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India record five-set win over Bahrain, finish ninth at Asian championship

Photo: Asian Volleyball Confederation

Chiba (Japan), Sep 19 (MNN) Indian men’s volleyball team ended ninth in the Asian volleyball championship 2021 with a five-set win over Bahrain in their last match at the Funabashi Arena on Sunday.

India beat Bahrain 3-2 (25-15, 25-23, 20-25, 23-25, 16-14) in the playoff for ninth place.

The GE Sridharan-coached Indian team was dominant in the first two sets but withered in the third and a shift in momentum soon allowed Bahrain to come back into the match at 2-2.

In a hard-fought final set, Bahrain led 4-1 early on before India made a comeback and eventually took the match.

Incidentally, India had begun their campaign with a straight-sets loss to Bahrain last Sunday. The Indian spikers then went on to lose to Qatar and Japan to finish bottom of Group A and did not progress to the last eight.

The Indian volleyball team won its first match of the tournament against Kuwait in the classification rounds for places between ninth and 16th.

India went on to beat Uzbekistan and Saudi Arabia to enter the playoff for ninth place against Bahrain, eventually securing that spot with their fourth win on the trot.

The Indian volleyball team are now ranked world No. 71 after the victory while Bahrain are 80th in the latest International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) senior men’s rankings.

India had finished eighth in the 2019 edition while their best finish in the tournament was fourth in 2005.

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