Győr, Hungary, April 20, 2017. One continental title, three sets of medals, six tickets to the U19 World Championship in Bahrain and seven spots at the European Youth Olympic Festival are all at stake during the Final Round of the 2017 CEV U19 Volleyball European Championship - Men about to get underway this Saturday in Hungary and Slovakia.
The competition will run from April 22 through 30 in the Hungarian city of Győr and the Slovakian city of Puchov with the participation of 12 national teams. The squads of future stars of European Volleyball are split into two pools of six each, with Pool I played at the Szechenyi Istvan University sports hall in Győr and Pool II taking place at the STC Arena in Puchov.
The battles in Pool I will feature the teams of Belgium, Bulgaria, Italy, Poland, Russia and hosts Hungary, while those in Pool II will have the Czech Republic, Finland, France, Romania, Turkey and the home team of Slovakia face each other in contention for better classification.
The two pool winners and the two pool runners-up will qualify for the semifinals in the race for medals, while the teams placed third and fourth in the pool standings will also advance to the final phase of the tournament, but will compete for the distribution of the places from fifth to eighth. All matches after the pool stage will take place in Győr during the last two competition days – April 29 and 30.
In addition to distributing the championship title and the medals, these matches will have the special importance of determining the six European teams that will travel to the FIVB Volleyball Boys' U19 World Championship Bahrain 2017 to take place from August 18 through 27, as well as the seven squads that will join hosts Hungary at the men’s Volleyball tournament of the European Youth Olympic Festival 2017 to be held in Győr, from July 23 through 29.
The 2017 CEV U19 Volleyball European Championship - Men is the 12th edition of the biennial competition, which was established back in 1995. Slovakia has already hosted the event once – in 1997 in the very same town of Puchov, while for Hungary this will be the first time. Last year, the two countries co-hosted (in Nitra and Győr) the final round of the 2016 CEV U19 Volleyball European Championship - Women.
The two most decorated nations in the history of the youth boys’ European Championships will have to face each other off in the very first match of Pool I. Five-time champions Russia, with a total of seven medals so far, will lock horns with defending champs Poland – the team with the highest number of medals – two gold, four silver and two bronze. 2015 silver medallists Italy and 2013 bronze medallists Belgium are also in the Győr group playing against Bulgaria and hosts Hungary, respectively, on the first competition day this Saturday.
The 2015 bronze medal winners Turkey will open their Pool II campaign in Puchov with a match against the Czech Republic, to be followed by a clash between hosts Slovakia and the most decorated team in the pool – five-time medallists France. Finland, the only team that did not lose any sets during the qualification process, and Romania will close the first competition day at the STC Arena.
Of course, for the current generation of players this is the first European Championship in their young careers. They have nothing to do with all these historical data, and will be looking to write some history of their own.
All matches of the tournament are scheduled for live streaming on LAOLA1.tv.
Engage with the U19 European Championship on social media by using the competition’s official hashtag #EuroVolleyU19M.
Click here for more information, including a detailed match schedule.