Male, Maldives, January 30, 2017- Iran proved a cut above their opponents at the AVC Central Zone 2018 FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Championship Qualification Tournament to qualify for the Asian final round.
The tournament featured three countries including Nepal, Iran and hosts the Maldives who played for a lone berth to contest the Asian second round, which will be split into Pool A in Kazakhstan and Pool B in Thailand, both to be held between September 20 and 24, 2017.Quick links - Volleyball:FIVB.com - VolleyballFIVB.com
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Top six teams (world ranking as of January 1, 2015, Finals hosts Japan not included) China, Chinese Taipei and hosts Kazakhstan in Pool A and South Korea, Vietnam and hosts Thailand in Pool B have qualified automatically for the Asian second round and will be joined by four teams qualified from the Asian sub zone first round after an Asian second round draw.
The top two teams apiece from Pool A and Pool B will then join hosts Japan in next year’s FIVB Volleyball Women’s Championship Finals.
The Maldives hosted Nepal and Iran in the single round-robin tournament from January 27 to 29. Nepal got the tournament off to a great start with a straight-set 3-0 (25-17, 25-17, 25-13) victory over hosts the Maldives last Friday (January 27), but the Nepalese side failed to make their mark in their second match against Iran the following day when they succumbed to a straight-set 3-0 (25-12, 25-12, 25-12) loss to much stronger Iranians.
On Sunday, Iran, current world No.115 and eighth at the 2017 Asian Championship in Tianjin, China, remained in their formidable line-up consisting of Soudabeh Bagherpour, Shabnam Alikhani, Maedeh Borhani, captain Zeinab Giveh, Farnoosh Sheikh and Negar Kianin in the final encounter against hosts Maldives.
Iran defeated the Maldives in a one-sided battle 3-0 (25-4, 25-12, 25-15) to reign supreme over the three-day competition.
A total of 24 teams including four Asian nations will test their mettle in the 2018 FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Volleyball Championship Finals, which will be held from September 29 to October 20, 2018 in Japan.
So far, three teams have already made the cut for the 2018 Finals including hosts Japan and reigning world champions the United States, both automatically qualified, and Brazil, winners at the 2015 South American Championship.
The remaining countries will compete in different continental qualification tournaments which will see a total of 21 teams join hosts Japan, the USA and Brazil in the Finals. They consist of four teams from Asia, eight from Europe, six from NORCECA, two from Africa and one from South America.Farnoosh Sheikhi of Iran collects the Best Middle Blocker award
January 27, 2017: Nepal b Maldives 3-0 (25-17, 25-17, 25-13)
January 28, 2017: Iran b Nepal 3-0 (25-12, 25-12, 25-12)
January 29, 2017: Iran b Maldives 3-0 (25-4, 25-12, 25-15)Individual awards
Most Valuable player: Shabnam Alikhani (Iran)
Best opposite player: Maedeh Borhani Esfahan (Iran)
Best outside attacker: Zeinab Giveh (Iran)
2nd best outside attacker: Pratibha Mali (Nepal)
Best middle blocker: Farnoosh Sheikhi (Iran)
2nd best middle blocker: Soudabeh Bagherpour (Iran)
Best setter: Shabnam Alikhani (Iran)
Best Libero: Negar Kiani(Iran)Final rankings
1. Iran - Qualified for Asian World Championship Qualification Tournament final round (either in Thailand or Kazakhstan) between September 20 and 24