Bangkok, Thailand, December 29, 2021 – Sri Lanka and Nepal underlined their supremacy with remarkable unbeaten records in respective men’s and women’s events in the AVC Central Zone Senior Men’s and Women’s Challenge Cup at the Shaheed Suhrawardy National Indoor Stadium in Mirpur, Bangladesh on Tuesday.
Sri Lanka had a perfect run in the round-robin preliminaries as they did not go down to any rival en route to the men’s showdown against hosts Bangladesh, the team they had beaten 3-1 on Sunday. The host side had their sights firmly set on a revenge match in the Tuesday’s final against the Sri Lankans. However, the strong visitors still smashed the hosts’ dreams following their hard-fought straight-set win.
The exceptional 28-26, 25-20, 25-20 victory handed Sri Lanka the eventual men’s title, leaving hosts Bangladesh to pick up silver.
Uzbekistan had to be content with bronze medal after powering past Nepal in straight sets 25-15, 25-17, 25-22 in the third-place playoff earlier. Maldives finished fifth in this year’s Challenge Cup.
In the women’s event, in-form Nepal proved invincible in the round-robin preliminaries to challenge Uzbekistan, the team they had already shut out in straight sets, in the final clash, where they still performed impressively to repeat the feat over the same rivals.
However, Uzbekistan came back with tremendously improved performance to challenge Nepal seriously before going down in hotly-contested five sets 24-26, 26-24, 15-25, 25-22, 10-15. Nepal eventually reigned supreme, with Uzbekistan in second place.
Earlier, the third-place playoff clash saw Sri Lanka outplay Kyrgyzstan in thrilling three-setter 26-24, 25-16, 25-22. Hosts Bangladesh finished fifth place, with Maldives in sixth position.
CAVA President Mr Mohamed Latheef from Maldives presided over the awards presentation and closing ceremony of the AVC Central Zone Challenge Cup 2021. Also in attendance were Islamic Republic of Iran Volleyball Federation (IRIVF) President Dr Mohammad Reza Davarzani, Bangladesh Volleyball Federation President Mr Md Atiqul Islam, Sri Lanka Volleyball Federation Secretary General Mr Nalaka and Nepal Volleyball Federation Secretary General Mr Jitendra Bahadur Chand.
The chief guest of the closing ceremony was the Local Government and Rural Development (LGRD) Minister Md Tajul Islam.
In the closing ceremony, the CAVA President congratulated the Winners of the Competition and he expected Bangladesh Volleyball Federation to host more events and activities. He also thanked Mr Atiqul Islam for the wonderful arrangement and was very delighted that the BVF has decided to host CAVA Men’s U23 Volleyball Championship and CAVA Men’s and Women’s Beach Volleyball Challenge Cup in 2022.
“Bangladesh teams have given a good challenge and in the near future, I believe that Bangladesh, especially the men’s team can be one of the best teams in the Zone. The improvement of the team is very much noticeable and thanked Mr Atiqul Islam for his hard work making the team so strong,” Mr Latheef said.
He also urged all the Federations to make next year’s competition fruitful.
BVF President Mr Atiqul has also been convinced that Bangladesh will be the best team in the Zone in the near future. “Bangladesh will always support CAVA to grow and be the number one Association in the region. I would like to thank Mr Latheef for his hard work to make CAVA the number one,” Atiqul Islam said.
The full seating capacity of the Shaheed Suhrawardi Indoor Stadium is 9,000, but due to COVID-19 restrictions, only 4,500 spectators were allocated to enter the stadium. So, this was a full house international biggest event of CAVA ever in the history of Bangladesh.
Third-place playoff: Uzbekistan beat Nepal 3-0 (25-15, 25-17, 25-22)
Final: Sri Lanka beat Bangladesh 3-0 (28-26, 25-20, 25-20)
Third-place playoff: Sri Lanka beat Kyrgyzstan 3-0 (26-24, 25-16, 25-22)
Final: Nepal beat Uzbekistan 3 -2 (26-24, 24-26, 25-15, 22-25, 15-10)
3. Sri Lanka
Best Setter: Muthuwadige Danushka Dilshan Fernando – Sri Lanka (No.7)
Best Spiker: Jayaleth Arachchige Mahela Indeeware Bandara – Sri Lanka (No.19)
Best Libero: MD Shaon Ali – Bangladesh (No.17)
Best Blocker: Azizbek Kuchkorov – Uzbekistan (No.10)
Best Player: Horosit Biswas – Bangladesh (No.5)
Best Setter: Aruna Shahi – Nepal (No.5)
Best Spiker: Preethika Pramodhani – Sri Lanka (No.7)
Best Libero: Salina Shrestha – Nepal (No.18)
Best Blocker: Aidai Kadyrova – Kyrgyzstan (No.6)
Best Player: Ezozakhon Sativoldieva – Uzbekistan (No.4)
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