Historic African victories highlight women’s World Championship first day


Cameroon’s players triumphant after their historic success for Africa

Lausanne, Switzerland, September 29, 2018 – Both African nations participating in the FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Championship in Japan celebrated victorious on Saturday to write history on the very first competition day of the tournament.

Cameroon managed a come-from-behind Pool A victory over Mexico in four sets to register the first ever win for an African team in the history of the women’s World Championships. This was the opening match on the 18th edition’s program and the sensational result set the tone for an exciting event. Blocking was Cameroon’s strong weapon against the North American opponents, with two players, Theorine Christelle Aboa Mbeza and Stephanie Fotso Mogoung, each scoring five of the team’s 13 stuffs on the way to success.

Later in the day, Kenya doubled Africa’s joy with an even more emphatic, straight-set, victory over Kazakhstan in Pool D. Scoring as many as 28 points, Mercy Moim led her teammates to a compelling success on the opening day in Hamamatsu.

So more than 40 winless years after the African continent made its debut at the women’s World Championship, when Tunisia played in the 1978 edition, two CAVB representatives triumphed with maiden victories on the very same day.

Pretty much everywhere else in Japan, the favourites did not allow any surprises. In the only five-setter of the first competition day, Thailand came out on top against Korea.

Kenyans rejoice with their first ever victory in a World Championship match

Other Saturday highlights:
• Trinidad & Tobago made their historic debut at the women’s World Championships. The small NORCECA nation had the (mis)fortune to start off against Russia, the most decorated team in the history of the competition, and their straight-set loss in this Pool C encounter was hardly unexpected.
• Lonneke Sloetjes scored a sensational 36 points to steer the Netherlands through the four sets of a hard-fought come-from-behind victory over Germany in Pool A.
• Also in Pool A, hosts Japan delighted the home crowd (8,385 registered spectators) in Yokohama with a devastating shutout of Argentina and upped their all-time record against this South American opponent to 9-0 in major world-level competitions.
• Xinyue Yuan was responsible for seven of China’s impressive total of 17 kill blocks in their straight-set win over Cuba to share (with Ting Zhu) the best scorer title of this Pool B encounter.
• Thailand put an end to a dry spell against Korea in major world-level competitions, which started after their 2004 World Grand Prix five-set victory over this Asian rival. In the ninth encounter between these two nations, in Pool C at Japan 2018, Thailand added another tie-breaker win and registered their second success against Korea. Pimpichaya Kokram topped the scorers’ chart with 25 points for the Thai squad.
• All five remaining matches finished in three sets with Italy, Brazil, Turkey, USA and Serbia celebrating victorious over Bulgaria, Puerto Rico, Canada, Azerbaijan and the Dominican Republic, respectively.

Netherlands’ Lonneke Sloetjes spiking for one of the 36 points that made her the day’s best scorer at Japan 2018

Match Centres:

Full house at the Yokohama Arena for the Argentina v Japan match

The second competition day in Japan on Sunday features another set of 12 matches to be played across the four pools in Yokohama, Sapporo, Kobe and Hamamatsu.

Match Centres for Sunday, 30 September:
Cameroon v Germany in Yokohama (Pool A) at 13:40 local time (04:40 GMT)
Argentina v Mexico in Yokohama (Pool A) at 16:10 local time (07:10 GMT)
Japan v Netherlands in Yokohama (Pool A) at 19:20 local time (10:20 GMT)
Canada v Italy in Sapporo (Pool B) at 13:40 local time (04:40 GMT)
Cuba v Bulgaria in Sapporo (Pool B) at 16:10 local time (07:10 GMT)
Turkey v China in Sapporo (Pool B) at 19:20 local time (10:20 GMT)
USA v Trinidad & Tobago in Kobe (Pool C) at 13:40 local time (04:40 GMT)
Azerbaijan v Korea in Kobe (Pool C) at 16:10 local time (07:10 GMT)
Thailand v Russia in Kobe (Pool C) at 19:20 local time (10:20 GMT)
Brazil v Dominican Republic in Hamamatsu (Pool D) at 13:40 local time (04:40 GMT)
Kazakhstan v Puerto Rico in Hamamatsu (Pool D) at 16:10 local time (07:10 GMT)
Kenya v Serbia in Hamamatsu (Pool D) at 19:20 local time (10:20 GMT)


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