World Olympic Qualifier kicks off on Saturday

Less than 12 hours keep us from the last World Olympic Qualification Tournament (WOQT) on Tokyo. Eight teams will compete in round robin system to secure one of the four available tickets to Rio 2016. Who will win the Olympic berth?

WOQT doubles with the Asian Olympic Qualifier, giving one separate qualification for the best ranked Asian team. The remaining three spots will go to the best three ranked teams. If Asian team will be among the best top three in the competition, the fourth spot goes to the fourth best team at the tournament in Tokyo.

The participants (including rosters) are:

The hosting team

Top three Asian teams from FIVB World Ranking

Second and third teams from European Qualifier in Ankara

Second team from South American Qualifier

Second team from NORCECA Qualifier

The competition will kick off with the match between Korea and Italy, with the competition going until May 22. Teams will take a break on May 16 and 19. You can find full schedule here.

Who will end up with the Olympic berth?

Theoretically the two European teams, Italy and Netherlands, are a level above the others and should book their tickets to Rio 2016.

Japan is always a dangerous team playing in front of their crowd, in 2010 they surprised some powerhouses, grabbed a bronze medal and followed with bronze medal at Olympic Games in London 2012. In the World Cup last year, despite ending fifth, Japanese the four favourites a run for their money. The home team should be in the top three at the WOQT and confirm their presence at Maracanazinho arena, in August, in Rio.

If Japan placed among the three first, then another top team will get a spot at the Olympics. Hard to say which one would win this race, but led by London Olympics MVP Kim Yeon-Koung, the Koreans have a pretty good chance to make it again. Volleyverse will however give its vote to Dominican Republic, who welcomed back to the squad Bethania de la Cruz.

Our final call for the top four teams:

  1. Netherlands
  2. Italy
  3. Japan
  4. Dominican Republic