London 2012 eludes Iran as it finishes third
Iran's national volleyball team has defeated hosts Japan in three straight sets in a formality game on the final day of the FIVB Men’s World Olympic Qualification Tournament.
The Iranians marched past their opponents 25-21, 35-33, and 25-22 on Sunday at Tokyo’s Metropolitan Gymnasium but the win was not enough to book their flight to the London 2012 games.
The win took Iran's point tally to 14 which meant a third place finish behind second-spot Australia, who had brushed China aside 25-12, 25-20 and 25-13 earlier in the day to bag 15 points and qualify as the best ranked Asian side.
Australia joined Serbia who booked their place in the Olympics as champions with an impressive seven wins out of seven.
Iran had earlier defeated South Korea, China, Puerto Rico and Venezuela, but fallen against Serbia and Australia.
“I would like to congratulate Serbia and Australia for their Olympics qualification and I want to congratulate Japan for being good hosts. I also want to congratulate our own team, because it wasn’t easy to prepare for today’s game,” Iran’s Argentinean coach Julio Velasco said in the post-match news conference.
“Our team and Japan were very sad before this game because of the failure to qualify for the Olympics, but we took to the court for honour, for the [Iranian] federation and our own efforts,” he added.