*** ----> Qatar triumphs over Pakistan to win AVC Challenge Cup | THE DAILY TRIBUNE | KINGDOM OF BAHRAIN

Qatar triumphs over Pakistan to win AVC Challenge Cup

TDT | Manama     

The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com

Report by Hussain Almaskati

In a thrilling conclusion to the 2024 AVC Challenge Cup for Men, Qatar emerged victorious, claiming the gold medals after a dominant performance against Pakistan.

The Qataris swept the final match 3-0 (25-22, 25-20, 25-19), securing their first championship in this prestigious Asian Volleyball Confederation tournament format.

The final, held in Bahrain, showcased Qatar’s prowess as they lived up to their top billing. Despite Pakistan’s brave efforts and occasional leads in each set, Qatar’s world-ranked 21 team proved too formidable.

Qatar’s middle blocker Ibrahim Mohammed Ibrahim expressed his delight, saying, “We did our job to take the trophy. We started the competition poorly, but we turned it around and played with heart.” Key Performances Qatar’s standout player, outside hitter Youssef Oughlaf, led the scoring with 16 points.

He was ably supported by Ibrahim with 11 points and middle blocker Belal Nabel Abunabot who added 10 points.

For Pakistan, ranked 47th globally, opposite Murad Khan managed 10 points, while outside hitter Afaq Khan contributed seven.

The competition’s Most Valuable Player award was deservedly given to Qatar’s outside hitter Renan Ribeiro, who played a crucial role in their journey to the title.

The victory not only brought Qatar the championship but also secured their place in the FIVB Volleyball Men’s Challenger Cup, scheduled to be held in China next month.

Match Earlier in the day, South Korea claimed the bronze medals after a fiercely contested match against Kazakhstan.

The Koreans won 3-1 (27-25, 19-25, 27-25, 32-30) in a game that kept the audience on the edge of their seats.

The match saw several extended rallies and dramatic points, particularly in the fourth set where Kazakhstan saved multiple match points before eventually conceding Standout Players South Korea’s star opposite Hojin Shin led the scoring with 21 points, supported by Jihan Kim with 19 points and Hanyong Jeong with 11.

Kazakhstan’s top scorer was opposite spiker Petr Churzin with 23 points, followed by outside hitter Vitaliy Vorivodin with 17 points and middle blocker Damir Akimov with 13.

South Korea’s head coach Issanaye Ramires expressed pride in his team’s performance, acknowledging the tough match but emphasizing their potential for future success.

“We fought a lot and we took a medal. We need to work for better results in the future, and we have big potential to do that,” Ramires said.

The awards ceremony following the final match was attended by notable sports officials including General Sports Authority deputy chairman Shaikh Salman bin Mohammed Al Khalifa and GSA chief executive Dr. Abdulrahman Askar.

The Bahrain Olympic Committee and Bahrain Volleyball Association also played key roles in the event, highlighting the support and enthusiasm for volleyball in the region.

The AVCChallenge Cup for Men, hosted in Bahrain for the first time, was under the patronage of the Supreme Council for Youth and Sport’s first deputy chairman, GSA chairman, and BOC president Shaikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa.

The tournament brought together top teams from across Asia, showcasing high-level volleyball and fostering regional sportsmanship. Qatar’s victory in the AVC Challenge Cup marks a significant milestone in their volleyball journey, and with their sights set on the upcoming FIVB Challenger Cup, the team looks forward to continuing their upward trajectory on the international stage.