Sixteen teams split into four pools

Rotterdam’s Topsportcentrum will host Pools A and C on two courts. Argentina and Brazil are the first two teams to get into action at the Dutch venue. They will open Pool A on court 1 at 14:30 local time on Friday. Rwanda and co-hosts Netherlands will meet later that day. The games in Pool C, with the teams of Russia, Thailand, Turkey and USA, will take place on court 2. Matches in Kortrijk will take place at the SC Lange Munte venue and feature matches in Pool B and D. Pool B will be headed by co-hosts Belgium, who will take on Serbia and the Dominican Republic, while Pool D features three European teams plus Egypt.

The round-robin tournaments in the pools will unfold over three competition days, through July 11. The pool winners and the pool runners-up will continue in two new pools to be played in Rotterdam, while the remaining eight teams form two pools in Kortrijk. The matches in the four second-round groups will take place from July 13 through 15 and the pool standings will distribute the participants further into semifinal fixtures within the four different classification levels in the final standings.

The grand final for the 2021 U20 world title is set to take place on July 18 at the Topsportcentrum. On the same day, the bronze medal match and all the other classification matches will be played in Rotterdam and Kortrijk to determine the final standings in the tournament.

It will be the 21st edition of the U20 World Championship and the first co-hosted by two countries. The previous 20 editions were held from 1977 through 2019.

Brazil are the most decorated team in the history of the competition, with six titles, five silvers and two bronze medals. Among the other teams participating in the 2021 event, only the Dominican Republic (2015), Italy (2011) and Russia (1997 and 1999) have previously celebrated as U20 world champions.

Italy are also the runners-up of the last edition. In 2019, in Mexico, they lost the final to Japan. Actually, they won medals at three of the last five events. Russia medalled in both 2017 (silver) and 2019 (bronze) and are looking for their third consecutive and seventh overall podium.

The list of MVP awardees in the history of the U20 World Championships includes the names of stars-to-be like Brazil’s Jaqueline Carvalho and Natalia Pereira, Dominican Republic’s Brenda Castillo and Brayelin Martinez, Italy’s Caterina Bosetti and China’s Zhu Ting, among others.

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