Bangkok, Thailand, November 1, 2021 – Uzbekistan underlined their supremacy over the inaugural AVC Central Asian Volleyball Association (CAVA) Women’s U19 Volleyball Championship as the embattled hosts put it past spirited Kazakhstan in hard-fought five sets in the final showdown at Namangan Institute of Civil Engineering Sports Complex in Namangan on Saturday, October 30.
The Championship, held by Ministry of Tourism and Sports of the Republic of Uzbekistan in conjunction with Asian Volleyball Confederation, was held between October 26 to October 30, with Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan testing their mettle.
At the end of the round-robin preliminaries on October 28, hosts Uzbekistan captured the top spot with a clean sweep of three wins, followed by Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and winless Tajikistan respectively.
The semifinals had been set on October 29, with top team Uzbekistan taking on the fourth-ranked Tajikistan and second-ranked Kazakhstan challenging third place Kyrgyzstan.
The cross semifinals saw hosts Uzbekistan continue their unbeaten streak to pull off a comfortable straight-set win against Tajikistan 25-11, 25-16, 25-14 to secure their final berth, while Kazakhstan struggled to put it past Kyrgyzstan in tie-breaker 25-19, 25-22, 15-25, 19-25, 15-9.
As a result, Uzbekistan were due to battle it out with closest rivals Kazakhstan in the showdown, while Kyrgyzstan faced off against Tajikistan in the third-place playoff.
The final showdown on October 30 was a must-watch highlight of the tournament when hosts Uzbekistan went up against old foes Kazakhstan in a revenge match.
Kazakhstan suffered their first and the only loss in the five-day Championship to Uzbekistan and looked forward to avenging the bitter loss in this last match of the tournament. However, despite a gallant fightback, Kazakhstan still found the host side a tough nut to crack as the visitors eventually went down in thrilling five-setter.
In the final clash, both Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan got off to a confident start, but the former fare a bit better at home stretch to win the hard-fought first set 26-24. The second set remained a tight contest, but this time Kazakhstan played well to narrowly beat the host side with the similar margin 26-24 for a 1-1 tie.
The one-set win boosted Kazakhstan as they went on their good run in the third set, which they sealed the nail-biting 26-24 victory. Nonetheless, their delight did not last long as Uzbekistan came back to beat them 25-20 in the fourth set to force a tie-breaker.
In the decider, Uzbekistan, coached by Muzaffar Yodgorov and Ilhomjon Turdiev, fared much better to win the lopsided battle 15-5 for the eventual 3-2 win and the Championship.
In the third-place playoff clash earlier, Kyrgyzstan, which outclassed Tajikistan 3-1 in their preliminary match, proved a class above the similar rivals to beat them 3-1 (25-17, 21-25, 25-11, 25-13) to claim bronze medal.
Mr B. Nuritdinov, Deputy Governor of Namangan Region for Tourism and Sports and Head of the Main Department of Tourism and Sports, presided over the awards presentation and the closing ceremony. Also in attendance was President of AVC Central Asian Volleyball Association Mr Mohamed Latheef, himself President of Volleyball Association of Maldives and Member of the AVC Development and Marketing Committee, who was guest of honour at the sports complex to watch final encounters, support the organisers and join the awards presentation and closing ceremony.
The AVC Central Asian Volleyball Association (CAVA) Women’s U19 Volleyball Championship was the third zonal event hosted this year by Uzbekistan. The country organised the inaugural Central Asian Girls’ U17 Volleyball Championship in Navoi City in April. Uzbekistan also hosted the inaugural Central Asian Senior Men’s and Women’s Challenge Cup in Fergana in August.
Uzbekistan b Tajikistan 3-0 (25-11, 25-16, 25-14)
Kazakhstan b Kyrgyzstan 3-2 (25-19, 25-22, 15-25, 19-25, 15-9)
Bronze-medal match: Kyrgyzstan b Tajikistan 3-1 (25-17, 21-25, 25-11, 25-13)
Championship match: Uzbekistan b Kazakhstan 3-2 (26-24, 24-26, 24-26, 25-20, 15-5)
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