FIVB Men's World Olympic Qualification Tournament 2012 | Japan

Press release

Australia rout China to book Olympic ticket

Australia second team to clinch a ticket to the London Olympic Games in the last day of the round robin qualifying tournament in Tokyo on Sunday. China ended up at 5th position

 Tokyo, June 10, 2012 – Australia booked their spot in the London Olympics with a storming 3-0 win (25-12, 25-20, 25-13) over China on the final day of action in the FIVB Men’s Olympic Qualification Tournament at Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium on Sunday. 

Australia were led by Thomas Edgar with 15 points, while China’s top scorer was Zhang Chen with eight points. Australia outblocked China 10-1 and outserved them 5-3.

Australia had a lively start with captain Igor Yudin and Adam While getting in some heavy hits, while China’s Liang Chunlong got some good mileage from short sets in the center. Three poor plays by China prompted coach Zhou Jianan to call a timeout at 7-11, but a big block by Aidan Zingel on Zhong Weijun extended Australia’s lead. Yudin then came up with a sensational defensive reaction shot that landed in China’s backcourt and Australia steamrollered their way to a seven-point lead at the second technical timeout. Another big hit by Thomas Edgar and Zhou called another timeout. It didn’t get any better for China; they weren’t in the game at all and failed to get one block point in the first set. Setpoint came on a rotation error and a spike by White put Australia one-set up. 

China came out with renewed resolve in the second set and a strong spell of serving by captain Cui Jianjun and good attacking play by Zhang Chen gave them a slight advantage. A brilliant recovery from over the scorer’s desk set up a point that put China 6-3 up and they held on to that margin to the first TTO. Two misplaced hits by White took the score to 11-7 and Australia coach Jon Uriarte called his players off court for a talk. Edgar, Yudin and White then pulled their team level at 11, prompting Zhou to haul his team off court. Cui’s enthusiasm then got the better of him when he hit a serve into the crowd, but he did better a few plays later when he hit a rocket through the Aussie defence. Bian Hongmin added a shot and China were two points up at the second TTO. But Zhang, Cui and Chen Ping blew big chances to secure China’s lead and blocks by Edgar and Zingel (twice) blew a big hole in China’s hopes of leveling the scores. Zingel’s second block made the score 24-20 and Edgar planted a shot in the China court to put Australia 2-0 up.  

Zingel got his team off to a good start in the third set and two wide shots from China saw the score run to 6-2. Zhou called his players off court, but the Australians were in control and were five points ahead at the first TTO. A block by Zingel on Yuan Zhi made the score 13-7 and prompted Zhou to use his second timeout, but the truth was China had no answer for the rampant Australians. Three successive China errors widened the gap to 16-8 at the second TTO and a superb spell of serving by Edgar – including three unreturnable shots – all but finished them off. Matchpoint came on a netted serve by Yu Dawei and White finished things off with a crisp crosscourt smash. 

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