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 Press Release
Japan ready to host Asian third round Pool H tournament

Japanese players celebrate at the 2009 World League

Komaki, Japan, 24 August 2009 – Japan is all set to host the Asian third-round Pool H qualifying tournament of the 2010 FIVB Men’s Volleyball World Championship from August 28-30.


Japan (9th in the world ranking) will compete against Korea (18th), Iran (24th), and Kazakhstan (30th) for two tickets to next year’s World Championship in Italy.


The four teams will play a round-robin format where the top two teams will join China and Australia, which qualified in Chengdu China earlier, as representatives of Asia.


Pool H is a very tough one for the four participating teams, with each participant having a decent shot at finishing in the top 2.


Kazakhstan earned their third-round berth after scrapping past Chinese Taipei to top Asian Pool F in Taipei. Iran finished first in Pool D, while Japan and Korea received byes directly to the third round.


The hosts are tipped as one of the favorites to advance, especially when historical matchups are concerned. At the 2007 Asian Volleyball Championship, Japan beat Korea 3-1, and at the qualification tournament for the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Japan grabbed another 3-1 victory over Korea.


Japan also holds the advantage over Iran, beating them 3-0 at the last Asian Senior Championship and winning 3-1 at the qualification tournament for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.


The last time Japan played Kazakhstan was at 15th Asian Games held in Doha, Qatar, where they won in straight sets.


Before the start of 2009 season, Tatsuya Ueta, Japan’s head coach, said “the tournament for the 2010 World Championship in Italy will be the most important event this season.” Japan’s ace spiker Yu Koshikawa also mentioned that his aim was to qualify.


After finishing the World League tournament, Japan had a camp in Hokkaido from August 1-12. Japan has been preparing for the tournament in Tokyo since August 17.


Korea is also a traditional powerhouse in Asia. Korea had better results than Japan at the 2008 Asian Cup, finishing second while Japan finished fourth. This year both Korea and Japan struggled at the World League, with Korea finishing 14th and Japan 15th among the 16 participating teams.


Since 1993, Korea has clinched three gold medals at the Asian Men’s Volleyball Championship, finishing in the top three four times (they finished fifth in 1997).


Iran is making impressive progress in recent years and may pose a big threat to Japan and Korea. They beat Japan and Korea in the Asian Cup to place the first. In the previous three Asian Men’s Volleyball Championships, Iran finished third, sixth and fifth. The Iranian team has worked very hard preparing for the third-round tournament.


Tournament Schedule:

August 28

15:00 Iran vs. Korea

18:30 Japan vs.  Kazakhstan


August 29

11:30 Korea vs.  Kazakhstan

14:30 Japan vs.  Iran


August 30

11:30 Kazakhstan vs. Iran

14:30 Japan vs. Korea



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30/08/2009 Japan, Iran qualify for Italy 2010
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