Canada claimed a place in the men’s Olympic volleyball tournament after rivals Australia faltered in their final match of the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) World Olympic Qualification Tournament at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium.
The Canadian team began the day narrowly behind the Australians on points ratio, which meant they required a victory in their clash with China - who themselves held a faint hope of Rio 2016 qualification - to move into the final qualifying spot.
After a positive start saw Canada claim the opening set 25–16, their hopes looked under serious threat when China hit back to win the next two sets 25–20, 26-24.
John Gordon Perrin and Gavin Schmitt helped to drag Canada back into the contest as they claimed the fourth 25-20, with the team then maintaining the momentum to win the decider 15-9.
The result place huge pressure on Australia ahead of their clash with world champions Poland, who had already sealed their Rio 2016 spot.
Poland earned the opening set to dent the Australian team’s hopes, with the world champions then racing away to secure a straights sets 25-21, 25-15, 27-25 victory, which saw Canada claim the final berth.
After securing the Asian Olympic qualification place for the first time yesterday, Iran’s volleyball team rounded off the tournament in style by securing a 25-23, 27-29, 21-25, 25-18, 15-8 win over Venezuela.
By contrast, fellow qualifiers France were convincingly beaten 25-18, 25-23, 25-23 by hosts Japan.
The second and final men’s World Olympic Qualification Tournament got underway at the Gimnasio Olimpico Juan de la Barrera in Mexico City saw the home side move to the brink of Rio 2016 qualification.
Fresh from a straight sets win over Algeria, Mexico, who have not participated in the men’s Olympic tournament since hosting the Games in 1968, took on a Chilean team who had also begun their campaign with a victory yesterday.
Chile made the early blow by winning the first set 25-22 but proved unable to continue their fast start, as Mexico stormed back to claim the remaining sets 25-21, 25-22, 25-22.
Their victory means that Mexico will secure an Olympic place should they win two sets in their final match of the tournament against Tunisia tomorrow.
The Tunisian team earned their first win of the competition by overcoming Algeria 25–14, 22–25, 26–24, 25–21.