Tokyo, Japan, June 5, 2016 – Canada knocked China out of the race for the final ticket after their victory in the fifth set (25-16, 20-25, 26-24, 25-20, 15-9) at the Men’s World Olympic Qualification Tournament at Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium on Sunday.
John Gordon Perrin and Gavin Schmitt hit beyond the 20-point mark as they delivered an inspiring performance to keep Canada’s hopes up. Perrin delivered 27 points, while Schmitt recorded 23 points. Yuan Zhi top scored for China, followed by Zhang Chen, who scored 14 points.
Canada and China came up with split victories in the first two sets. Canada played their power game that involved Perrin and Schmitt hitting relentlessly against the Chinese block. Canada started to gain speed after the first technical timeout and mounted their biggest lead at 23-15. Canada easily scored on the next two plays and closed the set 25-16. China bounced back in the second frame and earned their three-point lead from Zhang’s attacks 8-5. Zhong Weijun and Zhi got involved in the Chinese offence and that gave them a wider lead at 22-17, until Zhang delivered the set winner 25-20.
Canada managed to gain a one-point lead at the first technical timeout of the third set. As the Canadians led 9-7, play had to be stopped as Perrin was down on the floor from a bad fall. The Canadian hitter got back on his feet and led his side to mount a 20-15 advantage. China managed to cut down the lead with excellent plays and two service aces by Ji Daoshuai and Cui Jianjun have set the tone for their comeback. A block completed it as the score was tied at 22-all. Schmitt tried to give his side some breathing space at 24-23, but Ji and Yuan scored the next three points to snatch the victory for China 26-24. In the fourth set, Canada could not pull away in the beginning as China played excellent defence. Canada managed to gain a 21-17 advantage, as Perrin and Duff contributed from the attack and service lines, respectively. Steven Marshall forced the tie-breaker with a kill 25-20.
Canada had an inspiring run and led 8-2 at side change. China managed to score in the next few plays but Canada countered well to safeguard their lead. China missed on an attack that gave Canada a 13-8 advantage. Canada deflected a shot for set point and the final attack secured them set and match 15-9.
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