Poland shut out Bulgaria 3-0 (25-20, 25-19, 25-19) to strike gold at the 2021 FIVB Boys' U19 World Championship which wrapped up Thursday evening in Tehran after ten glorious days during which 18 countries showcased the future generations of volleyball stars.
Gleaming Poland stop Bulgaria in their tracks for second Boys' U19 world title
Poles remain only undefeated in Tehran for their second gold medal in the history of the competition
Published 04:16, 02 Sep 2021
It was Poland's second gold medal in the history of the competition, after their success of 2015. They have also won two bronze medals, in 1999 and 2013.
Throughout this 2021 edition they have scored seven wins on the trot, remaining undefeated and having dropped just one set (in the semifinal against hosts Iran).
Poland set the pace from the very start of the final with yet another solid and well-rounded performance and though Bulgaria tried to keep in touch in the score the Poles kept healthy leads throughout the match to wrap it up in straight sets with relative ease.
Bulgaria had already gone above and beyond what would ever have been expected of them, when they spectacularly knocked out defending champions Italy in the quarterfinals and three-time world champions Russia in the semis.
Poland proved too hard a nut to crack for the plucky Bulgarians, but this is still their best finish ever in the competition and a reappearance on the podium after 32 years, since a bronze in the inaugural edition of 1989.
Tytus Nowik, who was named MVP of the tournament, heading the Dream Team of the 2021 FIVB Boys' U19 World Championship, was top scorer of the final on 20 points and a 61% attacking (19/31) as Poland outblocked Bulgaria 12 to 4 (Piotr Sliwka alone getting in five stuffs).
Further down the line
Argentina rallied from a set down to beat Italy 3-1 (18-25, 25-20, 25-19, 25-21) on the back of 20 points from Bruno Forte and a dominating blocking performance of 14 stuffs (five each from Imanol Salazar and Nahuel Garcia), to clinch 5th place.
Brazil grabbed 7th place after dealing with Germany's very tough resistance for a 3-1 (25-17, 23-25, 26-24, 26-24) victory - but the European side proved very generous in gifting the South Americans as many as 39 points from unforced errors. Brazil's best scorer was Samuel de Morais on 14 points but the match high of 17 came from Germany's Joscha Kunstmann.
The Czech Republic took 9th with a 3-1 (25-21, 25-16, 22-25, 25-16) win over India after dominating on the net with 16 blocks (five from Jakub Klajmon). India's Ajay Kumar (20) and Tanish Choudhary (19) led the scoring, followed by the Czech Republic's Jan Jirasek (17).
Eleventh place went to Belgium, who came back from a set down to take Egypt 3-1 (23-25, 25-14, 25-19, 25-23), with a match high of 22 points by Ferre Reggers who confirmed his standing as top scorer of the this World Championship overall on 158 points.
And Thailand bagged their second win in the tournament as they overcame Nigeria's blocking and held off their attempt at a comeback for a 3-2 (25-15, 25-20, 17-25, 26-28, 15-13) win that earns the Asian side 13th place. Sattaya Wadeesirisak with 23 points was top scorer of the game to lead Thailand.
Both Colombia and Cuba forfeited their match for 15th place, due to early departures from Tehran, and rank joint 15th.
Earlier in the competition Belarus had claimed 17th place, leaving Cameroon in 18th. Guatemala and the Dominican Republic who never travelled to Tehran due to coronavirus cases ranked joint 19th.