After another heart-breaking five-set loss to host and eventual champion Iran in the semifinal, the Indian spikers regrouped well to defeat a fighting Chinese Taipei 23-25, 25-20, 25-16, 27-25 for the bronze in the second Asia Men's Cup volleyball championship at Uruomieh in Iran on Saturday.

India, which gained a lucky entry thanks to Indonesia's last minute pull-out, took an hour and 36 minutes to close out the match. The taller Indian players made the best use of their height advantage in both attack and block.

After 24 years

The Indians had reasons to celebrate as a medal at the Asian level had come to them after a gap of 24 years. The last time India won a medal was at the Seoul Asian Games in 1986 under the captaincy of Cyril C. Valloor.

Guruchand and Vibin George did most of the damage for the Taipei team. “They were extraordinary in both attack and serve. Kanakaraj did a fantastic job in reception and Ukkrapandian in set-up,” said G.E. Sridharan, its Chief Coach.

Sanjay Kumar was declared the best scorer of the championship.

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