Beijing berth ready to be contested in Portugal as FIVB confirms Olympic Games’ Drawing of Lots for June 11 in host city
Portugal will hope captain Joao Jose plays a major part at the Men's World Olympic Qualification Tournament in Espinho
Lausanne, May 27, 2008 – One of the final three places available in the Men’s Olympic Volleyball Tournament will be decided this weekend in Portugal.
Indonesia, Poland and Puerto Rico will join their Portuguese hosts in the round-robin tournament from May 30 to June 1 at the Nave Municipal de Espinho, with the winner qualifying for the 2008 Beijing Games.
The FIVB, meanwhile, can confirm that the Drawing of Lots for the Men’s and Women’s Olympic Volleyball Tournaments is scheduled to take place in Beijing on June 11 from 2-4 p.m. local time in the Press Conference Room of the Capital Indoor Stadium, the main Volleyball venue during the Summer Games.
Under the supervision of FIVB officials at the public session, the 12 National Teams in each tournament will be divided equally into Pools A and B.
The final two places available at the Beijing Games will be decided at the Men’s World Olympic Qualification Tournament in Tokyo, Japan, from May 31 to June 8, with the winner of the tournament plus the best Asian team (even if the winner is Asian) qualifying. Japan hosts Algeria, Argentina, Italy, Australia, Korea, Iran and Thailand, in the event that doubles up as the Asian Olympic Qualifying Tournament.
The Espinho event is set to be as close as the other recent Olympic qualifiers. World No. 5 Poland met Puerto Rico in FIVB competition in the 2006 World Championship in Japan, beating them 3-1 in Pool A Preliminary Round action.
The Polish made it to the Final of the 2006 World Championship before losing to Brazil and finished fourth in the 2007 FIVB World League, while Puerto Rico, ranked No. 8 in the world, impressed when claiming sixth place at the 2007 FIVB World Cup.
Indonesia are a young, up-and-coming team, while the promising Portuguese have the advantage of playing at home.
Espinho is situated on Portugal's north-western coast in the Aveiro province about 18 km south of the city of Porto. It is a popular holiday town renowned for its long stretch of sun-kissed beaches and excellent selection of seafood restaurants.
Germany booked their first appearance in the Olympic Games since Munich 1972 by winning last weekend’s Men’s World Olympic Qualification Tournament in Düsseldorf.
Brazil, Russia, Bulgaria, Egypt, Serbia, USA and Venezuela had already secured their tickets for the August 10-24 Men’s Olympic Volleyball Tournament through the FIVB 2007 World Cup or Continental Qualification Tournaments, while China have qualified as the host country.
The 12 teams for the Women’s Olympic Volleyball Tournament through August 9-23 have been decided after Poland, Serbia, Japan and Kazakhstan advanced from last week’s World Olympic Qualification Tournament in Tokyo to join hosts China, Italy, Brazil, USA, Algeria, Russia, Cuba and Venezuela.
Match schedule for Espinho, Portugal
* All times are local
Friday, May 30
Indonesia vs. Portugal (7 p.m.)
Poland vs. Puerto Rico (9 p.m.)
Saturday, May 31
Indonesia vs. Poland (3 p.m.)
Portugal vs. Puerto Rico (5 p.m.)
Sunday, June 1
Puerto Rico vs. Indonesia (3 p.m.)
Portugal vs. Poland (5 p.m.)
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