Men's Olympic Games 2004
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Day 5
23 August
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Poland claim last quarterfinal spot
Athens, Greece, August 23, 2004 – Another riveting day of Volleyball action concluded on Monday with Poland claiming the last quarterfinal berth in the 2004 Olympic Games men’s Volleyball competition after sealing a dramatic five-set thriller 3-2 (25-19, 25-22, 23-25, 22-25, 20-18) against Argentina. With seven of the eight quarterfinalists already confirmed on Saturday, the final spot in Pool A was left for France and Poland to compete for. After France’s early morning 3-1 (25-23, 18-25, 25-19, 25-19) win over Tunisia, Poland needed to claim two sets to stay alive in the tournament and they did more than enough with their five-set win.
"We played an excellent match,” Poland’s Dawid Murek said. “It was an extremely important match for us because it allows us to continue in the next phase of this tournament. We managed to show everyone that we know how to play Volleyball."
"I am very pleased today” Polish head coach Stanislaw Gosciniak said. “Despite the fact that we lost two sets and Sebastian Swiderski to injury, we managed to continue to the next phase."
In Pool A’s other match Sydney 2000 champions Serbia and Montenegro beat Greece in a five-set thriller 3-2 (21-25, 38-36, 25-13, 23-25, 15-12) to claim pole position.
Meanwhile, all four quarterfinal spots in Pool B were already decided, but with only the order to be confirmed both of the top teams were beaten.
World champions Brazil held onto top spot in Pool B despite suffering their first defeat in the tournament 3-0 (25-22, 25-23, 18-25, 25-22) to USA, while Italy remained in second place in the pool despite a hard fought 3-2 (25-16, 25-22, 22-25, 23-25, 15-13) defeat at the hands of Russia. USA’s win saw them pip Russia for third place.
The Netherlands won the battle of the wooden spoon, handing Australia their fifth successive defeat 3-0 (25-22, 25-17, 25-16) to finish in fifth place.
Following today’s matches the quarterfinal draw has been confirmed with Serbia and Montenegro playing Russia/USA at 14:00, Argentina playing Italy at 16:00, Greece playing Russia/USA at 19:30 and Poland playing Brazil at 21:30.
The quarterfinals of the women’s competition begin on Tuesday at 14:00 with Japan playing China followed by Korea taking on Russia at 16:00. At 19:30 Italy play Cuba before the match of day sees the world number one USA take on world number two and World Grand Prix champions Brazil at 21:30.

Poland and France for last quarterfinal spot
ATHENS, 22 August – One spot at the quarterfinals is still to be decided between two teams; Poland and France when the final day of the men’s Preliminary Round action begins on Tuesday.
While Pool B has already confirmed their quarterfinalists with Brazil, Italy, Russia and USA just needing to finalize their order, Pool A has an interesting scenario where France and Poland must win to claim the fourth quarterfinal spot behind Sydney 2000 champions Serbia and Montenegro, Argentina and Greece.
At 09:00 France will be seeking a straight sets win over Tunisia. The 'tricolours' not only need to win, but they also have to rely on Poland losing to Argentina. If France and Poland end up tied, the sets ratio and points ratio will determine the qualifier.
Poland and Argentina go head-to-head at 16:00. While Poland need the victory in order to qualify, the Argentines will be aiming for Pool A's top spot.
At 11:00 Russia takes on Italy. Both teams will attempt to improve their position in Pool B.
The Netherlands meet Australia at 14:00. The two teams do not have any qualification hopes and will be playing off for the wooden spoon in Pool B.
Serbia and Montenegro play Greece at 19:30. The reigning Olympic champions rebounded from their opening upset against Poland and proved their quality with three consecutive wins. Now, they will have to overcome the hosts’ pressure to remain atop of Pool A.
In the final match of the day, Brazil want to retain their perfect Preliminary Round record against the United States. The latter have already secured fourth place but they are searching for a better spot in Pool B.
ONS sk/ir