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Japan off to winning start at Asian Qualification Tournament

Japan team celebrate winning their opening match

Komaki, Japan, September 5, 2013 - Japan earned their first win in the Asian Men’s Final Qualification Tournament for the 2014 FIVB World Championship on Friday with 3-0 (25-18, 25-22, 25-18) victory over Qatar in the opening match in Pool D.

In the first set, Qatar made a number of unforced errors that allowed Japan to take the early initiative and win the first set. However, the visitors improved markedly in the second and third sets and while Mubarak Hammad and Ibrahim Ibrahim proved powerful at the net, they were matched by the spiking prowess of Japan’s Tatsuya Fukuzawa and Yu Koshikawa. 

Fukuzawa, who led scoring for Japan with 17 points said; “We planned tactics on how to confront Qatar’s tall players before match. During the match, we tried to force Qatar into mistakes and it was successful.” 

For Japan coach Gary Sato it was a good start to their qualification campaign; “I was very pleased that players did really good job. We had a strategy and we were able to execute it.”

In the Asian Men’s Final Qualification Tournament, 16 teams are split into four pools of four teams. Only the top ranked team in each pool will win a place at the2014 FIVB World Championship, which will take place in Poland from September 3 to 21. 

Pool A: Australia (host), Kazakhstan, Thailand, Kuwait
Pool B: Iran (host), Pakistan, Indonesia, Bahrain
Pool C: China (host), India, Chinese Taipei, Saudi Arabia
Pool D: Japan (host), Korea, Qatar, New Zealand

Competition Schedule (Time: JST)
*September 6, 2013
13:30 [Men] Korea vs. New Zealand

*September 7, 2013
11:30 [Men] Qatar vs. Korea
14:00 [Men] Japan vs. New Zealand

*September 8, 2013
16:30 [Men] New Zealand vs. Qatar
19:10 [Men] Japan vs. Korea

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