Italy and Bulgaria open World Championship by beating Japan and Finland.

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The men’s World Championship has been officially started with two matches, Italy-Japan and Bulgaria-Finland.
In the first, as expected, the Italian national team has scored a 3-0 win at the start of the championship in front of about 11,170 fans!
Gianlorenzo Blengini’s team didn’t have any problems, especially in the first two sets. In the third, Japan were ahead at the first technical time-out, but, Italy smashed the same the rival.
Ivan Zaytsev was the top scorer of the match with 13 points, while Osmany Juantorena and Filippo Lanza 11 points each. Issei Otaka was the only japanese player with a double digit, with 11 points.

Clear also the Bulgaria’s victory, which have won three points in their first match at this World Championship. A few minutes after the victory of Italy over Japan, also Bulgaria have signed the first victory at their court in Varna!
At the beginning of their 18th appearance at the World Championship, Plamen Konstantinov’s team defeated Finland in three sets, even if I expected a better performance and much more resistance from Sammelvou’s Finland. Bulgaria was the best on the court during the whole match, and the fans also gave a huge support to the hosts in Varna a very important element for the team.
Bulgarian Valentin Bratoev was the absolut top scorer of the match with 16 points, followed by Nikolay Uchikov (12) and Todor Skrimov (11) all with double digits, while Urpo Sivula was the Finland’s top scorer with 9 points.

So, the tournament continues on Wednesday (September 12), while Italy and Bulgaria will play next game on Thursday (September 13)

POOL A (Florence, Ita)
Italy – Japan 3-0 (25-20, 25-21, 25-23)
Dominican Republic – Slovenia 17:00 CET
Belgium – Argentina 20:30 CET

POOL B (Ruse, Bul)
France-Cina 13:00 CET
Netherlands-Canada 16:00 CET
Brazil-Egypt 19:30 CET

POOL C (Bari, Ita)
Cameroon-Tunisia 14:00 CET
Australia-Russia 17:00 CET
USA-Serbia 20:30 CET

POOL D (Varna, Bul)
Bulgaria – Finland 3-0 (25-21, 25-19, 25-22)
Iran – Puerto Rico 16:00 CET
Cuba – Poland 19:30 CET

Photos FIVB