Co-Hosts Italy and Bulgaria set early dominance at Men’s WCH


LAUSANNE, Switzerland, September 9, 2018 - Italy shut out Japan and Bulgaria swept Finland as both co-hosts opened the 2018 FIVB Men's World Championship with victories on Sunday evening, establishing themselves as forces to be reckoned with at the start of the three-week, 94-match volleyball extravaganza.








These are the highlights of Day 1 in Italy and Bulgaria:


• Italy beat Japan 3-0 (25-20, 25-21, 25-23) and Bulgaria outplayed Finland 3-0 (25-21, 25-19, 25-22).
• Ivan Zaytsev led Italy's well-distributed scoring with 13 points. The hosts were vastly superior to Japan on the net, dominating attacking (63% to 45%) and blocking (nine stuffs to one).

• Valentin Bratoev led the scoring for Bulgaria with 14 points, as the Balkan side served eight aces (to three) to counter Finland's eight blocks (to two).

• The opening match in Rome was played in the presence of the President of the Italian Republic, Sergio Mattarella. President of Bulgaria Rumen Radev attended the match in Varna.

Competition resumes on Wednesday 12 September with a full schedule and action across all four six-team pools.

• Italy and Japan move to Florence for the remainder of their Pool A matches, alongside the Dominican Republic, Slovenia, Belgium and Argentina.

• Bulgaria and Finland remain in Varna for the rest of their Pool D matches, alongside Iran, Puerto Rico, Cuba and Poland.

• Pool B in Ruse features France, China, the Netherlands, Canada, Brazil and Egypt.

• Pool C in Bari includes Cameroon, Tunisia, Australia, Russia, USA and Serbia.

Match Centres for Wednesday 12 September:
• Dominican Republic v Slovenia in Florence (Pool A) at 17:00 local time (15:00 GMT)
• Belgium v Argentina in Florence (Pool A) at 20:30 local time (18:30 GMT)
• France v China in Ruse (Pool B) at 14:00 local time (11:00 GMT)
• The Netherlands v Canada in Ruse (Pool B) at 17:00 local time (14:00 GMT)
• Brazil v Egypt in Ruse (Pool B) at 20:30 local time (17:30 GMT)
• Cameroon v Tunisia in Bari (Pool C) at 14:00 local time (12:00 GMT)
• Australia v Russia in Bari (Pool C) at 17:00 local time (15:00 GMT)
• USA v Serbia in Bari (Pool C) at 20:30 local time (18:30 GMT)
• Iran v Puerto Rico in Varna (Pool D) at 17:00 local time (14:00 GMT)
• Cuba v Poland in Varna (Pool D) at 20:30 local time (17:30 GMT)