Ardabil, Iran, May 1, 2017 – Japan crushed Sri Lanka in straight sets 25-14, 25-17, 25-13 on the opening day of the SMM 2nd Asian Men’s U23 Volleyball Championship on Monday.
It was for the first time in history that Japan are sending their players with the height of close to 200cm to the competition court.
Sri Lanka took an early lead in the first two sets but went down to the much stronger rivals. The Sri Lankans seemed to lose their concentration in the third set when a large crowd of the Iranian fans started to enter Rezazadeh 6000-seat hall waiting to see the home side play their first match against Pakistan.
After 2008, Japan sequentially lost two qualifications for the Olympic Games including the last year’s Rio Games. However, they are strongly determined to build up young talents and their U23 squad in particular to keep their future Olympic hopes alive.
Japan’s head coach Fumitoshi Tokunaga found their tall players very effective to improve their performance from their disappointing sixth overall at the previous Asian U23 meet two years ago in Myanmar.
Japan’s captain Taishi Onoder after this win also promised they will try their best to bring home the title this time.
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