At only 16, Hasan is a starting middle blocker for Bahrain
Hasan Alaiwi was born on November 7, 2004, which makes him the youngest player participating in the FIVB Volleyball U21 Men’s World Championship 2021. And while in many cases athletes who play above their age category are substitute players, Hasan is a key member of the Bahraini team.
Hasan Alaiwi at the mixed zone
The 16-year-old middle blocker is just above 1.89m tall, but he has earned his spot on the main line-up of Bahrain’s U21 national team. Alaiwi was among the starters in each of the three matches his team has played in Sofia so far, and although they lost all three, they performed at a much higher level than people would normally expect.
“I am the youngest one on the team, but I am in the starting line-up. All the older players help me a lot on the court. I also try to help them a lot. We support each other,” Alaiwi told Volleyball World at the Levski Sofia volleyball hall in Bulgaria. “For me, it’s so exciting to be here, at the World Championship. It’s even more exciting to play with athletes older than me and gain valuable experience. To listen to what the coach has to say, to be part of the team and part of the teamwork is what helps me grow.”
Hasan Alaiwi hustles with his teammates
Despite his young age, Hasan says he has been in volleyball for quite a long time.
“I started playing volleyball 10 years ago. We play a lot of volleyball in the streets everywhere in our country. So I started playing in the street as well. Later on I joined a club.”
Now he is a member of the Dar Kulaib volleyball club.
According to him, the spike and the serve are his strongest points on the court, but he has also shown some good blocking in Sofia. There are two aces, five attack kills and two stuffs on his nine-point tally at the tournament so far.
Hasan Alaiwi spikes against Cuba
French star Earvin Ngapeth is Alaiwi’s volleyball idol.
“He is always cool and calm on the court. He has a lot of experience and knows how to control the ball and how to stay in control of what is going on on the court,” Hasan said.
The young Bahraini hopeful has a career goal: “I want to be a sports teacher or a sports manager.” He also has a dream – “I want to be the best player in Asia.” But right now he is focused on his team’s current targets.
“I am motivated by our goals as a team – to be good on the court, to show what we have trained for over the past six months and to represent Bahrain in the best possible way here,” Hasan Alaiwi concluded.
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