China completes clean sweep of women’s age-group World Champs
News from the FIVB
Tijuana, Mexico, October 12, 2013. China completed a successful voyage around the women’s age-group categories capturing the gold medal at the inaugural FIVB Women’s U23 World Championship Open with a straight-set (25-21, 25-20, and 26-24) victory over the Dominican Republic on Saturday night. Japan won bronze after beating USA while Turkey settled for fifth place thereby turning into Europe’s best team at the inaugural edition of the competition.
The triumph was the third for the Chinese female teams in this year following the titles attained in Thailand (Girls’ U18) and Czech Republic (Women’s U20). China won all their six matches in the competition held in the cities of Mexicali and Tijuana and their accomplished setter and captain Yao Di was selected as the Most Valuable Player of the event.
“The match was played at a very high level and could have gone to either side,” China’s coach Xu Jiande commented. “Tonight the luck worked in our favor.”
“The silver medal has a great value for us as a small country,” Dominican Republic’s coach Marcos Kwiek said. “We finished ahead of big countries like USA, Japan and Brazil and these girls have worked hard during all these years.”
Liu Yanhan and Zhang Xiaoya each recorded 17 points to lead the Chinese team, followed by Yang Zhou with 9 points and Gu Xinwei and Wang Qi with 8 apiece. Brayelin Martinez and Jeoselyna Rodriguez finished with 14 and 13 points, respectively, for the Dominican side. Candida Arias and Yonkaira Peña each contributed 7 tallies.
China held an overwhelming advantage of 11-4 in the blocking category with Yang Zhou and Zhang Xiaoya leading the charts with 4 and 3, respectively.
In the match for the bronze medal, Japan scored a convincing 3-1 (25-16, 20-25, 25-11, and 25-19) victory over United States. “It was very tough for us because USA is a very talented team” Japan’s coach Shigekazu Okubo said. “We are in the middle of the road and want to continue moving on.”
“They (Japan) are a great model and we were hoping that they would inspire us to have that kind of effort,” USA’s coach Karch Kiraly said.
In the early matches on Saturday, Turkey beat Italy 3-0 (25-17, 25-20, and 25-22) in the match for the fifth position and Brazil defeated Germany 3-1 (25-20, 25-17, 20-25, and 25-15) for the seventh place.
Final standing: 1. China 2. Dominican Republic 3. Japan 4. United States 5. Turkey 6. Italy 7. Brazil 8. Germany 9. Cuba 10. Argentina 11. Mexico 12. Kenya.
All-Star Team: Setter: Yao Di (China); Outside Hitters: Brayelin Martinez (Dominican Republic) and Sarina Koga (Japan); Middle Blockers: Yang Zhou (China), Zhang Xiaoya (China); Opposite: Jeoselyna Rodriguez (Dominican Republic); Libero: Brenda Castillo (Dominican Republic). Most Valuable Player: Yao Di (China)
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