Lausanne, Switzerland, June 5, 2018 - China and Iran go head-to-head in a world event for only the second time in history, Friday in Ufa. Their previous encounter was at the 2011 FIVB World Cup, with China winning in straight sets - though the two sides did meet twice in the 2017 Asian Championship when they split victories.
• China and Iran have met once in world level major competition. On 29 November 2011, China defeated Iran in straight sets at the World Cup.
• World level major competitions are: the VNL, Olympic Games, World Championships, World Cup, World League and Grand Champions Cup.
• At the most recent Asian Championship in 2017, these teams met twice. In the second round, China won in straight sets, but the fifth-place play-off match ended in a 3-1 win for Iran.
• This is a replay of the 2011 Asian Championship final, when Iran won their first Asian title after a 3-1 victory.
• China finished last weekend with a win over France in five sets. They can win back-to-back matches in the VNL for the first time.
• The last time they won consecutive matches in a world level major competition came in the 2017 World League, when they defeated Turkey (3-0), Australia (3-1) and Japan (3-2) in their final three matches.
• China have won eight of their last 11 five setters in world level major competitions.
• Coming into the weekend, Chuan Jiang is top scorer in the VNL on 128 points. Chuan is one of the two players with more than 100 points after six matches, alongside with Italy's Ivan Zaytsev (118).
• Iran have lost their last two matches at the VNL, 3-0 against Italy and 3-1 versus Canada.
• Iran can lose three consecutive matches in a world level major competition for the first time since losing their last three matches at the 2017 World League.
• Iran have lost the first set in their last four matches at the VNL, since their 3-0 win over Australia. Iran claimed at least 21 points in each of those four opening sets.
• Amir Ghafour scored 92 points in the first two weekends. Ghafour is in third place on the top scorers list of the VNL, behind today opponent Chuan Jiang (CHN) with 128 points and Ivan Zaytsev (ITA) with 118.