2021 Rewind: FIVB Volleyball and Beach Volleyball Age Group World Championships

Looking back at all the action from this year’s FIVB Volleyball and Beach Volleyball Age Group World Championships

2021 was an action-packed year not only for senior women’s and men’s volleyball and beach volleyball athletes, but also for future stars of the sports with various FIVB Age Group World Championships taking place throughout the year.

The past year saw many national teams reach the podium for the first time at various events, including France, Thailand, Ukraine among others. Today, the FIVB is looking back at the events that showcase the future generation of volleyball and beach volleyball stars.

Volleyball

FIVB Volleyball Girls’ Under 18 World Championship

This year’s FIVB Girls’ U18 World Championship was held in Durango, Mexico. It was Russia who emerged victorious at this event, overcoming Italy in three sets to win gold. It was Russia’s third gold medal in the history of the event, putting an end to a 28-year drought since the last time they won in 1993; their first was in 1989.

For Italy, it was their fourth medal in a row; they won silver in 2019 and gold in the 2017 and 2015 editions. Meanwhile, the USA took bronze after overcoming Serbia in a four-set battle.

FIVB Volleyball Boys’ Under 19 World Championship

Meanwhile, in the FIVB Volleyball Boys’ Under 19 World Championship held in Tehran, Iran, it was Poland who claimed gold. The team shut out Bulgaria 3-0 in the final to claim the country’s second gold medal in the history of the competition after topping the podium in 2015. Poland also won bronze medals in 1999 and 2013.

Hosts Iran took bronze after beating Russia in a fifth set tie-breaker. This marked Iran's seventh medal in the history after two gold (2007 and 2017), two silver (2001 and 2009) and two bronze (2003 and 2015) podium finishes.

FIVB Volleyball Women’s Under 20 World Championship

While gold may have escaped Italy in the Girls’ U18 World Championship, the country’s women’s team did prevail at the U20 competition which was staged in both Belgium and the Netherlands. The team made their way through the competition without a single loss and were crowned champions after defeating Serbia in three sets.

Meanwhile, in the bronze medal match, Russia battled back from two sets down to overcome the Netherlands 3-2. The Russians saved as many as six match points to eventually emerge victorious.

FIVB Volleyball Men’s Under 21 World Championship

In the FIVB Volleyball Men’s Under 21 World Championship, hosted by Italy and Bulgaria, Italy went unbeaten to repeat the success of the U20 women. The team shut out Russia in the final, beating them in three sets to claim gold. Poland completed the podium, taking bronze after an impressive and dominant 3-0 performance against Argentina.

Beach volleyball

FIVB Under 19 Beach Volleyball World Championships

The USA’s Megan Kraft and Delayne Maple and France’s Teo Rotar and Arthur Canet secured gold at the FIVB Under 19 Beach Volleyball World Championships in Phuket, Thailand.

Seventh-seeds Rotar and Canet climbed their way to the top of the men’s podium without dropping a single set across seven games played in Thailand. In the final, they overcame home favourites Netitorn Muneekul and Wachirawit Muadpha of Thailand 2-0 (21-15, 21-14). It was the first international podium for Rotar and Canet. They had previously participated in seven World Tour events and two age-category European championships.

The bronze medals were claimed by Brazilian duo Nicolas Capretti Schosler and Samuel Giacomo Oselame Bello who defeated Russia’s Vladislav Panchenko and Ivan Chuprinov 2-1 (21-19, 19-21, 15-9) in the bronze medal match.

In the U19 women’s competition, the USA’s Kraft and Maple won eight games in a row to top the podium after overcoming Russia’s Olga Gavrilova and Alina Salmanova in the final. It was only their second FIVB tournament as a pair.

Ukraine’s Anhelina Khmil and Tetiana Lazarenko, seeded 12th in the main draw, produced a 2-0 (21-15, 21-19) shut-out of fifth-seeded Americans Xolani Hodel and Katherine Reilly in the third-place match to claim the bronze.

FIVB Under 21 Beach Volleyball World Championships

The FIVB U21 Beach Volleyball World Championships were held directly after the U19 edition at Bangtao Beach in Phuket, Thailand. The event saw Ukraine’s Anhelina Khmil and Tetiana Lazarenko and Sweden’s David Ahman and Jonatan Hellvig top the podium in the women’s and men’s competitions respectively.

Ukraine’s Khmil and Lazarenko went two steps further than their bronze medal effort at the U19 World Championship. The pair won gold following a close 2-1 (21-17, 18-21, 17-15) battle against third-seeded Daniela Alvarez Mendoza and Sofia Gonzalez Racero of Spain in the final, where they survived three match points in the final set tie-breaker. The podium was completed by newcomers to an FIVB podium, Swiss pair Menia Bentele and Leona Kernen, who overcame Latvia’s Varvara Brailko and Anete Namike 2-1 (21-11, 18-21, 15-11) in the bronze medal match.

On the men’s side, Sweden’s Ahman and Hellvig dropped just one set on their journey to the final. The pair earned gold with a 2-1 (21-13, 17-21, 17-15) victory over Italy’s Gianluca Dal Corso and Marco Viscovich in the final. Ahman and Hellvig’s international record also includes a gold and a bronze on the FIVB World Tour, as well as three age-category European championship titles.

Meanwhile, in the bronze medal match, Russia’s Dmitrii Veretiuk and Aleksei Arkhipo avenged a three-set loss to the Czech Republic’s Jakub Sepka and Tomas Semerad during the pool phase, emerging victorious in a 2-0 (28-26, 21-19) victory to claim the final podium spot.