(Persia Digest) – Iran’s young players made history last night by defeating Italy in the final of the world championship games to gain the title of 2019 FIVB Men's U21 World Championship in Bahrain for the first time.
Porya Yali and Captain Amirhossein Esfandiar each scored 20 points to lead Iran in the 3-2 win (17-25, 25-17, 25-23, 22-25, 15-12) against the European team. Morteza Sharifi also demonstrated a great performance by adding 18 more points.
“The final was such a difficult match. Italy really tried their best in this championship. Nobody could beat them in the earlier rounds. We knew it was going to be very difficult, so we also tried to do all we could for the win. My players really worked hard in this match. They are the best and I have the honour to be their coach. I dedicate this win to all the people in my country,” Iran’s coach Ataei Nouri Behrouz told FIVB after the game.
“This medal is for all our hard work during training; all our blood, sweat, and tears; all our hardships and pains. We have undergone extremely difficult preparations to win this championship … Bahrain has been a very good and very memorable place for my volleyball career. For the last three years I have come here, I have won the gold medal with this team. We have won the FIVB U19, Asian U20, and now another world championship for U21. This is a complete set for us,” said Iranian captain Amirhossein Esfandiar.
The bronze medal of the 2007 games was the best result for Iran in the competition before this year’s gold.
The 2019 FIVB Volleyball Men's U21 World Championship was held in Riffa, Bahrain from July 18 to 27.
Iranian President congratulates the team
President Hassan Rouhani posted a message of congratulations on Twitter for the U21 men’s team: “The hard-earned world title of our young U21 team is a proud victory that paves the way for the bright future of volleyball in our beloved country. I congratulate the Iranian nation, the tall-standing national team, and their coaches and managers.”
Parliament Speaker, government spokesperson, Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson, and the Minister of Sport and Youth also sent separate messages of congratulations to the team.
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