Indian Men’s Volleyball Team nears historic Asian Games medal with 3-0 win over Chinese Taipei
The Indian men’s volleyball team advances towards a potential medal at the Asian Games after defeating Chinese Taipei 3-0, marking a significant step in their journey to medal contention.
India’s men’s volleyball team, aiming to break a 37-year medal drought in volleyball at the Asian Games, has positioned themselves for a historic opportunity after securing a resounding 3-0 victory over Chinese Taipei in a cross-match for the Top 12 positions.
The match, held at the China Textile City Sports Centre Gymnasium, saw India dominate with set scores of 25-22, 25-22, and 25-21, concluding in just one hour and 20 minutes.
This achievement is particularly impressive considering Chinese Taipei had claimed the bronze medal in the 2018 Asian Games. India’s next challenge will be former champions Japan in the quarterfinals. A victory in that match would propel India into the semifinals, putting them in contention for a medal.
Historically, India has won one silver and two bronze medals in volleyball at the Asian Games, with their last medal—a bronze—dating back to Seoul in 1986.
In the 19th Asian Games, India commenced their campaign with a decisive 3-0 win against Cambodia and then delivered a stunning upset by defeating South Korea, the silver medalist in the 2018 Jakarta Asian Games, with a score of 3-2 in their second match. This series of victories paved the way for a cross-match against Chinese Taipei, who had finished second in Pool D after a loss to Pakistan and a win against Mongolia, both with scores of 3-0.
During Friday’s match, India demonstrated resilience by bouncing back after losing the lead in the first two sets. They managed to secure the win against their determined Chinese Taipei opponents.
Indian team captain Vinit Kumar commented on the match, saying, “In the first set, they had a four-point lead at one time. But we fought back strongly and went on to win the set. It was a good match in a challenging sense, but we managed to perform well.”
He added, “I was expecting a tougher match, at least to go to four sets if not five. They are experienced players and play at a fast pace. But we managed to match their pace.”
Amit, the wing spiker, was the top scorer for India with 16 points, followed by captain Vinit Kumar with 12 points. Middle blocker Ashwat contributed significantly with five blocks from nine attempts and eight spikes, totaling 14 points.
Setter Apapvu Muthusamy expressed the team’s confidence, stating, “We came into the match confident that we could win. Our service and our block worked, so we are glad.”
Looking ahead, Apapvu mentioned that the focus would be on the upcoming match against Japan, as a victory in that match would secure a spot in the semifinals and boost their confidence further.
The head coach of the Indian team, Jaideep Sarkar, expressed confidence in his team’s performance against Chinese Taipei, given Pakistan’s previous 3-0 victory over the same team in the league phase. Sarkar also emphasized the team’s high morale and determination as they prepare for the match against Japan, believing that the current confidence level can help them achieve remarkable results.