Alessandro Michieletto helps Italy to European men's crown

Italy beat Slovenia in Katowice as Cameroon's women won a third straight African title and Iran retained their Asian men's trophy.

By Rory Jiwani
Picture by 2021 Getty Images

Italy defeated Slovenia 3-2 to take their sixth European men's volleyball title in Katowice, Poland on Sunday (19 September).

Alessandro Michieletto posted 17 points with wing spiker Daniele Lavia topping the scoresheets with 21 points, as the Italians twice came from behind to win 22-25, 25-20, 20-25, 25-20, 15-11.

Alen Pajenk's 16 points proved in vain for Slovenia who suffered their third defeat in the last four finals as their quest for a first European title continues.

Despite missing star names Ivan Zaytsev and Osmany Juantorena, Italy clinched their first success since 2005 just two weeks after the women defeated Serbia in Belgrade to clinch their third European crown.

By reaching the final, Italy and Slovenia have both qualified for next year's FIVB Men's World Championship in Russia.

Hosts Poland took bronze with a 3-0 (25-22, 25-16, 25-22) win over reigning champions Serbia.

Cameroon completed a hat-trick of African women’s titles with victory over perennial rivals Kenya in the Rwandan capital Kigali.

The teams met for the third final in a row with Cameroon taking the first two sets.

Kenya hit back in the third despite having top blocker Gladys Ekaru stretchered off with a knee injury.

In her absence, they were unable to complete the comeback as Cameroon won 3-1 (25-21, 25-23, 15-25, 25-23) with Rio 2016 Olympian Christelle Tchoudjang Nana claiming the MVP award.

Reaching the final saw both teams book their place at next year's FIVB Women's World Championship in the Netherlands and Poland.

Morocco took bronze with a 3-0 (25-19, 25-17, 25-18) win over Nigeria.

Iran exacted revenge on hosts Japan to retain their Asian Men’s Volleyball Championship crown in Chiba.

The Japanese won the sides’ all-or-nothing final group meeting to reach the quarter-finals at Tokyo 2020.

It was a different story this time with the visitors, without some of their star names, winning in three tight sets - 27-25, 25-22, 31-29.

This was Iran's fourth triumph in six competitions with Japan winning the other two from a record total of nine titles.

By reaching the final, both teams qualified for the FIVB Men's World Championships which starts in August.

China swept aside Chinese Taipei 3-0 (25-17, 25-16, 25-17) to take bronze.