World Cup Championship | Five Questions are answered as the Volleyball World Cup ending 2022!
World Cup Championship
Volleyball World Cup Championship ruled the world from August 26 to September 11. And now, after the incredible spectacle of the FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Championship in Poland and Slovenia, we have answers to the five questions we posed at the opening of the World Cup Championship.
- Will Poland win three games in a row?
No. They were, nonetheless, near…
It appeared natural to continue the trend that began in the 1990s, with Italy winning three straight world championships, Brazil winning three more in a row, and Poland winning the next two in 2014 and 2018. Indeed, Poland was just two sets away from winning its third World Cup Championship in a row.
Even without its rehabilitating star Wilfredo Leon on the court, the Polish national team once again shown their immense potential, backed by their amazing supporters. They breezed through the pool round of the competition, winning straight sets against Bulgaria and Mexico and dropping just one set to the US. Tunisia was swept in the Round of 16. In the quarterfinals and semifinals, Poland defeated the United States and Brazil in five sets, respectively, to advance to the championship.
On Sunday night in Katowice, the host team defeated Italy in the first set and led by three points in the second, but it was as near as they would go to their third straight gold medal. The Italians were the superior team in the final, spoiling the Polish party and became the first nation in history, after the Soviet Union, to win four World Cup Championship in men’s volleyball (1990, 1994, 1998, and 2022). Poland’s silver medal was their seventh in the tournament. They won gold in 1974, 2014, and 2018, as well as a silver medal in 2006.
- Will France win their third world-level tournament in a row?
The days of one team obviously dominating the World Cup Championship of men’s volleyball are long gone. Only once in the previous 32 years has the same team won both the Olympic and world championships: Brazil in 2004 and 2008. Any forecasts that France would be the next team to do this, particularly after winning the Volleyball Nations League earlier this summer, were erroneous.
Earvin Ngapeth and his colleagues won their pool in Ljubljana, defeating Germany and Cameroon, as well as narrowly defeating hosts Slovenia in five sets. In the Round of 16, they had to struggle through another five-set encounter against Japan, and they won once again.
However, they had to face defending champions Italy in the quarterfinals at the World Cup Championship. They led by one set twice in that match, but lost in the tiebreaker and were eliminated from the tournament.
Instead, we now have global and European champions in Italy. This has not happened in the previous 21 years. The previous three instances occurred in the same nation, Italy, between 1990 and 1991, 1993 and 1997, and 1999 and 2001. The Soviet Union and Czechoslovakia were the only two nations in history to be world and European champions at the same time.
- Will Slovenia finally capitalize on their outstanding generation of players at the international level?
Both yes and no.
No, since co-hosts Slovenia were looking for their first-ever world-level podium at the World Cup Championship. Yes, since fourth place was still a significant accomplishment for the little European country.
Slovenia grabbed the opportunity to co-host the 2022 World Championship, hoping that their inspiring home fans in Ljubljana would help the team on their way to the medals after reaching the gold medal matches in three of the last four editions of the CEV European Championship and the semifinals of VNL 2021.
The fantastic audience at Arena Stozice surely helped. In the country’s second appearance at the FIVB’s flagship championship, skipper Tine Urnaut and his colleagues cruised to 3-0 victories over Cameroon and Germany before falling to Olympic champions France in a five-set thriller to progress to the Round of 16 as pool runners-up. Slovenia already made history by reaching their first-ever World Cup Championship quarterfinal, defeating Germany in four sets. They defeated their next opponent, Ukraine, in four sets to rank among the top four teams in the world.
However, when it came to the medal matches in Poland, Slovenia’s incredible generation of players fell just short of the podium. Italy swept them in straight sets to proceed to the final, while Brazil took bronze by beating Slovenia 3-1 in the third-place match.
- Will Qatari rookies win their first World Championship?
Qatar, the sole debutant to this round of the World Cup Championship, were placed in a rather difficult pool. It was ambitious, but not impossible, to expect for at least one win over Japan, Cuba, and Brazil, particularly since Qatar had won three of their previous five games with Japan at continental-level competitions.
Although this did not occur, the Gulf squad did not depart Ljubljana absolutely empty-handed. In their second encounter in Pool B, they won their first-ever set at the World Championships. Qatari middle Belal Abunabot was on fire in the third set, leading the side to a 25-22 set triumph with three kill blocks, two spiking points, and an ace. The Asian team came close to replicating this feat in their third match, against eventual medalists Brazil, when they hung on through 23-23 in the second set and 24-24 in the third before falling out of their first World Cup Championship.
- Who will be in charge of the ace party in Poland-Slovenia 2022?
Ukraine’s Oleh Plotnytskyi
Volleyball fans will never forget the day when Ukrainian prodigy Oleh Plotnytskyi initially made worldwide headlines with his remarkable serving abilities. Six years ago, as a junior international, he guided Ukraine to the CEV U20 European Championship final following a thrilling semifinal triumph against Italy. Plotnytskyi’s serves single-handedly converted the tie-breaker from 13-8 Italy’s favor to a 15-13 triumph, earning him the MVP title at the World Cup Championship.
Plotnytskyi is now the captain of Ukraine’s senior national team, and the world admired his serving prowess once more during the Poland-Slovenia 2022 match. The 25-year-old outside hitter emerged as the World Championship’s greatest server, with up to 18 aces in Ukraine’s five sets. That was six aces more than the second-best server, Nimir Abdel-Aziz of the Netherlands, who was the pre-tournament favorite to top the rankings.
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