Boys' U19 World Championship 2023 - News.

France (FRA) vs. Iran (IRI) - Final 1-2 #6402756

France are the new youth champions of the world! In Friday’s final of the FIVB Volleyball Boys’ U19 World Championship in San Juan, they outpaced Iran to celebrate with the crown for the first time in the competition. In fact, it was the country’s first volleyball world championship title for any age in either gender. They also had a youth bronze back in 2007.

Iran and Korea completed the podium with silver and bronze, respectively. Iran now single-handedly lead the all-time medal count in the competition with eight podiums: two gold, three silver and three bronze. For Korea, it was the third bronze overall, but the first since 1993.

The French blockers made the big difference towards their team’s victory over Iran in the gold medal match. They raised 18 kill blocks against eight for the opponents. France also outserved Iran with six aces against five, while the Asians did slightly better in offence with 47 successful spikes against 46, and in precision with 21 unforced errors against 26 from the champions-to-be.

France (FRA) vs. Iran (IRI) - Final 1-2 #6402737

The French players rejoice after the championship point

With middle blocker Joris Seddik setting the tone on the block and captain Mathis Henno putting away three aces, France were well in control throughout the first set. In the second, Iran stepped up their serving, while the French made far too many mistakes helping their opponents break away with a wide lead and level the match. Adrien Roure was the man of the third set. Tallying three points in blocking and another six in attack, he helped France edge forward again. With a total of seven stuffs from their team, the Europeans dominated the fourth set as well. A two-man block by Roure and Jules Duthoit produced the match winner and got the French celebrations started.

Authoring all six of his team’s aces, Mathis Henno added two kill blocks and 10 spiking points to tally a match-high 18 points. Joris Seddik raised eight kill blocks towards a 16-point total, while Adrien Roure finished with 15 points, including four stuffs. Mohammadreza Alejalil was Iran’s leading scorer with 14 points.

“We’re very happy! We fought hard to win this game. It was very difficult, maybe the hardest game of my life, but we did it and we’re champions,” Adrien Roure told Volleyball World. “We played very well in block, we were great in service and we respected what we had planned to face them. I wanted to cry when the last ball touched the floor, I was so happy. I was just thinking that we did it. We started our preparation very soon. We made a big sacrifice to win this competition and we were confident about our game. That’s how everything happened. I feel also happy because we have many supporters in France that were there for us despite the hours that we played. They were there watching and I want to thank them because it’s unbelievable.”

The bronze medal match earlier on Friday was also resolved in four sets. Korea celebrated a 3-1 (25-18, 25-19, 21-25, 25-23 victory over United States, slightly outspiking the opponents, but mostly capitalizing on USA’s abundant unforced errors. Yun Seojin led the Koreans with 17 points, including two kill blocks, followed by Lee Woojin with 15, while USA’s Sterling Foley delivered the match high of 20 points.

Bulgaria won the fifth-place match with Belgium. Kristian Titriyski put away a match-high 19 points to lead his team to a victory.

Italy hammered out a shutout of Egypt for the seventh place in the final standings with Alessandro Bristot and Lorenzo Magliano leading the way with 17 points each, while Egypt’s Shrief Helawy top-scored 19.

In a hard-fought five-setter, Brazil claimed a victory over Slovenia to finish ninth. Japan took 11th place after mastering a shutout of Mexico. In a South American clash for the 13th place, hosts Argentina outplayed Colombia in straight sets, . The last competition day in San Juan started with the 15th-place match, in which Serbia celebrated a win over Puerto Rico.

India, Costa Rica and Chile completed the line-up from 17th to 19th in that order, while Nigeria, who withdrew before the start of the tournament, were placed bottom of the table.