They just made history!
Saeid Marouf, Seyed Mousavi, Amir Ghafour and Iran won their FIRST ever FIVB medal after finishing 3rd at the FIVB World Grand Champions Cup. Coach Kolakovic – in his first season as the head coach – is super proud of his team.
“It was a very interesting and high-quality volleyball game. I’m so happy because we finished with a victory. After the game between USA and Italy, we knew we already had the bronze medal, so I asked the players if they wanted to play or not. They told me they wanted to play to win because they wanted to finish the tournament with a victory. So that makes me happy. We’ve had a lot of problems with injury and not much time for recovery. But we finished the year in the best way, for Iran and the Iranian people. This is very important because the people have supported the Iran team and they deserve this medal as much as the players. This first medal for Iran is very important, so this tournament win was important for Iranian volleyball. And it provides us with extra motivation for next season and for our young players.”
Marouf feels the same as well.
“It was very important to finish this competition with a victory and finally take a medal. So, I’m very happy and proud of my team. We did our best. It’s important for us. Iran had success in junior world tournaments but never in a senior one, so this makes it important. Our people followed our matches and enjoyed it, but without a medal there was something wrong, but now we’ve done that.”
During the tournament, Iran defeated Italy (3-2), USA (3-2), Japan (3-1), France (3-2) and lost to eventual Champions Brazil (0-3). Outside hitter Milad Ebadipour was named one of the tourney’s Best Outside Hitters.
What’s next for Iran?
The players will take some time off before heading to their respective club teams as the new season is about to start.