Japan men’s volleyball becomes first Asian team to finish runner-up in VNL

The Japan Men’s National Volleyball Team, ranked No. 2 in the world, became the first Asian team to finish runner-up in the Volleyball Nations League (VNL).

Japan fell to No. 4 France 1-3 (23-25 25-18 23-25 23-25) in the FIVB 2024 VNL Final in Łódź, Poland, on Monday (Jan. 1).

Japan finished fifth in the VNL in 2022, third last year, and reached the final this year.

The VNL was launched in 2018 as a reorganization of existing international competitions and features some of the world’s top teams.

The South Korean men’s volleyball team (27th) did not return to the VNL in 2018 after finishing last with a 1-14 record and being relegated.

South Korea recently finished third at the 2024 Asian Volleyball Confederation (AVC) Challenge Cup in Bahrain, failing to qualify for the FIVB Challenger Cup, which is awarded to the winner.

Japan, on the other hand, has been undergoing an intense generational change since 2015 to develop the next generation of players, and since the appointment of French coach Philippe Blanc in 2021, the national team has made a strong showing at every international tournament.

Blanc will lead Japan to the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris before taking over as head coach of South Korean professional volleyball team Hyundai Capital in August.

France’s starting setter Antoine Brizard was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player (MVP). He was also named the tournament’s best setter.

Japanese volleyball icon Yuki Ishikawa was named Best Outside Hitter alongside Poland’s Tomasz Fornal.

Tomihiro Yamamoto of Japan won the Best Libero award.

Japan also finished runner-up in the women’s VNL last month. 안전놀이터

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *