India too good for Tunisia

US edge out Belarus after long battle for supremacy

The Indian team celebrates after clearing the Tunisian hurdle in their opening match of the World Juniors.

It was a facile win for India as they raced through their rivals Tunisia 25-11, 25-15, 25-13.

A visibly elated Indian head coach MH Kumara, said: “We will be facing strong teams from three different continents in the first round. Tomorrow will face a good Belarus team and Sunday against the United States. Today, we may have played to our best, but we will need to prepare for Belarus’ strong block tomorrow.”

USA and Belarus meanwhile were involved in a heady battle before the former emerged a 3-1 (32-30, 21-25, 25-18, 30-28) victor with Antonio Ciarelli playing a crucial role in his team’s success.

USA coach Shawn Patchell said their aim was to get off to a good start. “I thought we served well during the match. We were getting better as the match went on, and this is a huge win competing against a quality European opponent. We have only been training for two weeks and we hope to peak as the tournament progresses.”

Top-seeded Iranians sent out a strong warning to the rest of the field with a clinical show against Belgium. The Iranians emerged a 25-20, 27-25, 25-17 victors. Mojtaba Gheyasi did the star turn for the Asian power house. Though minnows Belgium were able stretch their fancied rivals on occasions, the big-built Iranians proved too difficult for them to handle. 

In the other games of the day, Canada beat Poland 3-2 (19-25, 25-21, 15-25, 25-20, 15-11) in a hard-fought match that went down to the wire, while the second-seeded Argentina stormed past Cuba beating in straight sets 25-20, 31-29, 25-16.

Similarly, France had little difficulty in brushing aside Greece 25-18, 25-20, 26-24. The French side was in sublime form as they thumped their rivals with Youssef Krou being in the forefront of the things. Another Asian strong contenders, China registered an easy win over Egypt 25-16, 25-20, 25-17. In a one-sided affair, China, with their superior attack and blocking, left the Egyptian team in a sorry state.

Agencies

Results (I round): India bt Tunisia 3-0 (25-11, 25-15, 25-13); USA bt Belarus 3-1 (32-30, 21-25, 25-18, 30-28); Iran bt Belgium 3-0 (25-20, 27-25, 25-17); Canada bt Poland 3-2 (19-25, 25-21, 15-25, 25-20, 15-11); Argentina bt Cuba 3-0 (25-20, 31-29, 25-16); France bt Greece 3-0 (25-18, 25-20, 26-24); China bt Egypt 3-0 (25-16, 25-20, 25-17).

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