2019 Asian Men's Volleyball Championship: India start off brilliantly by shocking top-guns Kazakhstan
Overview of the Tournament:
The 2019 Asian Men's Volleyball Championship is underway in Tehran, Iran from 13th September-22nd September. The top 16 teams of Asia are fighting it out in this prestigious tournament to claim the Asian Championship crown. These 16 teams have been divided into 4 pools which are as follows.
Pool A: Iran, Australia, Qatar and Sri Lanka
Pool B: Japan, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong, Thailand
Pool C: China, Kazakhstan, India and Oman
Pool D: Indonesia, South Korea, Pakistan and Kuwait
This year, the importance of this tournament is even more, as it is also acting as an Olympic qualifying event. The top two teams from each pool will qualify for the final Asian Olympic qualifying event that will be held in January 2020, in China.
Overview of Indian volleyball team's schedule and chances
The Indian Volleyball team, presently ranked 131 in the world, is one of the lowest ranked teams in the tournament. In Pool C, China and Kazakhstan, ranked 20th and 39th in the world respectively, were the two favourites to top the group and advance to the later stages of the tournament. The young Indian team need to punch above their weight, if they want to finish in the top two of Pool C.
The schedule of India's group league matches in the tournament are as follows:
13th September: India vs Kazakhstan
14th September: India vs China
15th September:; India vs Oman
India's brilliant start and road ahead in the tournament
The Indian team has started off brilliantly today by beating Kazakhstan, ranked 92 places above them and second seeds in the toyrnament, in their 1st group league match. The match was a five-set thriller, where India finally came out victorious with a scoreline of 31-29, 25-14, 28-30, 18-25, 15-9.
It is surely the biggest upset of the tournament till now, as no one expected minnows India to beat the Asian powerhouse, Kazakhstan. This victory will definitely boost the confidence of the young Indian side.
As a result of this win, India is now in serious contention for a top two finish in Pool C. This top 2 finish, will not only take them to the quarterfinals of the tournament, but also help them qualify for the 2020 Asian Olympic Qualification Tournament. If they manage to qualify for this Olympic Qualification Tournament, then it will be a dream come true for the Indian Volleyball Team.
However there is still a long way to go before they can achieve their goal. The Indian team will next play China, who are one of the top teams in the world. It will be very difficult for the Indian side to pull off a victory against the Chinese. However after seeing their performance against Kazakhstan, nothing seems impossible.
In their last group league match against Oman, if India are able to play according to their potential, they should come out victorious. And a victory against Oman will most probably be enough to ensure them a top-two finish in the group as they have already defeated Kazakhstan. So this match, on 15th of September, will be very important for the Indian team. All the Indian volleyball fans will be hoping for an India victory and a historic moment for Indian Volleyball.
Modified 21 Dec 2019, 00:28 IST