Sunday, May 30, 2004
Final spots for volleyball tourney secured
Australia and the Netherlands won the final spots for the men's
volleyball tournament at the Athens Olympics during separate
qualifying tournaments Sunday.
The Australians advanced to the 12-team field in Athens despite
losing to Iran on Sunday on the final day of a qualifier in Tokyo.
The Dutch beat Spain in Madrid to finish its event undefeated.
The Australians lost 25-19, 26-24, 25-23 and tied China for
third place but advanced because of a better points ratio.
France, which secured an Olympic berth Saturday, finished first
with a 7-0 record after downing Algeria. Eight nations were
competing in the seven-day, round-robin tournament. The overall
winner and the best Asian team gained berths for Athens.
The rest of the men's Olympic field: Argentina, Brazil, Greece,
Italy, Poland, Russia, Serbia-Montenegro, Tunisia and the United
In Madrid, the Dutch, the 1996 Olympic champion, beat Spain
25-20, 25-20, 26-24 to finish the four-nation event 3-0. Cuba
finished 2-1 after beating winless Cameroon and will miss an
Olympics for the first time since 1988.