Poland and Brazil played in the final of the League of Nations volleyball players. Brazil turned out to be better by winning the gold. Poland took 2nd place, and France won 3rd.
The national anthems are back
On Sunday, Poles and Brazilians heard the national anthems for the first time in this edition of LN. Earlier, the organizers gave up this tradition, explaining themselves with safety reasons related to the pandemic.
The best two teams of the main phase faced the final. In it, in a duel of these teams two weeks ago, “Canarinhos” were definitely better. Only Lucas Saatkamp was missing from the main line-up of the South American team, who later joined the team for family reasons. Bartosz Kurek, Paweł Zatorski, Piotr Nowakowski did not play for the Polish team and Wilfredo Leon appeared on the pitch only for a moment. This time they were all in the starting “six”, and the fans saw both hosts from Cuba, who are among the world’s best. Leon has been in the white and red colors for two years, and Yoandry Leal has strengthened the Brazilian team at the same time.
These teams faced, inter alia, in the final of the last two editions of the world championship and in both of these matches, Poles were the winner. Their duel for the third place in the previous edition of LN two years ago ended in the same way (last year’s was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic). “Canarinhos”, in turn, enjoyed their victory in the duel in the 2019 World Cup.
The players changed their shirts
On Sunday in the first set, both teams did well in defense, which resulted in long actions. Effective counterattacks helped the Polish team take the lead 8: 6. Then the attackers of both teams – Kurek and Wallace de Souza – changed their traditional shirts to pink-purple, on which they additionally had the name of a volleyball player on their backs with the same number as them. They played in them until the second technical break, and it was part of the International Volleyball Federation’s campaign to promote gender equality.
During this edition, Vital Heynen’s players jumped away several times, but the rivals made up for it. From 20:20, however, they did not allow it, in which Leon served. The last point of this edition was scored by Kurek.
The Brazilians, who often stopped the world champions by blocking (3: 6), started the next better. In the middle of this game, additional emotions began to emerge and discussions with the judges were prolonged. It seems that at some point it influenced the concentration of Poles. The effectiveness of Kurek’s attack also decreased, and on the other side, Leal was activated, who had previously been excluded from the game by the white and reds. However, Heynen’s charges were gradually making up for losses, which was helped by, among others, Fabian Drzyzga’s play and the return of better effectiveness of the representative attacker (18:18). Then Leal flashed again, and at the end of this batch, Leon broke the service.
Carlos Schwanke’s players (replacing Brazil’s head coach Renan Dal Zotto in Rimini, who is still recovering from a heavy coronavirus infection) followed suit. They regularly harassed Poles with difficult tricks with which they had big problems. At 7:10, Heynen replaced Leon with Kamil Semeniuk for a bit longer.
A little later, he made another reshuffle – Łukasz Kaczmarek, Aleksander Śliwka and Grzegorz Łomacz appeared. The change did not take place in the middle – during the Saturday’s semi-finals, Jakub Kochanowski reported a problem with the abdominal muscles and the coach gave him a rest on Sunday. Despite the appearance of new players on the pitch, the situation has not changed – the world champions still did not cope with the offensive.
At the beginning of the fourth set, the Polish team returned to their original position, but that also did not work. The speeding “Canarinhos” scored without any problems, still putting a lot of pressure on their rivals with their serves. The latter, on the other hand, clearly lacked energy. When the Brazilians achieved a safe advantage (18:12, 22:14), their substitutes began to slowly celebrate the triumph. The Poles were unable to do anything to prevent them from doing so.
Preparations for Tokyo
Both teams are getting ready for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics. After the main phase, Heynen gave the names of eleven players from the “12” that he will take to the Olympic tournament. The decision on the libero is to be made after the end of LN. Zatorski and Damian Wojtaszek fought for the last place in the squad. The first of them appeared in both the semi-finals and the finals.
It was the third edition of LN. In the first three years ago, Poles took fifth place, and a year later, third. Brazil has placed fourth in the past twice.
These games replaced the World League in the volleyball calendar. In it, the white and red team triumphed in 2012, and “Canarinhos” a record nine times.
In the match for the third place in this edition of LN, played earlier on Sunday, the French defeated the Slovenes 3-0.
Source: Salon24.pl: Strona główna by www.salon24.pl.
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