India complete pool engagements with two wins and two defeats but finish behind hosts Iran and Poland in the FIVB World U19 Volleyball Championships, taking place in Iran.
With two victories in the pool matches, India were assured of a place in the round of 16 of the FIVB World U19 Volleyball Championships at Azadi Stadium in Tehran, Iran.
On Thursday night, India lost to European bronze medallist Poland 25-14, 25-15, 25-18 in 63 minutes in their last Pool A match. Hosts Iran, two-time African champions Nigeria and Guatemala complete the group.
Jakub Majchrzak (14 including four blocks) and Nowik (12) for Poland and Aman (11), Ajay (8) and Tanish (7) for India were the top scorers. Poland had 12 blocks to India’s 5 and 5 aces to India’s none and that was more than enough for Poland to subdue India.
In the opener, India ranked 49 stunned two-time African champs Nigeria, world No.9 25-17, 23-25, 25-21, 26-24 while the hosts with a world ranking of 5 staved off another upset by denying spirited India 25-22, 25-15, 25-22 on Wednesday. In the match against Iran, P Khanzadeh (13) and Yousef (9) were the best scorers while Aman (15) and Tanish (14) played well for India
Guatemala were forced to withdraw after their players were found Covid-19 positive cases and all their matches were awarded to rivals since their pullout happened after the draw.
The Dominican Republic who were in Pool D too withdrew due to similar circumstances.
Thus, India finished the pool engagements with two points and will be in third place from the pool. According to FIVB rules, the 20 participating teams have been divided into four pools and played on a round-robin basis. The top four teams from four pools will advance to round 16.
The bottom-ranked team of each pool (in Pool A Nigeria only) will play classification matches for 17th-20th place also in a round-robin system.
India with six points are third behind Poland and Iran in Pool A and progress to the eighth finals (first of Pool A against fourth of Pool B so on). The winners will advance to the knockout stages and for the classification up to eighth. The losers will further compete in playoffs and classification matches for positions 9 to 16.
Nigeria lost all their pool matches and are fourth. The last Pool A match between Iran and Poland will be held late Friday night will deice the pool toppers.
World No.1 Italy are the defending champions while Iran, Russia and Argentina are the challengers. The knockout matches will begin on Sunday and the final is scheduled to be held on Thursday (Sept. 2).
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