Favourites start victorious at Men's U23 World Championship


Italy's Giacomo Raffaelli spikes against Egypt in their victory 3-1 in Pool A of Men's U23

Dubai, United Arab Emirates, August 24, 2015 - All big contenders marked the first victory in the opening day of 2015 Men's U23 World Championship as World Junior No 1 Russia, No 2 Brazil, No 3 Italy, No 5 Iran, No 7 Turkey and No 13 Cuba all booked wins against Tunisia, Mexico, Egypt, United Arab Emirates, Argentina and Korea respectively in the competition opening at Al Nasr and Al Ahly Halls in Dubai on Monday. 

The opening ceremony of the competition was held before the last match with spectacular show in the court full of Technology and emotions attended by Mattar Eltayer the vice President of Dubai Sports Council, Mr Yousef Al Mulla Orgainsing Committee and UAE VB Federation President and Mr Mohamed Mushtaque the FIVB Control Committee President. 

In Pool A Italy rebounded back from a set behind to overwhelm Egypt 3-1 (22-25, 25-14, 25-16, 25-19) in Pool A opener at Al Nasr Hall.

Italy dominated against Egypt in areas of blocking as they had 14-4 advantage in kill blocks, while both teams were level at 9-9 aces. Italy's opposite spiker Gabriele Nelli led his team and match scorers with 21 points, While Egypt's outside hitter Ahmed Shafik scored 16 points as the best scorer from his side. 

With great dominance in blocking and spiking activity Cuba went to a straight sets victory (25-21, 25-21, 25-22) over struggling Korea in Pool A encounter.

Mestre Uriarte led the Cuban and match scorers with 14 points, while Kim Inhyeck and Jung Jiseok contributed 8 points each as the best in the Korean side. With a blocking dominance of 15/8 it was easy for the taller Cubans to go through and steadily control the net action.  

The Cuban outside hitters Mestre Uriarte and Gavilan Alfonso played  their best as they sent their razor sharp hits which wasn't tolerated by the Korean blockers.

Iran opened their campaign on the right foot with a convincing 3-0 (25-16, 25-25, 25-20) victory over hosts United Arab Emirates in Pool A. 

Iran's Javad Hosseinabadi was the main offensive weapon with 11 points while UAE's Mohamed Alsuwaidi matched 14 points, which represented an incredible 27 per cent of her team’s total tally of 52.

The World Junior ranked No 5 had many tools to overcome their geographic neighbours, but mainly was the taller spikers and the sharp service played by most of the team

In Pool B, Russia overcame Tunisia's come back to win 3-1 (25-15, 22-25, 25-18, 25-22) at Al Ahli Club Hall.

Russia’s Alexander Kimerov was the star of the game with 18 points and lots of contributions. Setter Pavel Pankov’s 23 serves were an important key for the victory. Elyes Garfi and Malek Chekir scored 14 points each for Tunisia.

Turkey made a promising start with a 3-1 victory (25-19, 25-21, 22-25, 25-19) against Argentina in Pool B.

Turkey’s outside hitter Gokhan Gokgoz led the players with 18 points and Metin Toy helped him with 17 points. Argentina’s Joaquin Galledo’s 16 points did not help to avoid the defeat.

Brazil, the champions of the last edition, resumed their campaign with an outstanding victory (25-14, 25-15, 25-16) over Mexico in the last game of the first day action in Pool B. 

Brazil’s Alan Souza lead the field with 16 points and he won 13 of them with spikes. Roberto Rincon and Humberto Ceballos scored 6 points each for Mexico.

Best Performances

Top Scorer by Day
21- Gabriele Nelli of Italy v Egypton on August 24

Top Scoring Performances
21- Gabriele Nelli of Italy v Egypt on August 24
20- Alexander Kimerov of Russia v Tunisia on August 24
18- Gokhan Gokgoz of Turkey v Argentina on August 24

Top Individual Serving Performances
4- Malek Chekir of Tunisia v Russia on August 24

Top Team Serving Performances
11- Cuba v Korea on August 24
9- Italy v Egypt on August 24
9- Egypt v Italy on August 24

Top Individual Blocking Performances
7- Joaquin Gallengo of Argentina v Turkey on August 24
5- Samet Gunes of Turkey v Argentina on August 24 
4- Alberto Polo of Italy v Egypt on August 24
4- Karim Messelmani of Tunisia v Russia on August 24
4- Livan Osoria of Cuba v Korea on August 24

Top Team Blocking Performances
22- Russia v Tunisia on August 24
16- Argentina v Turkey on August 24
15- Cuba v Korea on August 24
14- Turkey v Argentina on August 24
12- Italy v Egypt on August 24

Highest Scoring Sets
Day 1: 25-22 Cuba v Korea (3rd Set) on August 24
       25-22 Tunisia v Russia (2nd set) on August 24

Highest Scoring Matches
Day 1 Turkey v Argentina 3-1 (25-19, 25-21, 22-25, 25-19) on August 24 - 181 points  


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