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Australia to host final round of Asian men’s qualifier for 2014 World Champs

Australian men’s team vows to fight for a berth in 2014 World Championship

Canberra, Australia, July 15, 2003 –The Australian Volleyball Federation announced that the city of Canberra in Australia will host one of the four pool competitions, from September 6 to 8, in the final round of the Asia Men’s Qualification Tournament for the 2014 Men’s World Championship.

Volleyball Australia and the ACT Government jointly announced that the Australian men's Olympic team will take on some of the best teams from Asia in the nation’s capital for a place in next year's World Volleyball Championships.

ACT Minister for Sport Andrew Barr said, “I am delighted that Canberra will be hosting this prestigious event in our Centenary year. It adds to the list of exciting sporting events held here in the capital to celebrate the Centenary.'

The Australian men's team made the volleyball world sit up and take notice when they not only qualified for last year's London Olympics, but then finished in the top ten. Along the way they beat medal favourites, Poland.

The Australians are currently the top ranked team in Asia, and rated 11th in the world. Nearly all of the squad play professionally for European-based clubs.

To get to next year's World Championships in Poland the Australian men's team will have to beat Kazakhstan, Thailand and Kuwait during a hectic Canberra weekend.

President of Volleyball Australia, Craig Carracher said, "This is an exciting time to have Australia back on the world volleyball map and will well and truly launch our 'Digging for Gold' Road to Rio medal campaign."

Carracher is encouraging volleyball fans from all over Australia to come to the capital to show their support for what will be a spectacle of athletic prowess.

Sport fans will be treated to two matches a day at the AIS Arena Stadium.

Minister Barr said, ”The weekend will be a great chance for volleyball fans in Canberra and the local region to see some of the world's best players in action. I encourage all volleyball fans and fans of top flight sporting action in general to spread the word and head to the AIS Arena in September to support the Volleyroos.'

CEO of Volleyball Australia, Judy Flanagan said, “It will be a wonderful and rare opportunity to see these sporting giants (the Australian team was the second tallest at last year's Olympics) in action. As also the second youngest team at the Olympics, they are expected to remain a world force for many years to come.'

A total of 16 teams have qualified for the final round. They are Australia, Iran, China, Japan, South Korea (the five teams automatically qualified as Asia’s top five in the FIVB world ranking), Chinese Taipei from the Eastern Zone, Thailand and Indonesia from the Southeastern Zone, Kazakhstan, India and Pakistan from the Central Zone, Bahrain, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Qatar from the Western Zone, and New Zealand from the Oceania Zone (New Zealand also qualified automatically since no other team registered in their Oceania Zone).

Australia, Iran, China and Japan will jointly host the final round to form Pool A, B, C and D respectively, with three qualified teams joining each pool.

Only the eventual winners from each pool, totaling four from Asia, will then be eligible for next year’s 24-team FIVB World Championship in Poland.



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