IRAN, TAIPEI JOIN JAPAN AND KOREA IN SEMI-FINALS OF ASIAN MEN’S U18 CHAMPIONSHIP
Tabriz, Iran, July 4, 2018 – Hosts Iran and Chinese Taipei respectively brushed off India and Thailand to join Japan and Korea in the semi-finals of the 12th Asian Men’s U18 Volleyball Championship, as the quartet have already booked tickets to contest the 2019 FIVB Men’s U19 Championship.
Unbeaten Korea and defending champions Japan had earlier secured their berths for the world meet when both sides finished top two (R1 and R2) in Pool A and continued their superb form with scintillating wins over Pakistan and Kazakhstan respectively in the classification playoff matches to parade into the semi-finals.
Chinese Taipei and Iran, both suffered one loss apiece in their Pool B preliminaries, have also advanced to the semi-finals following their convincing straight-set wins over Thailand and India respectively in the quarter-finals on Wednesday. Chinese Taipei struggled to beat old foes Thailand, the team they lost in straight sets in the pool plays, 26-24 26-24 25-20, while Iran outclassed India 25-22 25-13 25-21.
Meanwhile, Hong Kong finished 17th in this tournament with four consecutive losses to Australia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, and Turkmenistan.
On Thursday, the penultimate day of the eight-day competition, Turkmenistan, which pulled off an upset 3-2 (23-25 19-25 25-22 25-16 15-12) win over Hong Kong on Wednesday, will battle it out with Qatar for the 15th place, while New Zealand will take on Oman in the 13th-14th playoff and Pakistan will be pitted against Kazakhstan for the 11th position and Malaysia are due to fight with Sri Lanka in the 9th-10th playoff.
Iranian Hamid Movahedi, coach of Pakistan, steered his team to a dramatic 3-1 (25-18 25-20 29-31 25-17) win over New Zealand, whose only women coach of the tournament Leanne Turrell finds the result satisfactory as “this was all we have” as she commented earlier.
New Zealand will next take on Oman, which went down 1-3 (20-25 25-22 18-25 14-25) to Kazakhstan, fully loaded with cannons Daulet Abay.
China were lucky enough to taste their first victory in this top-notch tournament and keep their hopes of winning a place in the 5th-8th ranking round alive. China, beating Sri Lanka 3-0(25-22 25-18 25-19)on Wednesday, are due to next challenge India, the team they lost 2-3 in the classification playoff earlier. The other match sees Thailand take on Australia in quest for a better position in that round. The Aussies on Wednesday came from behind to beat Malaysia in hard-fought five-set thriller 3-2( 17-25 17-25 26-24 25-22 16-14).
WEDNESDAY’S RESULTS – DAY 6
Australia b Malaysia 3-2 (17-25, 17-25, 26-24, 25-22, 16-14)
Turkmenistan b Hong Kong 3-2 (23-25, 19-25, 25-22, 25-16, 15-12)
China b Sri Lanka 3-0 (25-22, 25-18, 25-19)
Pakistan b New Zealand 3-1 (25-18, 25-20, 29-31, 25-17)
Kazakhstan v Oman 3-1 (25-20, 22-25, 25-18, 25-14)
Chinese Taipei b Thailand 3-0 (26-24, 26-24, 25-20)
Iran b India 3-0 (25-22, 25-13, 25-21)
DAY 7 (JULY 5)
16:00pm: Korea v Chinese Taipei
18:30pm: Iran v Japan
10:00am: Thailand v Australia
13:30pm: India v China
18:30pm: Malaysia v Sri Lanka
16:00: Pakistan v Kazakhstan
13:30pm: New Zealand v Oman
10:00am: Qatar v Turkmenistan
17th: Hong Kong
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