Bangkok, Thailand, February 27, 2023 – In-form Malaysia pulled off sensational win against Singapore in the men’s final showdown to capture the eventual title, as Singapore survived a scare to edge hosts Maldives in hard-fought five-setter for the women’s crown in the 2023 Four Nations Cup Volleyball Tournament at Maldives Social Centre Indoor Hall in Male City on Monday.
The tournament was held between February 23 and 27, with four nations strutting their stuff to vie for top honour in the men’s and women’s divisions. However, as four men’s teams – Afghanistan, Singapore, Malaysia and hosts Maldives had been featured in the five-day competition, only three teams from Singapore, Malaysia and hosts Maldives took part in the women’s event.
Champions’ Shield presented to captains of Singapore and Malaysia prior to the men’s final match
On Thursday, February 23, Maldives’ Vice President Mr Faisal Naseem presided over the opening ceremony of the Four Nations Cup 2023, the first invitation-only volleyball tournament initiated by Minister of Sports, Youth and Community Empowerment Mr Ahmed Mahloof and Mr Mohamed Raneysh, President of Volleyball Association of Maldives, and also the first international sporting event hosted in the Maldives this year.
However, the Four Nations Cup 2023 was not the first international volleyball tournament hosted in Maldives. The country had already hosted the 2017 AVC Central Zone Senior Men’s Volleyball Championship, which was won by Kyrgyzstan. Turkmenistan and Nepal picked up silver and bronze medals respectively.
The other tournament held in Maldives in January 2017 was the 2018 FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Championship Qualification Tournament (Central Asia Zone). Iran landed the title, followed by Nepal and Maldives respectively.
The single round-robin preliminaries kicked off on Thursday. At the end of the preliminaries, teams were ranked 1-4 respectively according to their performances. After that, the Sunday’s semifinal encounters saw the best-ranked team take on the team finishing fourth place, with teams finishing second and third places fighting it out. The two winning teams from the semifinals made it to the Monday’s final.
However, regarding the women’s event, teams played single round-robin competition in the first three days. After that, they were ranked respectively according to their performances. The best-ranked team automatically advanced to the Monday’s final, while the teams finishing second and third battled it out on Sunday to fight for the remaining slot in the final.
The single round-robin competitions for both men’s and women’s events came to a close on Saturday, February 25.
In the men’s event, Afghanistan topped the overall standing with 9 points from three straight wins, followed respectively by Malaysia with 6 points from 2 wins against one loss, Maldives with 3 points from one win against two losses and Singapore lost them all with no point awarded.
The Sunday’s semifinals saw Singapore save the best for last as they recovered to beat Afghanistan in straight sets 25-18, 25-22, 25-22 to secure their Final berth. Malaysia, which beat Maldives 3-1 in their preliminary match, improved their record to repeatedly brush off the host side in comfortable straight sets 25-14, 25-18, 25-23.
Malaysia player No.17 is selected the Player of the Final Match
In the Monday’s final clash, Malaysia cruised on their remarkable form to power past Singapore in straight sets 25-20, 25-23, 25-16 to capture the men’s title.
Meanwhile, in the women’s competition, Singapore made it two for two to finish atop the overall standings with 6 points, followed by Malaysia with 2 points from one win against one loss and hosts Maldives with one point from two straight losses.
Singapore automatically advanced to the women’s showdown, while Maldives staged their terrific comeback from the disappointing preliminaries. The host girls stunned Malaysia in hard-fought five sets 25-23, 17-25, 25-23, 21-25, 15-9 in the Sunday’s playoff to set up showdown with Singapore.
In the Monday’s final clash, Singapore, which beat hosts Maldives 3-0 in their preliminary match, survived a scare from the host side to win the gruelling five-set encounter 25-18, 25-20, 19-25, 19-25, 15-11 for the women’s crown.
DAY 1 (February 23)
Men: Afghanistan beat Singapore 3-1 (22-25, 25-23, 25-23, 25-23)
Women: Malaysia beat Maldives 3-2 (25-20, 22-25, 23-25, 25-21, 16-14)
Men: Malaysia beat Maldives 3-1 (25-20, 25-20, 20-25, 25-18)
DAY 2 (February 24)
Men: Afghanistan beat Malaysia 3-1 (25-20, 25-20, 20-25, 25-18)
Women: Singapore beat Maldives 3-0 (28-26, 25-21, 25-14)
Men: Maldives beat Singapore 3-0 (26-24, 25-20, 25-21)
DAY 3 (February 25)
Women: Singapore beat Malaysia 3-0 (25-20, 25-14, 25-19)
Men: Malaysia beat Singapore 3-1 (25-22, 25-18, 20-25, 25-17)
Men: Afghanistan beat Maldives 3-0 (26-24, 25-21, 25-22)
DAY 4 (February 26)
Singapore beat Afghanistan 3-0 (25-18, 25-22, 25-22)
Malaysia beat Maldives 3-0 (25-14, 25-18, 25-23)
Maldives beat Malaysia 3-2 (25-23, 17-25, 25-23, 21-25, 15-9)
DAY 5 (February 27)
Men: Malaysia beat Singapore 3-0 (25-20, 25-23, 25-16)
Women: Singapore beat Maldives 3-2 (25-18, 25-20, 19-25, 19-25, 15-11)
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