Iran V-ballers defeat Puerto Rico at Olympic qualifiers
Iran's national volleyball team has defeated Puerto Rico at the FIVB Men’s World Olympic Qualification Tournament to keep its hopes of qualifying to the London 2012 Olympics.
Iranian volleyballers downed Puerto Rico 3-1 at Tokyo’s Metropolitan Gymnasium on Wednesday. After enduring its first defeat in the tournament against Australia on Tuesday, Iran was determined to make amends for their 3-1 loss at the hands of Aussies. Iranians caught Puerto Rico off guard and edged past the Puerto Rican side 26 to 24 in the first set.
The Iranian squad won the second set 25-22 but Puerto Rico fought back and claimed the third set 25-22. Julio Velasco's men found their rhythm again in the final set and pummeled Puerto Rico 25-20. Iran will next take on Venezuela on Thursday.
Serbia is on top of the table with 12 points, followed by Australia and Iran with nine and eight points, respectively. Alireza Nadi and Amir Ghafour sparked the Iran attack with 13 points apiece, and Ezequiel Cruz led Puerto Rico with 14 points while Juan Figueroa had 12 points.
"It was tough for our players today after the loss to Australia yesterday. We won the first set in difficult circumstances and then played better after that. We have not yet arrived at our best level in the tournament," Velasco said after the match.