Yangon, Myanmar, March 26, 2019 – The composition of the four first-round pools was confirmed at the SMM 3rd Asian “Asia World Foundation” Men’s U23 Volleyball Championship draw here on Tuesday.
The drawing of lots ceremony, jointly organised by the Myanmar Volleyball Federation and AVC, took place at the Yangon International Airport Terminal 3 Meeting Room, with MVF Vice Chairman Mr U Thein Win presiding. Representatives from the Federation and journalists from newspapers, television stations and online news operations were also in attendance at the ceremony.
A total of 16 teams will take part in the top-flight tournament from August 3 to 11, 2019. However, due to a tremendous attention of 22 National Entries, qualification tournaments ahead of the Championship are necessarily required in some Zones to decide teams with eligibility for the Championship.
As a result, only three teams from Western Zone (WZ1, WZ2 and WZ3) will make the cut through qualification tournament to be participated by Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Palestine, Qatar, Kuwait, Iraq and the United Arab Emirates. India will be pitted against Turkmenistan for a place from Central Zone (CZ), with Hong Kong China and Macao fighting it out for a ticket on offer from Eastern Zone (EZ).
With five qualified teams through to the Championship, the remaining 11 teams to prove their talents in the nine-day competition comprise hosts Myanmar, Japan, Chinese Taipei, Thailand, China, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Sri Lanka, Australia, Vietnam and New Zealand.
According to the Tuesday’s result of the draw, jointly conducted by AVC Secretary-General Mr Shanrit Wongprasert and MVF Technical Advisor Mr Tin Maung Aye, the host side were paired with Sri Lanka, Australia and an EZ team (Hong Kong China/Macao) in Pool A.
With title-holders Iran refusing to join the fray in this edition, Japan, silver medallists at the previous episode two years ago in Iran, have been drawn in Pool B with Kazakhstan, Vietnam and a WZ2 team (Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Palestine, Qatar, Kuwait, Iraq and the UAE as mentioned above).
In Pool C, Chinese Taipei, bronze medallists at the previous edition, will play Pakistan, a WZ3 team and a WZ1 team, while Pool D includes Thailand, fourth place in Iran two years ago, China, a team from CZ (India/Turkmenistan) and New Zealand.
Eight matches will be competed each day in the pool round-robin preliminaries which see hosts Myanmar due to take on a team from EZ (Hong Kong China/Macao) in their opening match on August 3. On the same day, Australia will play Sri Lanka, Kazakhstan face Vietnam, Japan meet a WZ2 team, Pakistan take on a WZ3 team, Chinese Taipei meet a WZ1 team, China compete against a CZ side and New Zealand test their mettle against Thailand.
After the three-day preliminaries, top two teams from each pool will advance to the 1st-8th playoffs, while teams finishing 3rd and 4th places will be relegated to the 9th-16th classification. The competition continues with quarter-finals and semi-finals on August 9 and 10 respectively, while the finals as well as the awards presentation and the closing ceremony will be held on August 11.
Nay Pyi Taw is hosting this Championship for the second time. The inaugural competition took place in Nay Pyi Taw in 2015, with Iran thrashing Korea 3-0 in the final showdown to capture their unprecedented title. Two years later, the Iranians remained invincible to beat Japan 3-0 in the final clash to successfully defend their crown in front of home fans in Ardabil. This year, the Championship returns to Nay Pyi Taw again, but following the draw result, it is clear that the successive two-time champions Iran will not join the tough competition this time.
POOL ROUND-ROBIN PRELIMINARIES
August 3, 2019
Myanmar v EZ; Australia v Sri Lanka; Kazakhstan v Vietnam; WZ2 v Japan; WZ3 v Pakistan; WZ1 v Chinese Taipei; China v CZ; New Zealand v Thailand
August 4, 2019
Sri Lanka v Myanmar; EZ v Australia; Japan v Kazakhstan; Vietnam v WZ2; Chinese Taipei v WZ3; Pakistan v WZ1; Thailand v China; CZ v New Zealand
August 5, 2019
Myanmar v Australia; Sri Lanka v EZ; Kazakhstan v WZ2; Japan v Vietnam; WZ3 v WZ1; Chinese Taipei v Pakistan; China v New Zealand; Thailand v CZ
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