Thursday, June 20, 2024

Iran regains FIVB Volleyball Men’s U21 throne after edging Italy; president, FM hail championship

In a thrilling rollercoaster final of the FIVB Volleyball Men's U21 World Championship in Bahrain on Sunday, Iran celebrated a five-set victory over Italy to return to the throne they had claimed in 2019, but lost to the Italians in 2021.

The Iranian men’s volleyball squad have ended up world champions after thrashing the Italian team through a five-set victory.

It was Iran’s second gold in the history of the competition. They also had a bronze medal in 2007.

For the Italians, the silver in Manama was the third consecutive and eighth overall U21 World Championship medal. They won gold in 2021, silver in 1985, 1991, 1993, 2019 and 2023, and bronze in 1995 and 2013.

Inspired by the noisy support from the stands, Iran came back from a set down to snatch a 3-2 (25-20, 23-25, 23-25, 25-16, 15-9) win.

Led by opposite Amir Mohammad Golzadeh with two aces and six spiking points, they stayed in control throughout the first set to take the lead.

In the second, his Italian counterpart Alessandro Bovolenta spearheaded his team’s attack to draw level. Mattia Orioli was on fire in set three to power the Italians in taking a 2-1 lead.

In the next two sets, however, the Iranians were merciless. Poriya Hossein Khanzadeh Firouzjah showed a phenomenal all-round performance, steering his team to the victory.

Amir Mohammad Golzadeh was Iran’s leading scorer with two aces, two kill blocks and 16 spiking points, including the back-row winner, with which he closed the tie-breaker at 15-9.

Poriya Hossein Khanzadeh Firouzjah impressed with a total of five aces towards an 18-point tally, which also included three kill blocks. Middle blocker Shayan Sepehri Fard also reached the double digits with 12 points, including four stuffs.

“I thank God. I am so happy to win this world championship trophy,” Amir Mohammad Golzadeh told Volleyball World, adding, “I wish the best to the Italian team. They played very well tonight in the final. We are a very good team. We know our potential, and some of our stars can join the senior team.”

President Ebrahim Raisi issued a late Sunday congratulatory message, felicitating the Iranian men’s volleyball squad, their coaches, and the entire nation of Iran on this astounding victory.

Raisi described the team’s win as another manifestation of Iranian youths’ abilities and talents.

Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian also hailed the victory of Iranian men’s volleyball team over its opponents in a congratulatory tweet addressed to the team’s members and the people of Iran.

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