Dubai: Lebanon captain Jean Abi Chedad praised his country’s best-ever finish in the Asian men’s senior volleyball championships at Hamdan Sports Complex on Sunday.
‘The Cedars’ may have lost the seventh-place play-off to India 3-2 with set scores of 25-27, 25-23, 23-25, 25-21 and 15-17, but their eighth-place finish surpassed a previous best ranking of 11th from 2009. Before that their only other Asian appearance in 1979 saw them finish 13th.
Chedad said: “The national team started just four months ago and we are all new, we started fresh so this is a very good achievement for us and hopefully in the future Lebanon will be in better positions.
“It’s down to the new federation. They are working in a very professional manner and they are taking care of the game and working on the right track. I think by the time the next Asian Championships come around we will be in the final four for sure.”
Lebanon lost to Thailand 3-1 in the preliminaries before beating the UAE and Uzbekistan 3-0 in the group. They were knocked out by Iran 3-0 in the quarter-finals before losing their fifth-place play-off semi-final 3-1 to Thailand.
“We could have been fifth or sixth but we lost to Thailand and even against India, they are good but when you’re both just playing for one more point it’s risky for everybody,” Chedad said. “They got the luck and took the final set.”
7th place playoff
India 3-2 Lebanon
(27-25, 23-25, 25-23, 21-25, 17-15)
5th place playoff
Australia 3-1 Thailand
(26-28, 25-14, 25-18, 26-24)