2017 Age-Group World Championships taking shape
Russia celebrate Girls' U18 European title in the latest of the qualifiers for the 2017 FIVB Age-Group World Championships.
Here's where the situation stands at the moment:
Men's U23 World Championship
18-25 August in Cairo, Egypt
The third edition of the Men's U23 World Championship sees only one of the two previous winners present. Brazil, gold medallists of the inaugural edition at home in Uberlandia in 2013, will be present to try and get their second title. Russia the defending champions from 2015 in Dubai, did not take part in the European qualifiers last year. The Asian Championship is the last remaining qualification tournament to complete the world competition.
Qualified teams: Egypt (hosts), Algeria, Poland, Turkey, Brazil, Argentina, Cuba, Mexico, plus two teams from the Asian Championship (2-10 May in Iran) and two teams from the FIVB World Rankings.
Russia celebrate win over Turkey in the final to claim the 2015 Men's U23 world title.
Women's U23 World Championship
10-17 September in Ljubljana, Slovenia
Brazil have qualified to defend the title they won in 2015 in Ankara and China, winners of the inaugural edition in 2013 in Mexicali could also be in Ljubljana if they make it through the Asian qualifiers next month. The Asian Championship is the last remaining qualification tournament to complete the world competition.
Qualified teams: Slovenia (hosts), Egypt, Kenya, Turkey, Bulgaria, Brazil, Argentina, Dominican Republic, Cuba, plus two teams from the Asian Championship (13-21 May in Thailand), and one team from the FIVB World Rankings.
Brazil hold aloft the trophy of the 2015 Women's U23 World Championship after their win over Turkey in the final.
Men's U21 World Championship
23 June - 2 July in Brno and Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic
Russia won the last three Men's U21 World Championships and top the medals table by far with 10 gold (including the Soviet Union) in 18 editions so far. The European qualifiers and the Pan American Cup are the last remaining tournaments to advance teams to the world competition.
Qualified teams: Czech Republic (hosts), China, Iran, Egypt, Argentina, USA, plus two teams from the European Qualifiation Tournaments (18-25 May in Serbia and Germany), two teams (one each from South America and NORCECA) from the Pan American Cup (16-21 May in Canada), and six teams from the FIVB World Rankings.
Russian players with the 2015 Men's U21 trophy sing their national anthem after beating Argentina in the final.
Women's U20 World Championship
14-23 July in Boca del Rio and Cordoba, Mexico
The most dominant nation in the history of the competition with 6 gold medals in 18 editions will be in Mexico, as will defending champions Domincan Republic who dominated in 2015 in Puerto Rico. The European qualifiers and the Pan American Cup are still pending to determine the last teams to advance to the World Championship.
Qualified teams: Mexico (hosts), China, Japan, Egypt, Brazil, Dominican Republic, plus two teams from the European Qualification Tournaments (18-21 May in Poland and Turkey), two teams (one each from South America and NORCECA) from the Pan American Cup (8-13 May in Costa Rica), and six teams from the FIVB World Rankings.
Dominican Republic players ecstatic after beating Brazil in the final to claim the 2015 Women's U20 world title.
Boys' U19 World Championship
18-27 August in Isa Town and Riffa, Bahrain
The last six teams to make it through to the World Championship will be known after the European Championship, later this month. Both the winners of the last two editions, Russia (2013) and Poland (2015) are still in contention, but Serbia who won the previous two competitions back-to-back have been eliminated.
Qualified teams: Bahrain (hosts), Japan, Korea, China, Iran, Egypt, Tunisia, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Cuba, USA, Mexico, Puerto Rico, plus the top six of the European Championship (22-30 April in Hungary & Slovakia).
Poland pose with the trophy after beating Argentina to get crowned 2015 Boys' U19 world champions.
Girls U18 World Championship
18-27 August in Rosario & Santa Fe, Argentina
The European Championship this weekend was the last of the qualifiers for the world competition and saw defending champions Italy safely through, despite their loss in the final to Russia. China, winners of the 2013 edition and leaders of the medals table are also taking part, despite their loss to Japan in the Asian Championship last month.
Qualified teams: Argentina (hosts), Japan, China, Korea, Thailand, Russia, Italy, Belarus, Serbia, Slovenia, Germany, Brazil, Peru, Colombia, Dominican Republic, USA, Cuba, Mexico plus two from FIVB World Rankings.
Italy on the top step of the podium following their spectacular win over USA in the final of the 2015 FIVB Girls' U18 World Championship.
The Age-Group World Championships are only part of the busy 2017 FIVB indoor season, which kicks off next month with the 2017 FIVB Volleyball Women's Club World Championship in Kobe. This is followed by the FIVB Volleyball World League and the FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix, as well as the FIVB Volleyball World Grand Champions Cup in September.
The season winds down with a spectacular event in Poland, where the 2017 Men's Club Championship will be part of the FIVB celebrations to end the year in December.
Quick links - Volleyball:
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