25 September 2023


Media & Press 〰️

VNL 2023: Bronze for Japan! World Champions Italy defeated at tie break!

3 min read

Japan celebrate today an historic result!
Led by Captain Yuki Ishikawa they collected a dramatic five-set victory over Italy in Gdańsk to secure their first medal in the Volleyball Nations League!
With an outstanding performance, the Asians triumphed at tie break (25:18, 25:23, 17:25, 17:25, 15:9) against reigning world champions in the bronze medal match of the 2023 edition of the tournament, at a very hot Ergo Arena.

The victory in the bronze medal match in Gdańsk brought Japan back to the podium in a world-level men’s international volleyball event for the first time since 2009, when they claimed bronze in the FIVB Grand Champions Cup.
The Asian side was very strong in the 1960s and 1970s, having won three Olympic medals (one gold, one silver, one bronze) and two bronzes in the FIVB Volleyball World Championship at the time, but now this could be the first step to a new era.


The most iconic player, superstar outside hitter Yuki Ishikawa was decisive in the bronze medal match against the European powerhouse, as he scored 21-point all in attack, including the ball that closed the game.
Kento Miyaura, who replaced the injured star opposite Yuji Nishida, also had an outstanding performance, firing as many as seven aces, 12 points in attack and one block in his 20-point display, while outside hitter Ran Takahashi contributed with 12 points including one winning block.
After first two amazing sets, Japan temporarily stop to play and Italy were very competitive, taking advantage from the rivals’ blackout, especially thanks to the strong match of their high-scoring trio of outside hitters Alessandro Michieletto (16 points including four aces and one block) and Daniele Lavia (14 points including 3 winning blocks), and opposite Yuri Romanò, who scored 15 (14 kills and one block).
The Italians dominated the blocking game, getting 13 points to Japan’s only four, but the Asians did a very good job also benefited from more opponent errors (32 to 27) and playing an excellent fifth set.

After the VNL, Japan will fight for their tenth continental title in the 2023 Asian Championship, which will be played in Tehran, Iran, from August 18-26, but their last and most important tournament in 2023 will be the FIVB Road to Paris Olympic volleyball qualifier.
They will host Pool B from September 30-October 8 and will face USA, Slovenia, Serbia, Türkiye, Tunisia, Egypt and Finland for only two spots in the Paris 2024 Games.
Today’s rivals Italy will also fight in their continental competition and they will try to defend the European Championship title they won in 2021 in this year’s edition of the tournament, which will be played from August 18-26 in Italy, Bulgaria, Israel and North Macedonia.
About the Paris Olympic volleyball qualifier, they will face Brazil, Iran, Cuba, Ukraine, Germany, Czech Republic and Qatar in Pool A, which will be hosted by Brazil.



July 23, 2022 @ Gdansk 🇵🇱 —

BRONZE MEDAL MATCH | 17:00 (Local Time) | Japan – Italy 3-2 (25:18, 25:23, 17:25, 17:25, 15:9)

GOLD MEDAL MATCH | 20:00 (Local Time) | Poland – USA 3-1 (25:23, 24:26, 25:18, 25:18)



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VNL 2023: NEWS


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