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Iran Captures 6th Title

The scintillating win has stretched Iran’s aura of invincibility to six times in history.Iranians won their debut Asian Men’s U20 title in 1998 on home soil and repeated the same feat in 2002
The team celebrates winning the title.The team celebrates winning the title.

Iran underlined their supremacy over the 19th Asian Men’s U20 Volleyball Championship as they captured their sixth Asian title as the star-studded side brushed off South Korea in comfortable straight sets 25-22 25-14 25-18 in the final showdown of the 19th Asian Men’s U20 Volleyball Championship on Saturday in Manama, Bahrain.

Iran and Korea have already secured their berths to contest the 2019 FIVB Volleyball Men’s U21 World Championship, Asianvolleyball.net wrote.

The scintillating win has stretched Iran’s aura of invincibility to six times in history. The Iranians won their debut Asian Men’s U20 title in 1998 on home soil in Tehran and repeated the same feat in 2002 at the same place.

Iran later won it two times in a row in 2006 and 2008. Their fifth title came in 2014 in Manama and they reclaimed the title this time after losing their crown to eventual winners China at the previous edition in Kaohsiung, Chinese Taipei two years ago.

This time, Iran reclaimed the title after thrashing Korea, the team they had already beaten in the Pool A preliminaries, in straight sets 25-22 25-14 25-18 in a final clash.

For Iran, this win over Korea was a repeated feat as they had already beaten the old foes in the Pool A preliminaries earlier. Throughout the tournament, Iran, which fielded seven players who joined the team, which captured the world crown at the last year’s FIVB Men’s U19 World Championship, lost only one set to Thailand in the semi-final clash, while Korea picked up the silver medal after registering four victories over China, Pakistan, Australia, and Iraq against two losses to Iran.

“In this tournament, we learned to fight up till the last moment, till the last sweat. Our next mission will be the Men’s U21 World Championship which we have to practice a lot because it is a very important tournament for us,” Iran head coach Behrouz Ataei commented.

  Bronze Medal Match

In the bronze-medal match earlier, Thailand struggled to beat Iraq 3-1 (25-23, 18-25, 25-20, 26-24).

Furthermore, the win also marked the first-time ever that Thailand won a medal in the Asian Men’s U20 Championship since their participation in the top-flight competition in 1986 on home soil in Bangkok.

Meanwhile, defending champions China had a daunting task against Chinese Taipei to narrowly beat the formidable rivals 3-1 (25-19, 19-25, 25-20, 25-22) to take 5th place, leaving Chinese Taipei to finish 6th overall.

In the 7th-8th playoff earlier, Australia proved an impossible nut to crack for Kazakhstan after cruising past the opponents in straight sets 25-22, 25-18, 25-23, while hosts Bahrain downed Sri Lanka 25-21 25-19 25-17 in the 9th-10th playoff.

Qatar, the only team which did not win a match heading to the final day, left the venue with their heads low in great disappointment after going down to Turkmenistan in straight sets 20-25 23-25 14-25 to take the 12th place, with Turkmenistan in 11th position.

New Zealand came back to beat the UAE 3-1 (23-25, 25-18, 25-23, 25-22) to finish 17th overall, while Hong Kong defeated Jordan 3-0 (25-23, 25-20, 25-20) in the 19th-20th playoff.

  Individual Awards

In the march to win the individual awards Iran had its dominance winning four out of all eight available prizes.

The prodigy Morteza Sharifi won the Best outside Spiker Award. Also the second Best outside Spiker award was for another player from Iran, Pouria Yelli. However the Best Middle Blocker Award went to a Thai player but Mehran Feiz was awarded the second Best Middle Blocker of the tournament.

The most valuable award of the Asian tournament, Most Valuable Player also known as MVP award went to Amir Hossein Esfanfdiar from Iran.

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