China secured their fourth FIVB Women’s World Cup with a 3-1 (25-17, 22-25, 25-21, 25-22) victory over Japan in the final match of the tournament to deny Team USA automatic Olympic qualification.
After Serbia, USA and Russia all won their final clashes earlier on Day 11, the Chinese simply had to beat Japan to win the World Cup and secure one of the two Olympic Games berths on offer.
Everything was going to plan after a comfortable first set before the tournament hosts claimed the second to make things interesting.
With Team USA anxiously keeping track of the scores, China held their nerve to take the final two sets and see off Japan in four tough sets.
China finished the round-robin tournament with a 10-1 record and 30 competition points.
Serbia also won 10 of their 11 games to finish second and book their ticket to Rio, but they very nearly blew it on the final day.
Having won the first two sets the magnitude of the occasion seemingly caught up with the Serbians as Argentina stole the third and fourth.
But they held their nerve to hold on for a 3-2 (25-16, 25-19, 20-25, 23-25, 15-4) win and wrap up all-important second place.
Serbia’s recovery was bad news for Team USA who held up their end of the bargain with a comfortable 3-0 (25-10, 25-19, 25-17) victory over the Dominican Republic.
Karch Kiraly’s side had to settle for third spot with a 9-2 record and 28 competition points.
Russia pummeled Algeria 25-5, 25-6, 25-8 in the second match of the final day, but it wasn’t enough as they finished in fourth place, also with a 9-2 record (27 points).
Japan (7-4, 22 points) finished fifth while Korea (5-6, 16 points) came in sixth.
In other results on Day 11, Kenya beat Peru in five sets (23-25, 29-27, 25-27, 25-23, 15-13) while Cuba also went the distance with Korea in a 25-22, 18-25, 16-25, 30-28, 15-13 victory.