After reaching SAI Centre, Bengaluru on 29th April, Fulton took stock of the team's fitness which has been a primary focus in their ascension in world ranking and Olympic success.
World champions Iran completed their flawless run in the 2023 World Paravolley (WPV) Sitting Volleyball World Cup by defeating hosts Egypt 3-0, clinching the men’s title.
Egypt made a strong start in the first set on Saturday evening, but Iran quickly turned the tables to end it in their favour and maintained the lead in the next two sets, ending the match 25-21, 25-19, 25-17.
“It was a very good match and Egypt was a strong opponent. The Iranian team is highly skilled and all players worked very hard in training, so we were confident about winning,” Iran’s head coach Hadi Rezaeigarkani told Xinhua.
Iran thus won all their five games against Japan, Algeria, Iraq, Ukraine, and Egypt in straight sets during the tournament.
Rezaeigarkani noted that fast spiking and serving were among the strengths of the Iranian men’s team.
Meanwhile, Iranian player Meisam Ali Pour was awarded Best Receiver and his teammate Davoud Alipourian was named both Best Setter and Most Valuable Player of the competition.
Ali Pour praised Egypt’s very good performance during the match and expressed happiness about his award.
“I’ve been playing volleyball for 15 years and dreaming of having such an award and now it has come true,” he told Xinhua.
“We have been the world champions since the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games in Brazil, and this is not a coincidence but a result of hard work and training on all skills,” he added.
The World Cup in Cairo provided a direct qualification ticket to the 2024 Paris Paralympic Games for the winning team.
Iran had already secured their Paris ticket before this World Cup, yet they aimed to maintain their level and prepare further for the Paris Paralympic Games next year, according to the Iranian player.
For hosts Egypt, reaching the World Cup men’s final for the first time and securing a spot in Paris 2024 were significant achievements, despite losing the gold medal match.
“We are very happy that our team upgraded its rank. Being qualified for the World Cup final has been a big dream. It’s such an accomplishment,” said Howayda Mondy, director of the Egyptian organizing committee of the competition.
Held in Cairo from November 11 to 18, the 2023 WPV Sitting Volleyball World Cup featured 23 teams from 17 countries and regions: 13 teams in the men’s competition and 10 in the women’s.
Earlier on Saturday, China clinched the women’s Sitting Volleyball World Cup in Cairo after scoring a dramatic 3-1 win over strong rivals Canada.