Italy shut out Russia, grab U21 gold

CAGLIARI, Italy, October 3, 2021 - Italy triumphed with the title and the gold medals of the FIVB Volleyball U21 Men’s World Championship.

At home in Cagliari, they dropped only two sets (both in the semifinal against Poland) in eight matches played to celebrate as first-time U21 world champions, confirming their achievement at the U19 World Championship in Tunisia two years ago, when they also topped the podium.

 In Sunday’s gold medal match at Pirastu hall, the home team shut out Russia. Poland took the bronze.

Italy was well in control of the first set of the final, but in the second they had to come back from a four-point deficit and win it on a three-point run at the end. Five points in a row gave the Italians a 10-6 lead in the third set and they never looked back to win the match by 3-0 (25-19, 25-22, 25-20). Alessandro Michieletto was the best scorer of the match on 18 points for the winners.

Poland had few issues to deal with in the bronze medal match earlier on Sunday in Cagliari. They delivered an emphatic 3-0 (25-16, 25-14, 25-19) shutout of Argentina, outplaying the opponents in all point-scoring elements. Polish opposite Dawid Dulski produced the 21-point match high.

In a battle for the fifth place in the world, Belgium lost the first set against Bulgaria, but then came back to win the next three sets (19-25, 25-22, 25-20, 25-23).

Brazil finished on the seventh position after claiming a 3-0 win (25-13, 25-21, 25-15) over Czechia in their last match of the competition.

Iran outplayed Canada in Sofia to claim a 3-1 (25-17, 25-21, 25-27, 25-15) victory and the ninth place.

Cuba came back from a set against to defeat Thailand 3-1 (35-37, 25-18, 25-16, 25-23) in Sofia and claim eleventh place.

Egypt was ranked 13th after a 3-2 (26-28, 26-24, 22-25, 25-16, 15-9) victory over Bahrain in Sofia.

Morocco finished in 15th place and claimed a victory against Cameroon.