Iran defeat Korea to win inaugural Asian Men's U23 Championship

Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar, May 20, 2015 - Iran confirmed their strong form at the Asian Men’s U23 Volleyball Championship by powering past formidable Korea 3-0 (25-16, 25-21, 25-21) in a thrilling final showdown to become the first team in history to capture the championship. Iran and Korea qualify for the  FIVB Volleyball Men's U23 World Championship in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar, May 20, 2015 - Iran confirmed their strong form at
the Asian Men’s U23 Volleyball Championship by powering past formidable
Korea 3-0 (25-16, 25-21, 25-21) in a thrilling final showdown to become
the first team in history to capture the championship. Iran and Korea
qualify for the  FIVB Volleyball Men's U23 World Championship in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

It was another remarkable success for Iran, who have made a clean sweep of all the Asian men's age group titles, also including the Asian Youth Boys’ U18 Championship in Colombo, Sri Lanka in 2014, the Asian Men’s Junior U20 Championship in Manama, Bahrain in 2014 and the Asian Senior Men’s Championship in Dubai, the UAE in 2013.

Iran and Korea have qualified for the 2015 FIVB Volleyball Men’s U23 World Championship, due to take place in Dubai, the UAE from August 24-31.

Iran fielded the same aggressive line-up which overpowered Chinese Taipei 3-2 in the semifinals, including Fallah Z.L Mohammad, Fayazi Damnabi Purya - who competed in the gold-winning Iran team at the last year’s Asian Games in Incheon, Korea - Hosseinabadi Javad and Manavinejad Mohammad Javad. Korea relied on Jung Jiseok, Jeong Donggeun and Kim Inhyeok.

Iran performed exceptionally well throughout the match, avoiding unforced mistakes. Their determination and consistent play handed Iran a scintillating straight-sets victory.

Hosseinabadi Javad led Iran with 14 points including 10 kills from 21 attempts, while Kim Inhyeok scored a match-high 10 points for Korea.

“As I said before, we came here with only one goal in mind, that is to win the historic Asian title. I’m very glad that my team have already achieved that target. Next, we have to prepare our team for the Men’s U23 World Championship in Dubai. We will try to do our best out there,” said Iran’s head coach Peyan Akbarii.

In the third-place playoff earlier, Chinese Taipei pulled off a spectacular 3-1 (27-25, 25-21, 21-25, 25-23) victory against China.

Chinese Taipei fielded a strong line-up including left-hander Wu Tsung-Hsuan and twin brothers Liu Hung-Min and Liu Hong-Jie, while China were strengthened by the two towers, Tang Chuanhang and Mao Tianyi. Both stand at 2.00m tall. They were supported by a hard-hitting Jin Zhihong.

Liu Hung-Min collected 19 points for Chinese Taipei including 15 kills from 35 attempts, while teammate Wu Tsung-Hsuan topped the spiking skill with 16 kills and Chang Liang-Hao captured the pole position in the blocking skill with three points. For the China side, Tang Chuanhang led the team with a massive 29 points, which included 26 attack hits, with Li Yiyang leading the blocking skill with six points.

The fifth-place playoff saw Myanmar delight their cheering home support by beating Japan 3-2 (23-25, 25-22, 25-17, 19-25, 15-13).

Aung Thu topscored for Myanmar with 27 points, including 22 kills from 53 attempts. Myanmar were also strong in the blocking skill: Thwin Htoo Zin scored six points from his solid block, added to four points apiece from Do Mae Ni Ko and Aung Thu. Naoya Takano led Japan with 15 points.

Elsewhere, in-form Thailand hogged the limelight to beat India with a comeback 3-2 (20-25, 23-25, 25-22, 25-19, 16-14) victory to take the seventh position, while Indonesia toppled hefty Australia 3-1 (25-21, 21-25, 25-15, 25-16) to finish ninth.

Qatar defeated Saudi Arabia in comfortable straight sets 3-0 (25-18 25-16 25-18) in the 11th-12th place playoff, while Kazakhstan took 13th place following an impressive 3-1 (25-18, 20-25, 25-18, 25-16) victory over the Philippines. Vietnam took the 15th place after outclassing underdogs the Maldives 3-1 (25-18, 24-26, 25-20, 25-20).

Wednesday's results
Playoffs

15th-16th: Vietnam b Maldives 3-1 (25-18, 24-26, 25-20, 25-20)
13th-14th: Kazakhstan b Philippines 3-1 (25-18, 20-25, 25-18, 25-16)
11th-12th: Qatar b Saudi Arabia 3-0 (25-18, 25-16, 25-18)
9th-10th: Indonesia b Australia 3-1 (25-21, 21-25, 25-15, 25-16)
7th-8th: Thailand b India 3-2 (20-25, 23-25, 25-22, 25-19, 16-14)
5th-6th: Myanmar b Japan 3-2 (23-25, 25-22, 25-17, 19-25, 15-13)
Bronze-meda match: Chinese Taipei b China 3-1 (27-25, 25-21, 21-25, 25-23)
Championship match: Iran b Korea 3-0 (25-16, 25-21, 25-21)

Final rankings
1.    Iran  (qualified for the FIVB Volleyball Men’s U23 World Championship in Dubai, UAE from August 24-31)
2.    Korea (qualified for the FIVB Volleyball Men’s U23 World Championship in Dubai, UAE from August 24-31)
3. Chinese Taipei
4. China
5. Myanmar
6. Japan
7. Thailand
8. India
9. Indonesia
10. Australia
11. Qatar
12. Saudi Arabia
13. Kazakhstan
14. Philippines
15. Vietnam
16. Maldives

Individual Awards

Best Setter: Bagheri Mostafa (Iran No.4)
Best Outside Spiker: Liu Hung-Min (Chinese Taipei No.7)
Best Middle Blocker: Kim Inhyeok (Korea No.11) and Hosseinabadi Javad (Iran No.13)
Best Libero: Lee Jihun (Korea No.13)
Best Opposite Spiker: Jung Jiseok (Korea No.14)
MVP: Fayazi Damnabi Purya (Iran No.7)