France and Iran need a win to secure the three remaining Olympic berths at the Men's World Olympic Qualification Tournament in Tokyo
Tokyo, Japan, June 3, 2016 – After five days of intense competition, three berths are still up for grabs at the Men’s World Olympic Qualification Tournament at Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium, as Poland are the only team that have earned the Olympic ticket after a 5-0 winning run.World Olympic Qualification Tournament Match Centres:China v AustraliaVenezuela v FrancePoland v IranJapan v Canada
Poland secured their ticket on Thursday, when they defeated Venezuela in straight sets. On Friday, the world champions will meet Iran, which gained advantage when they defeated Asian rivals China for the Asian quota. Iran are currently in third place with a 4-1 record, while Poland are qualified to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and are on the top spot. These two sides will play in the third match at 6:40 GMT.
China, which are in fourth place with a 3-2 card, will meet another continental rival, Australia, in the first match at 1:10 GMT.
China have shown that they can get physical in their previous matches against powerful sides such as Poland and Iran. Both of these matches were played in five exhausting sets, which is something the Chinese need to be accustomed to in this kind of competition. China have to be tougher as they had lapses closing their previous matches.
On the other hand, Australia are in a must-win situation, as they share the same win-loss records with China and Canada. However, Paul Carroll’s performance against France and Thomas Edgar’s performance against Japan are good indications that the two heavy-hitters can withstand any blocks.
Olympic Qualification Process
France and Venezuela will play each other in the second match at 3:55 GMT. France are just one win away from taking the ticket to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. If they do so, the French team will be appearing in their fourth Olympic Games. However, that will depend on their performance against Venezuela. Although the South American side is winless in the tournament, their main hitter Kervin Martin Pinerua is highly capable of penetrating strong defence. The European side will need to have concentration and the sharpness from start to finish.
Meanwhile, Canada and hosts Japan will dispute in the fourth match at 10:15 GMT, Canada are in a must-win situation to stay in contention. The Canadian scoring trio – Gavin Schmitt, Nicholas Hoag and John Gordon Perrin – need to step up in their game, while Japan need Kunihiro Shimizu, Yuki Ishikawa and Masahiro Yanagida to improve their win-loss card.