News ID: 256469
Published: 0958 GMT July 28, 2019

Iran wins historic world U21 volleyball title

Iran wins historic world U21 volleyball title
Amirhossein Esfandiar (C) lifts the trophy as the Iran’s players and officials celebrate winning the FIVB Volleyball Men’s U21 World Championship title in Manama, Bahrain, on July 27, 2019.

Sports Desk

A five-set thriller in Manama, Bahrain, saw Iran overcome Italy to claim a first-ever title at the FIVB Volleyball Men’s U21 World Championship.

On Saturday, having lost the first set 17-25, Behrouz Ataei’s men fought back to take the next two sets 25-17 and 27-23 before the Italians won the fourth 25-22 to force the match into the fifth set.

The two sides went toe-to-toe in the tiebreak as the set was tied at 10-10 but it was the Iranians who rose up to the occasion and eventually won the decider 15-12.

Pouria Yali and Amirhossein Esfandiar, scoring 23 and 22 points respectively, led the scoring chart for Iran in the final.

Daniele Lavia topped the scoring for Italy with 19pts, followed by Kristian Gamba who chipped in 18.

Iran’s coach Ataei was full of praise for his players after the final, saying, “My players really worked hard in this match. They are the best and I’m so honored to be their coach. I dedicate this triumph to all the people of my country.

“It was really a tough match. The Italians tried all their best in this competition and no team could beat them in the previous rounds. We had to often change our game plan against them through the match and gave it all for the victory.” 

Iran’s captain Esfandiar, who was named the Most Valuable Player of the championship, also hailed his team’s effort in winning the historic trophy.

“This medal means all our hard work during the training; all our blood, sweat and tears paid off,” said the 20-year-old.

"Bahrain has been a memorable place for me as I’ve won the world U19, Asian U20, and now the world U21 title in this country in the past three years,” the Iranian skipper added.

Joining Esfandiar in the individual awards list were teammates Mohammad-Reza Hazratpour – who took the award for the best libero of the competition – and outside spiker Morteza Sharifi who shared the award with the Italian Lavia.

Additionally, Brazil, having suffered a straight-set defeat in the semis against Iran, got back to the winning ways and overcame Russia 3-0 (25-21, 27-25, 25-12) for the bronze medal.









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