International Volleyball

SEMIFINALS UNVEIL TOP CONTENDERS FOR AVC CHALLENGE CUP FOR MEN IN BAHRAIN

SEMIFINALS UNVEIL TOP CONTENDERS FOR AVC CHALLENGE CUP FOR MEN IN BAHRAIN

Isa Town, Bahrain, June 6, 2024 – The anticipation has reached fever pitch as Qatar, Kazakhstan, Korea and Pakistan emerge triumphant in respective encounters to power their ways into the semifinals of the 2024 AVC Challenge Cup for Men at Isa Town Sport City Hall C here on Thursday.

 

In the action-packed Day 5 encounters to determine the Top Four teams of this topflight tournament, Qatar demolished China 3-0 (25-19, 25-19, 25-19), while Kazakhstan downed Australia 3-1 (21-25, 25-23, 25-18, 25-21).

Pakistan bounced back to beat Vietnam 3-2 (19-25, 27-25, 25-23, 21-25, 15-12) and Korea overcame a strong challenge from Bahrain to beat the hosts 3-2 (26-24, 32-30, 22-25, 22-25, 15-12).

With their outstanding performances on Thursday, the four winning teams made it to the highly-anticipated semifinals on Saturday. Qatar now go up against Kazakhstan and Pakistan battle it out with Korea, setting their sights on the lone berth up for grabs for the 2024 FIVB Menโ€™s Challenger Cup in Linyi, China  from July 4 to 7, the last qualification tournament for eight qualified teams including hosts China to battle it out for a spot in the revamped 2025 Volleyball Nations League (VNL), which will expand to 18 teams.

Qatar, current world No.21 and silver medallists at the 2023 FIVB Challenger Cup on home soil in Doha, cemented their status as a dominant team to be reckoned win in the AVC Challenge Cup as they powered past world No.31 China in thrilling straight sets to secure their semifinal berth.

Playing without skipper Jiang Chuan in the first set, China found the going get tough. Despite putting up a brave fight against the fired-up Qataris, China succumbed to their 19-25 defeat to the well-organized rivals in the opener.

Still brilliantly led by Ibrahim Ibrahim Mohamed and Youssef Oughlaf, the Qataris raced to an initial 20-16 lead in the second set and extended it to 24-18, courtesy of the 206cm-tall Ibrahim Ibrahimโ€™s lightning-fast attacks and Oughlafโ€™s deadly spikes. Star spiker Zhang Jingyin, who stands 207cm tall, saved the day for China as he overcame smaller blockers with his powerful attack. However, Qatar continued their superb form to take the first set 25-19, with Renan tipping over the Chinese blockers for the last point.

China, which picked up silver medal at the reschedule Hangzhou Asian Games last year and the winners at the 2022 AVC Cup in Nakhon Pathom, Thailand, put their acts together in effort of making amends for the loss in the…

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