The draw ceremony for the championship was held here late on Sunday in the presence of Dr. Ahmad Sa’ad Al Sharif, General Secretary of the Dubai Sports Council (DSC); Mohammad Al Kamali, General Secretary of the UAE National Olympic Committee (UAE NOC); Ebrahim Abdul Malik, General Secretary o fthe General Authority of Youth and Sports Welfare (GAYSW), Yousuf Al Mulla, President of the UAE Volleyball Association (UAE VA) and Essa Hamza Ahmad, First Vice President of the Asian Volleyball Confederation (AVC).
The Asian Volleyball Championship is organised biannually by the Asian Volleyball Confederation (AVC) and this is the first time-ever that this prestigious event is being held in the UAE. Bahrain hosted the second edition in 1979, Kuwait the fourth edition in 1987 and Qatar the ninth edition in 1997.
The competition will feature the participation of all the major Asian teams, including current champion Iran, runner-up China, Australia, Japan and Korea.
Hosts UAE will play alongside Jordan and Indonesia in Group A while Australia – the team with the best world ranking in Asia at No. 11 – will head Group B along with Bahrain and Myanmar. Iran, who clinched theirfirst ever gold medal at the last edition held in Teheran, will commence the defense of their title in Group C against Kuwait and Kazakhstan.
China, who went to the top place for three times but lost to hosts Iran in Tehran in 2011, will be up against Saudi Arabia and Chinese Taipei in Group D. Japan – who hold the envious record of seven titles since the inception of this competition in 1975 – have been put in Group E along with Oman and Sri Lanka.
Group F consists of South Korea, bronze medal winner at 2011 edition, Iraq and Afghanistan, Group G has India, Qatar and Uzbekistan and Group H has Pakistan, Lebanon and Thailand.
Representing Saleh Bin Nasser (President of AVC), Mr. Shanrit Wongprasert, Chairman of AVC Sport Events Council said he was confident of a smooth and well-contested competition later this summer.
“Teams now know who their opponents are going to be and they will have adequate time to get prepared for the biggest volleyball competition hosted in Asian volleyball,” added Mr. Wongprasert.
“At first glance I think the draw in all groups is evenly balanced,” Mr. Yousuf Al Mulla, President of UAE Volleyball Association noted. “As the host it is our desire to do well in this competition and I think we stand a good chance of advancing to the knockout stages. After that it all depends who our opponents will be,” he added.
Group A: UAE, Jordan, Indonesia
Group B: Australia, Bahrain, Myanmar
Group C: Iran, Kuwait, Kazakhstan
Group D: China, Saudi Arabia, Chinese Taipei
Group E: Japan, Oman, Sri Lanka
Group F: South Korea, Iraq, Afghanistan
Group G: India, Qatar, Uzbekistan
Group H: Pakistan, Lebanon, Thailand
To read more news from all around the world click on Other countries.