September 3, 2021 2:53:37 pm
The Czech Republic ended India’s roller coaster ride in a 9 to 10 classification match 25-21, 25-16, 22-25, 25-16 of the FIVB U-19 World Championship which concluded at Azadi Stadium in Tehran, Iran on Thursday night.
India won a set after losing the first two and gave a good fight before calling it off at the end of the 91-minute match. Jirasek Jan (14 attacks points + 1 block + 2 serve = 17), Klajmon Jakub ( 9+ 5 = 14), Kollator David (12 + 1 = 13), Ures Jakub (9 + 2 = 11) and Toth Lukas (7 + 3 = 10) were the best scorers for the winners. Ajay Kumar (19 + 1 = 20), Tanish Choudhary (19) and Aman Kumar (8 + 1 + 2 = 11) did respectably for India.
In attack, Indians and the Czechs’ were neck and neck with identical 54 points while India had a slight advantage (3-2) in serve but Czechs were better in block, winning 16 points to India’s mere 5.
In group B matches, world No. 8 Czechs were third behind Italy, the holders and Brazil but ahead of Columbia and Belarus. India with four wins from five matches, including the group matches, began with a bang when they outplayed two-time African champions and world No. 9, Nigeria in Group A but lost to hosts and world No. 5 Iran and European bronze medallist and world No. 14, Poland, the eventual world champions. Guatemala, the fifth team in the group were forced to concede their group matches after their players were found Covid-19 positive.
In the round of 16, Indians lost to Brazil and in the classification match for a place between 9 and 16, they beat world No. 18 Cuba and for a 9-12 classification match, they ousted world No. 4 Egypt. No. 49 ranked India’s all three victories were against higher-ranked rivals.
Libero Chikkanna Venu (second in the best receiver category with 69 and third as best digger with 65 points) was the only Indian to be in the top 3 for individual awards. Tanish was sixth among the best attackers with 212 points and was 10th among best scorers with 115 points, and captain Sameer Chaudhary with 475 was the sixth among the best setters with overall 475 points.
Meanwhile, Poland drubbed Bulgaria 25-20, 25-19, 25-19 to emerge world champions while hosts Iran defeated Russia 25-14, 22-25, 27-25, 21-25, 15-6 for the third place. It took Poland six years to wrest the title which they first won in 2015 at Resistencia Chaco and Corrientes in Argentina. The Poles were also third in 1999 and 2013.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines
- The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.