The national Iranian volleyball team has lifted the trophy at the conclusion of the 2017 Asian Men's U23 Volleyball Championship following a resounding victory over Japan in the final showdown of the tournament in the northwestern Iranian city of Ardabil.
On Tuesday evening, the hosts triumphed over their East Asian counterparts
3-0 (27-25, 26-24 and 25-20) in an epic encounter at the 6,000-seater Hossein
Rezazadeh Indoor Stadium.
Iranian and Japanese volleyball players got off to a fine start, and were
relatively neck and neck for much of the opening set. The Iranian sportsmen,
however, managed to assert their dominance and chalked up a hard-fought 27-25
The Persians, backed by a huge crowd of fans packing the venue, maintained their lead in the second period, and surged ahead. They finally closed the set at 26-24 despite stiff fight back from the Japanese outfit.
The Iranian squad sustained the momentum in the last set, and finally notched up a 25-20 victory.
"I hereby extend my sincere gratitude to Iranian fans for their unstinting
support. I would like to share the joy of winning the gold medal with Iranian
volleyball enthusiasts and our families. We knew in advance that our game
against Japan was not going to be an easy one, particularly as Japan overtook us
at some points of the first two sets," Iran's head coach Juan Cichello said
after the match.
"I should thank members of my team for bouncing back at critical moments, changing the course of events and emerging victorious at last," the 41-year-old Argentine said.
The Iranian volleyball team's championship came a day after it breezed past
Thailand 3-0 (25-22, 25-19 and 25-20) at the end of a semi-final match, and took
a berth at the Federation Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB) Volleyball Men's
U23 World Championship.
The 2017 Asian Men's U23 Volleyball Championship kicked off in Ardabil, Iran, on May 1 and ran through May 9, 2017.
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