Lausanne, Switzerland, December 30, 2015 - Russia collected their third straight and ninth overall U21 title, undefeated in seven games at the 2015 FIVB Volleyball Men's U21 World Championship in Mexico, providing added value to their U23 world gold earlier in the season.
Proud moment on the podium with the trophy, to the sound of the Russia National Anthem.
Russia cruised through pool play and the semifinal, dropping only a set to Canada and another to Brazil in the semifinals 3-1 (25-23, 25-21, 18-25, 25-21).
Argentina had lost in pool play to Russia, but had otherwise defeated everyone else to make their own way to the semifinals, where they crushed China 3-0 (25-22, 26-24, 25-14).
That set up a repeat of the final of four years ago at the Maracanazinho. And the outcome was again identical, with Russia prevailing in five sets 3-2 (20-25, 18-25, 25-16, 25-21, 15-11) after an epic comeback.
Russia were led by the remarkable performance of Pavel Pankov, at the head of a Dream Team of stars of the future.
Dream Team of the 2015 FIVB Volleyball Men's U21 World Championship in Mexico, left to right: MVP, Pavel Pankov (Russia); Best Libero, Santiago Danani (Argentina); Best Middle Blockers Osman Durmaz (Turkey) & Zhang Zhejia (China); Best Outside Hitters, Denis Bogdan (Russia) & Dmitry Volkov (Russia); Best Opposite, Caio Oliveira (Brazil); Best Setter, Matias Sanchez (Argentina).
Final ranking of the 2015 FIVB Volleyball Men's U21 World Championship: