There was plenty for Argentina's fans to cheer about this weekend, but there will be more to celebrate in Italy next year
Lausanne, August 31, 2009 —
It’s been a long, exciting journey from the start of qualifiers for the 2010
FIVB Men’s World Championship way back on November 29, 2008. But at the
completion of the final three men’s qualifying tournaments this weekend, the
wait is over to see who hosts Italy and defending champions Brazil will do
battle with next September 24-October 10.
On Sunday, the list of 24
teams was finally completed. As expected, Argentina ruled South American Pool
A, easily booking their ticket at the expense of Colombia, Bolivia and Chile.
Things didn’t go quite as
expected in Asia Pool H, however, as Iran managed to wrest one of two berths
handed out on Sunday from Korea, who fell to 1-2 at the competition with a
straight-sets loss to group winner Japan on the final day. Korea, which has
appeared at seven of the last nine World Championships, was considered a
favorite to advance along with Japan.
Iran (2-1) needed Japan to
beat Korea on the final day in order to ensure their progress at the
tournament. Iran head coach Hossein Madani was full of praise for the
Japanese players after their storming victory over Korea, having expressed his
hopes for a "fair match" earlier in the day.
"I appreciate the
Japanese players very much because they worked very hard and showed fair
play," he added.
"It was very difficult
for me to watch the game, especially in the first set, but the Japanese players
did their best. I appreciate the players, the coach and the fans of
Elsewhere on Sunday, Canada
and Mexico advanced from the NORCECA Playoff Round in Guadalajara, Mexico at the expense of Dominican Republic and Panama. The Canadians swept through
the group, winning all three matches without dropping a set, while Mexico
qualified for its first World Championship appearance since 1982 by finishing
with a 2-1 record.
In July, Puerto
Rico became the first team to qualify for the Final Round in Italy. After that,
the trickle turned into a flood.
got the ball rolling when an undefeated Russia and Germany finished 1-2 in Pool
I in Tampere, Finland in a third-round qualifying tournament that ended on
days later in South America, Venezuela joined Brazil as one of three teams that
will represent that continent at the Worlds. Venezuela beat Paraguay,
Uruguay and Ecuador on home soil in Pool B.
16, Tunisia became the first of three teams to qualify from Africa when it went
unbeaten in Pool D against Algeria, Kenya and Mozambique. Egypt became the
second team to qualify when it downed Nigeria on the final day of Pool C
qualifying in Cairo on Friday. Cameroon snared the final berth by winning Pool
E on home soil at the expense of South Africa, Mauritius and Zimbabwe.
of four teams from Asia to qualify also did so on August 16, when undefeated
China and runner-up Australia advanced from Asia Pool G in Chengdu, China.
Puerto Rico as a NORCECA representative in the Final Round on the same day, with
the United States joining them 24 hours later.
six European spots were also filled on August 16, with Bulgaria, Czech
Republic, Poland, France, Serbia and Spain all advancing on a hectic day of
Volleyball activity around the globe.