrilling three-setter 25-18 25-23 25-18 in the third-place playoff. Japan, silver medallists at the previous edition in Ardabil, Iran two years ago, lost only one match in the top-flight competition after going down to Chinese Taipei in the semi-finals the previous day. Japan claimed bronze medal, with fast-improving Pakistan, 6th in Ardabil, ending in 4th position this time.
In the 5th-6th playoff match, Kazakhstan, which finished 7th place in Ardabil, returned with a better performance and the 5th place after cruising past China in exhausting five sets 25-22, 14-25, 17-25, 25-22, 15-11. China dropped one step behind to finish 6th place overall here as they came in 5th in Ardabil in 2017 and 4th in the inaugural Championship in 2015 here in Nay Pyi Taw.
China have never won the Asian title in this age group since they made their debut appearance at the inaugural Asian Championship in Myanmar in 2015. At that time, they progressed to the 3rd-4th playoff clash, but lost the match to Chinese Taipei to finish fourth.
Australia earned the 7th position as the Young Volleyroos powered past Sri Lanka in straight sets 26-24 25-16 25-18 in the 7th-8th playoff. Australia’s 7th-place finish in Myanmar was their best ever in this Asian age-group tournament. In the first edition in 2015 in Nay Pyi Taw, the Aussies finished a distant 10th place but fell short of what they had won earlier by coming in 11th place in the second edition in Ardabil. Sri Lanka also came up much stronger this time. After a 10th-place finish in Ardabil, the Sri Lankans returned from Nay Pyi Taw with the 8th position.
In the awards presentation and the closing ceremony, Chinese Taipei stood proudly on the top of the podium to capture the Winners’ Trophy and gold medal. The silver medal went to India, while Japan had to be content with the third place and bronze medal.
The other play-off matches for lower-ranked 9th-16th teams were held on Saturday.
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