Girls' U19 World Championship 2023 - News.

Miku Akimoto spiking at the 2023 FIVB Girls' U19 World Championship

Best scorer. 170 points. Miku Akimoto.

Best attacker. 149 points. Miku Akimoto.

These are the statistics before the final games of the 2023 FIVB Girls’ U19 World Championship.

The Japanese international has been delivering an outstanding performance at the competition, leading her country towards the bronze medal match.

The tournament is streamed live on the Volleyball World YouTube channel.

Akimoto (3) after a successful rally for team Japan

Akimoto (3) after a successful rally for team Japan

Still 16-years-old, Miku is already playing a pivotal role in team Japan. Always finding the opponents’ weak spots, the opposite is a player the coaches can always rely on.  

Humble, Miku does not let the good play take away her focus. She remains down-to-earth, and knows there is always room for improvement.

Qualifying for the semifinal at the U19 Worlds, after a five-set battle against Thailand (when she tallied 16 points), Miku shared that she wasn’t satisfied with her performance. 

“I think that my performance wasn’t great, but as teammates, we helped each other, so we claimed the win.”

Appreciating the team spirit, Akimoto is well-aware that she couldn’t have delivered these numbers in the competition so far, without her team working as an well-oiled machine.

21.25 points average per match speak of a great potential. With 149 attack points (42.25% efficiency, 18.62 average per match), 12 block points (27.27% success), nine aces (9.09% success) to her name, Akimoto called the attention of the volleyball world.

Daughter of London 2012 Olympic & 2010 World Champs bronze medallist Ai Akimoto, Miku has started playing volleyball at the age of six. 

“My mother recommended taking up on the volleyball, but we don’t talk about it that much. I am her daughter, and she is my mother.”

Continuing now on a 10+ years of experience on the court, the 185 cm tall player is aiming at paving her own path. 

“I am me. I appreciate the lessons from my mother’s career, but I want to be me.”

Miku Akimoto remains focused during the games

Miku Akimoto remains focused during the games

Playing for the team of Kyoei Gakuen High School, Miku has it all to make a name for herself. 

This summer, she received a call-up for the senior national team, and she plans on seizing the opportunities given by the technical staff. 

“I would like to become an active member of the senior team, reaching the high level.” 

“Akimoto is a well-balanced and promising athlete,” coach Masayoshi Manabe said about her when announcing the roster of 40 players he is relying on during a very busy summer, the highlight of which will be the Olympic qualification for a spot at Paris 2024.  

Representing the true Japanese spirit, the U19 team at the World Championship in Hungary&Croatia is always showing their gratitude to everyone involved in the smooth running of the game - from referees to ball retrievers, everyone feels appreciated. 

“Appreciation. That’s all. We play not only about ourselves, we play about all our coaches, about other players who are watching us, about our fans. We never forget to say “Thank you!” to everybody. This is us. That’s our spirit.” 

Quick links:
FIVB Volleyball Girls' U19 World Championship
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