Iran v-ballers down China at Olympic qualifiers
Iran's national volleyball team has defeated China at the FIVB Men’s World Olympic Qualification Tournament in Japan.
Iranian volleyballers edged past China 3-2 in a thrilling five-set match at Tokyo’s Metropolitan Gymnasium on Saturday.
China took the lead and snatched the first set 25-23 but the Iranian squad climbed back soon to win the next set 25-21.
China won the third set 31-29 but the Iranian players went on to take the last two sets 25-15 and 15-13 to snatch their second win of the tourney.
Hamzeh Zarrini led Iran with 27 points, while China’s top scorer was Bian Hongmin with 16.
Iran’s Argentinean coach Julio Velasco said after the match, "I’m very happy with this win because we knew China is one of the best teams in the competition,” adding, “Also, we lost to them in the World Cup, so we knew it would be difficult to win. We have worked hard on our reception and yesterday and today our reception was really good.”
Iran is scheduled to take on Australia on June 5.
The FIVB World Olympic Qualification Tournament, which doubles as the Asian Olympic Continental Qualifier, is taking place at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium.
The tournament welcomes teams from Japan, China, Australia, Iran, Venezuela, Puerto Rico, Serbia, and South Korea in a round robin event that runs from June 1 to 10, including three rest days.
The eventual champions and best ranked Asian side, independently of which countries finish in the podium positions, will be granted the ticket to the upcoming London 2012 Summer Games.
Teams that have already secured berths are the host Britain as well as Russia, Poland, Brazil, Tunisia, USA, Italy, and Argentina.