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Men’s WOQT Day 5 Recap: First Olympic berth secured

Thursday, 02 Jun 2016
Zuzanna Dulnik - @ZetDe04
Poland celebrates the Olympic berth, secured after victory over Venezuela at Men’s WOQT (Photo: FIVB)

The first Olympic berth is already secured, when Poland won its fifth match in the competition. after their victories, France and Iran are in a strong position to join Poland on Saturday.

If they do, the last berth will be going to one of the three teams that are still in the race: Canada, China or Australia. Japan and Venezuela lost their chances to join Rio 2016 party.

Check out WOQT Day 3 Recap here.

France v Canada

Result: 3-0 (25-17, 25-17, 25-16) – watch full match here

France edged Canada in straight sets, keeping tis second position in Men’s WOQT ranking. The team is close to claim the Olympic berth on the Day 6 on Saturday. Canada is still in the race and will most likely fight for the Olympic berth with Australia and China, if France and Iran win their Rio 2016 tickets on Saturday.

Today’s win was important. We feel Rio is not too far away now. The morning match start made it difficult today. Canada rested their top players today and we went against players we didn’t expect to play, so that made it tough.
France are one of the best teams in the tournament and the world. They have probably the best technical level in the world and we warned our guys about this. We struggled to stay focused today. We must now turn our attention to the last two matches and get ready for Japan and China.

Read pre-WOQT interviews with Roberto Santilli and Nehemiah Mote.

Iran v China

Result: 3-2 (26-24, 22-25, 25-19, 17-25, 18-16) – watch full match here

China goes for another lost tie-break, this time against their main opponent in the race for Olympic berth for the bets Asian team, Iran. Lozano’s team grabbed the victory at last, remaining third in the Men’s WOQT ranking and having a strong campaign to claim Rio 2016 ticket as top Asian team already on Saturday.

There was too much pressure and attention on both teams today, but I am happy that we won in the end and got closer to qualifying to the Rio 2016 Olympics Games.
We won two sets, but in key moments Iran showed their strength. We were overwhelmed by the pressure and weren’t able to show our real power. For some of the our players this is their first major competition, but they played very well today. Our level is not as high as Iran’s. That was the reason for our loss today. We just have to play hard and not give up for the last two games.

Read interview with Stephane Antiga and Laurent Tillie here.

Poland v Venezuela

Result: 3-0 (25-21, 25-17, 25-18) – watch full match here

Poland is the first team to celebrate in Japan, as their fifth victory gave the team Olympic berth. Three sets against Venezuela extended Poland’s winning streak at Men’s WOQT. This was team’s third chance to qualify to Rio 2016. Poland played World Cup and finished third, losing their chance for an Olympic berth by one set. In Berlin, during European OQT Poland got to the semi-final where they were stopped by France. In the match for the third place – which was securing the spot at WOQt in JapanPoland defeated Germany in a thrilling tie-breaker.

It is an amazing feeling to go to the Olympics two times in a row. It’s a dream come true. We could not qualify through the World Cup or European OQT, but finally we are going to the Olympics. We won five matches in a row although our level was not so well. Now, we will go to Rio and try win there.
We did pretty well. Our rhythm and ball speed were good. Poland are a strong team and we could not cope with them. We need to improve on our counter-attack.

Glenn Hoag talks to Volleyverse ahead of WOQT – read here.

Full WOQT schedule can be found here.

Australia v Japan

Result: 3-0 (25-23, 25-19, 29-27) – watch full match here

Volleyroos secure their second victory, defeating Men’s WOQT hosting team Japan in straight sets. Australia extends its chance to qualify to Rio 2016 and will be fighting for the last Olympic berth with China and Canada (should France and Iran secure the other two tickets). Japan is out of the race before last two matches in the competition.

We are very happy about the result. This has been a difficult tournament, but we have played better day-by-day. We deserved to win tonight but we were lucky. We made some substitutions in the third set and that was key. We will rest tomorrow and then focus on our next match with China. Carroll, Sanders and Staples really did well. We played like a real team.
Even with the lead we allowed them to turn it around. It was an exceptional kind of pressure. We could not play in our normal way, but the players did their best. I apologise to the fans at the stadium, the players, and those who watched on TV. The two games left should be used to leave hope for the future of the national team.

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