FIVB Men's World Olympic Qualification Tournament 2012 | Japan

Press release

Four straight wins on opening day of Olympic qualifier

China together with Iran, Australia and Serbia was winners today

Tokyo, Japan, June 1, 2012 - Australia, China, Iran and Serbia all picked up wins on the first day of action at the FIVB Men's World Olympic Qualifying Tournament at Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium on Friday.

The eight-team round-robin competition has two berths for the London 2012 Olympic Games on the line and an additional one for the highest ranked Asian team.

Australia v Venezuela
World No.22 Australia beat higher ranked Venezuela (17) in straight sets (25-14, 25-22, 25-18). Thomas Edgar for Australia lead his team to victory by scoring 22 points, followed by Adam White with 12 and Igor Yudin six while Venezuela's Pinerua Kervin scored nine followed by Fernando Gonzales seven and Adrian Luis six points for his team.

"It was a particular challenge in this first match. It is always tough in the opening match," Australia coach Jon Uriarte said. "We have a younger team now without as many veterans as in the past. Playing consistent was a challenge for us. We did well on blocking."
"My strategy was for us to make strong serves and create errors on their receptions," Venezuela coach Roberto Garcia explained. "It was not successful. I tried to play systematically in the second set, but this also failed. Australia was very effective with their attacks" he said.

China v Puerto Rico
China overpowered Puerto Rico in three straight sets (25-23, 25-19, 25-17) in the second match of the day. China's Chen Ping was 100 per cent in the block with four from four attempts adding to the team total 13-3. Chen Ping also had four killing blocks.

China coach Zhou Jianan was very content after winning the first match:
"I'm very happy. I was prepared for the worst because the players didn't seem relaxed. The team played their game despite the pressure. Our strategy worked. Our blocking was good", he said.

On the other hand it was a big disappointment for Puerto Rico coach, Carlos Cardona:

"Puerto Rico did not play well today. We made too many errors. Some of our players were not in good condition as they have not recovered from jet lag. We hope to play better tomorrow." he said 

Iran v Korea
Asian Champion Iran were too much for Korea as they downed their rivals in straight sets (25-17, 25-18, 25-16). The legendary Argentinian coach Julio Velasco manage to help the nervous team play tighter in their opening match. Mousavi Eraghi Seyed Mohammad was the best scorer of the match with 17 points in attack and also the best blocker with eight kills, followed by Farhad Ghaemis 15 points, including six aces, and Pourya Fayazidz 10 points.

For Korea Park Chui-Wu earned seven points, and Kim Hak-Min six.

"Everything was good - better than I thought," Velasco said after the match. "Our serve was strong. We studied them. We had a good technical level with confidence and fighting spirit." 

Korea coach - Park Ki-Won blamed the bad reception for losing the match:

"One reason for the loss was we could not shift our defence well," he admitted. "Our serve and reception were not good and not stable at all."

Japan v Serbia
A full house could not stop hosts Japan succumbing to a straight-sets (25-19, 25-23, 25-16) loss to Serbia.

Best spiker for Serbia was Milos Nikic who earned 13 points followed by Marko Podrascanin and Nicola Kovacevic both on 10. Tatsuya Fukuzawa was the top scorer for Japan with 12 points, closely followed by Takahiro Yamamoto's 11 points. Best digger for Japan was Nagano Takeshi with seven. 

"We are very satisfied," Serbia coach Igor Kolakovic said. "The first game against the home team is difficult. Now we will focus on Korea tomorrow."
 We received well tonight which made it easier for our attack."

"Our serve was the primary reason for the defeat," Lamented Japan coach Tatsuya Ueta. "We did some things well. The errors in serve caused the loss."

Day two features Australia v Puerto Rico, China v Iran, Korea v Serbia, Japan v Venezuela.

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