Iran is to make their second ever appearance after defeating their continental rival during the final of the AVC Men’s Olympic Qualifier. Overall, eight teams competed in two groups of four teams where the top two nations advanced to the semi-finals. Only the winner of the tournament qualified to the Olympics. The AVC Men’s Continental Olympic Qualification Tournament was held in Jiangmen, China from January 7th to January 12th 2020.
Pool A came down China and Iran as they went undefeated during their first two matches though the former needed all five sets to defeat Chinese Taipei. Both nations advanced to the semi-finals. In the match to decide the group winner it was Iran who won thanks to a straight sets victory over China. Third place was won by Chinese Taipei who defeated Kazakhstan 3-1.
In comparison Pool B was a bit more chaotic as three nations were all in contention for a semi-final spot going into the final day. Earlier in the group stage, 2019 AVC silver medalist Australia required all five sets to defeat South Korea and was upset by Qatar who won the encounter in a 3-0 set fashion. On the final day of matches, Australia got its 3-1 victory over India, but needed results of the Qatar and South Korea match to go their way. South Korea would take a 2-0 lead, but Qatar was able to win the next two to force a fifth set. The fifth set was won by South Korea 15-13. This meant three teams all had 2-1 records. Going through the tiebreakers, Qatar won the group while South Korea finished second, eliminating Australia.
The semi-finals saw both South Korea and Iran hold the lead at one point of the match as the other nation pushed to level things. The fifth and final set was won by Iran in a 15-13 fashion. The other match was won by China who defeated Qatar 3-1. This set up a final between the two highest ranked AVC teams. As with their match during the pool stage, China was unable to solve Iran as the nation would go on to win and qualify to the Olympics in a 3-0 set fashion (25-14, 25-22, 25-14).
This will be Iran’s second consecutive appearance at the Olympics as they were able to reach the quarter-finals in 2016. Iran has become a bit of a regional powerhouse as of late with titles at the previous two Asian Games and a victory at the 2019 Asian Championships.
Men’s Indoor Tournament