WP SportoweFakty/Tomasz Kudala/ Pictured: Bartosz Couric
On Friday, the Polish volleyball teams will meet their rivals in the qualifiers for the Olympic Games in Paris. The Women’s Promotion Championship will be played at home. Gentlemen will go to Brazil, China or Japan.
The three women’s tournaments will be held from September 16-24. The locations are: Poland, China and Japan. The Asians will also hold two of the three men’s events, which will start on September 30 and end on October 8. The third will take place in Brazil.
At the end of last year, the Polish Volleyball Federation also expressed its willingness to organize two tournaments, but in the end we only got women’s qualifications. We were determined to win this championship. We agreed to the terms offered to us. Other federations clearly had less of this determination. In any case, I think it is our success, because another important volleyball tournament will be held in Poland – says Sebastian Oederski.
The PZPS chief adds that the union has held preliminary talks with the city that will host the event, but does not want to give details yet.
The 24 highest-ranked teams in the FIVB ranking will participate in the race for the Olympics, with the exception of the French teams that are confirmed for their performance in Paris, and the Russian teams that are currently excluded from international competitions.
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Eight teams will play in each tournament, with the top two advancing to the Olympics. The formation of each group will be announced on Friday, after the draw to be held in Lausanne.
In the draw, the teams will be divided into three pots, arranged according to the FIVB classification. The exception is the first pot, which will contain the hosts, who are seeded in the draw in positions one through three. The host with the highest ranking position will go to Group A, with the lowest placed in Group C. Thus, we already know that the Polish women’s team will be in Group C of the women’s qualifiers.
For the men’s national teams, the baskets will be as follows.
Basket 1 (the hosts): Brazil (FIVB ranked 4th, goes to Group A), Japan (7th, Group B), China (26th, Group C)
Basket 2: Poland (1), Italy (2), United States (6)
Basket 3: Argentina (8), Slovenia (9), Iran (10).
Basket 4: Serbia (11), Cuba (12), Netherlands (13)
Basket 5: Turkey (14), Canada (15), Ukraine (16)
Basket 6: Germany (17), Mexico (18), Tunisia (19)
Basket 7: Egypt (20), Belgium (21), Czech Republic (22)
Basket 8: Bulgaria (23), Finland (24), Qatar (25).
Of course, Nikola Grbic’s team would rather go to Japan or China than go to Brazil. Only when playing in South America, the white and red will not be the main favorites for the qualifying tournament. Although, of course, there is no shortage of dangerous competitors in the third through eighth baskets.
Here is the division into baskets in the women’s tournament draw:
Basket 1 (the hosts): China (5), Japan (6), Poland (10).
Basket 2: Serbia (1), Italy (2), Brazil (3)
Basket 3: United States (4), Turkey (7), Dominican Republic (9)
Basket 4: Belgium (11), Netherlands (12), Germany (13)
Basket 5: Canada (14), Thailand (15), Bulgaria (16)
Basket 6: Puerto Rico (17), Czech Republic (18), Colombia (19)
Basket 7: Mexico (20), Argentina (22), South Korea (23)
Basket 8: Ukraine (24), Slovenia (25), Peru (26).
In the case of Stefano Lavarini’s team, he is sure to beat at least one competitor from the absolute top of the world. The opponent from the third basket will be key – it seems that the Americans are the most demanding and it would be nice to avoid them. Either way, to win promotion, the Polish women have to beat at least one higher-ranked team and avoid slipping with lower-ranked teams.
The house feature should help them do that. Just as he helped last fall during the World Cup, when Piao Zerooni was able to win 3: 0 with the Americans and fight on equal terms with the Serbs in the quarterfinals and lose 2: 3.
– We believe in girls. We also believe in our fans and sincerely hope that they will help the team by creating such an atmosphere during the tournament. Our national team has a difficult task ahead, but playing in front of its own fans will definitely make it easier for it, – Świderski assures.
Teams that do not win promotion this year will have another path to the Olympics – the standings. After the 2024 Intercontinental Stage of the Nations League, each of the five highest-ranked FIVB teams will enter the men’s and women’s Olympic tournaments.
The Tokyo Olympics qualifying draw will be available on the Volleyball World YouTube channel. Broadcasting starts on Friday at 13.00.
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