Tokyo, Japan, June 4, 2016 – Thomas Edgar's 21 points led Australia to an impressive 3-1 (25-23, 25-22, 20-25, 26-24) win over China at the Men’s World Olympic Qualification Tournament at Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium on Saturday.
The win keeps Australia's chance of qualifying for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games alive. Nathan Roberts, Aidan Zingel and Nehemiah Mote contributed to the Australian victory with 12, 11 and 10 points, respectively. Zhang Chen top scored for China with 17 markers, while Dai Qingyao and Chen Longhai logged 13 and 12 points, respectively.
China led in the first set by a constant one-point lead over Australia after the first technical timeout. It was only towards the end of the set where the Australians managed to turn things around and gain the two-point edge over their counterparts. However, China were able to level the score on hits from the right flank, topped by an ace by Cui Jianjun to tie the score at 21-all. Australia still got ahead of the race as Edgar sealed the Australian set victory at 25-23. Australia started to convert on their attack attempts and their blocks, which allowed them to get a two-point edge early in the second set. China tried to bounce back but Australia were quick to react and Edgar punched in points that protected their lead and secure the second set 25-22.
Nathan Roberts came up with great offence to start the third set with a lead for Australia. China then managed to contain the attacks of their rivals and started to make a run at the end of the second set. Edgar started to miss on his attempts from the attack and service, which gave China the advantage 24-20. Chen blocked Edgar in his final attack attempt to swing the momentum to the Chinese side 25-20. In the fourth set, Australia regained their focus in the match and led by a slim margin at 16-15. The succeeding plays were a race to the end. Australia got the better end of it as Ji Daoshuai committed a reception error that gave Australia set point 24-23. China levelled again with a spike down the line to level at 24-all. Finally, Paul Carroll delivered a big kill from the right flank then a block on the Chinese opposite gave the Australians set and match victory 26-24.