World Olympic Qualification Tournament in Puerto Rico starts tonight, giving four teams the last chance to get their Olympic berth. Puerto Rico, Kenya, Algeria and Colombia will compete in round robin competition over the next three days.
The participants (including rosters) are:
Second and third teams from African Qualifier
Third team from South American Qualifier
Third team from NORCECA Qualifier (host of the tournament)
The competition criteria remain the same: the teams will be classified based on number of wins, points, set ratio and point ratio respectively. If the result still happen to be tied, the result of the match between both teams will decide on the winner.
During the press conference prior to the competition team coaches and captains shared their thoughts.
[quote cite=’Puerto Rico Captain Yarimar Rosa via FIVB’]Our expectations are very clear. If we do our job in the court we will come out through the wide door.[/quote]
[quote cite=’Colombia Captain Maria Alejandra Marin via FIVB’]This is a great opportunity for us and we are going to take advantage of it. Our style of playing has changed since the inclusion of Argentinean coaches.[/quote]
[quote cite=’Algeria coach Belacel Mohamed Amine via FIVB’]Our team is very young and we need to play at our very best to qualify to the Olympics. We have that in mind and being part of this tournament will benefit us in the future tournaments. We are conscious about the level of Puerto Rico and have prepared to play them.[/quote]
[quote cite=’Kenya coach David Lungaho via FIVB’]We have been very busy taking part in many competitions and we believe in the strengths of the team.[/quote]
Who Will End Up With The Olympic Berth?
The hosting team, Puerto Rico, seems the strongest of the competition with regular matches against top world teams in the World Grand Prix series. An advantage of the home court might pay an extra role for them in the coming weekend. With Dominican Republic being out of the road to Rio at the World Qualifier in Japan, Puerto Rico stands in a chance to be the second team (after USA) from NORCECA to check-in at the Olympic Games this year.
Since there is only one Olympic berth to be given at this Qualifier, the remaining spots will not matter. Volleyverse will however share its predictions.
Our final call for the competition result:
- Puerto Rico