Iran eyes podium at 2019 FIVB U19 Boy’s World C’ship: coach

TEHRAN, Aug. 05 (MNA) – Iran U-19 volleyball coach Mohammad Vakili said that his team has the chance and potential to stand at the podium of 2019 FIVB Boy’s World Championship, which is slated to be held in Tunisia.

“Generally there are eight teams that enjoy the chance of podium in world events and Iran is among them,” he said, adding that European teams have made a good investment in their youth generation.

“We have tried to analyze our rivals but we don’t know them exactly since teams change dramatically in this age category in every edition of the competitions. We are the reigning champion and have the chance to win the title and we have to play well because all teams will try to show their best while facing off Iran.”

Vakili made the remarks on Sunday after the team’s training session in Tehran ahead of the world event.

The team will depart for Tunisia one week earlier than the official start of the competitions, he said, noting, “there we have the chance to hold a mini-tournament with teams like Brazil.”

The 2019 edition of FIVB Boy’s World Championship will be held from August 21 to 30 in Tunis, Tunisia. According to FIVB, the 20 participating teams will be divided into four pools of five teams each and will play a round-robin tournament. The bottom-ranked team of each pool will play classification matches for 17th-20th place in a round-robin system.

The other 16 teams progress to the Eight Finals which consists of a playoff (first of Pool A against fourth of Pool B etc). The winners of the playoff matches will advance to the quarterfinals, semifinals and finals to be classified from first to eighth while the losers of playoff match will play classification matches, with similar a quarterfinals, semifinals, and finals system, to be classified from ninth to 16th.

Iran is seeded in Pool B of competition along with Czech Republic, Italy, Colombia, and Bulgaria. Vakili’s boys will face Bulgaria on August 22, the Czech Republic on August 23, Colombia on August 24 and Italy on August 25.

With two gold, two silver, and two bronze medals, Iran is the third most decorated team in the event after Brazil and Russia. Iranians won their first title in 2007 where they defeated China in the final. Iran has taken part in 11 out of 15 editions of the games so far managing to advance to the semifinal in eight ones.

Iran won the 2017 edition of the event, under the guidance of Vakili, defeating Russia 3-1 in the final match in Bahrain. Amir Hossein Esfandiar was then awarded the Most Valuable Player of the event.

Reporting by Mohammad Ali Haqshenas

MAH/4684702

News Code 148501

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