Manama, Bahrain, July 21, 2019 – Last edition’s finalists Poland and Cuba missed the cut of the top eight, leaving Russia as the remaining 2017 podium finisher to progress to the second round of the winners’ pool of the 2019 FIVB Volleyball Men’s U21 World Championship.
Russia joined Korea, China and Brazil in Pool E, while Italy, Iran, Argentina and hosts Bahrain are grouped in Pool F.
Russia, the 2017 bronze medallists, won all their matches in Pool C in the first round, including the five-set thriller against reigning U19 world champions Iran. Maksim Sapozkhov led Russia as he collected 63 points in the three victories.
China, likewise, swept Pool A with victories over Morocco, Puerto Rico and Bahrain. Xiu Chengcheng the Asian side with a consistent performance of posting double-digit outputs in all their matches.
Meanwhile, Italy have also kept a strong pace in Pool D as the team won all their matches in straight sets, considering they were in a tough group in the first round with Poland and Brazil and Canada. In their last three encounters, Francesco Recine led the charge but the other players’ overall performance led to their successful start.
The other pool winners were Argentina, who went through a tough hurdle with Cuba. In their last three matches, Luciano Palonsky delivered big numbers, which makes him the best scorer of the tournament so far.
The second round will start on Monday, July 22, with China and Brazil opening the second round at 11:30 local time, followed by the matchup of Korea and Russia at 14:00. In Pool F, Argentina and Iran will meet at 16:30, then hosts Bahrain will play Italy at 19:00.
The bottom eight teams – Puerto Rico, Canada, Egypt, Czech Republic, Cuba, Tunisia, Morocco and Poland – are also divided into two groups of four teams each, playing in a round robin system for the 9th-16th classification round.
The Czech Republic, which placed third in the first round, are in Pool G with Egypt and NORCECA sides Puerto Rico and Canada, while Cuba and Poland are in Pool H with African teams Morocco and Tunisia.
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