Iran’s volleyball snares historic Olympic berth after 52 years

TEHRAN, Jun. 04 (MNA) – Iran national volleyball team beat Poland at the 2016 Olympic men’s volleyball qualifier in Tokyo, Japan on Saturday to book a historic place in Rio Olympics.

In their sixth fixture, Iranian volleyballers faced Polish rivals at 11:10 Tehran’s time in Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium where they smashed the European team 3-1 to realize the long-held dream for Iran to secure a spot in the Summer Olympic Games.

The Iranian outfit performed great athletic skilled by winning the first, second and fourth sets 25-20, 25-18 and 34-32 respectively while they conceded a 20-25 defeat against their rivals in the third set.

Poland led in the first set at 6-4 before Iran levelled the score. The Iranian players Shahram Mahmoudi and Seyed Mohammed Mousavi stole the show from the European side as they led at 16-12 at the second technical timeout. Iran preserved their lead then reached set point and concluded the set 25-20.

Iran continued their excellent harmony, while Poland made mistakes on their serves and attack. Farhad Ghaemi served two aces that stretched the Iranian lead to 22-15 while the set closed at 25-18.

Poland recovered from the first two losses and out powered Iran by taking the third set 25-20.

Meanwhile, Iran took the lead 8-3 and 16-13 at the technical timeouts of the fourth set which turned out to be highly challenging as Poland pushed to play extra points in an attempt to prevent Iran from closing the set and the match. Finally, Iran got a break as Michal Kubiak’s spike went out of bounds and his faulty reception enabled a free ball for Iran to counter with strong hit down the line at 34-32.

Shahram Mahmoudi once again presented an eye-catching scoring performance as he had 24 points, including 20 attacks, two blocks and two aces.

Although Poland had more attacks in the match, but Iran limited their errors to a minimum of 18.

Shahram Mahmoudi, Milad Ebadipour, Frahad Ghaemi, Saeid Marouf, Seyed Mohammad Mousavi, Adel Gholami and Mahdi Marandi played for Iran against Poland.

Iran had already prevailed over China, Australia, Canada and Japan and was defeated once by France.

Iran coach Raul Lozano said “I feel immensely happy. It is special because it is a historic moment for Iran. The people of Iran have been waiting for this chance to go to the Olympics for a long time. I don’t want to talk about statistics. I'm happy with the result. We will have a party tonight to celebrate.”

Also, Iran captain Mir Saied Marouf stressed that “it's time to celebrate. It's the first time in history for Iran. I'm very happy to make the Olympics. We didn't qualify four years ago, losing out by one set to Australia and it was a bad memory for us. This might have been the last chance for some Iran players to make the Olympics. We have made history.”

 

HA/3676101

 

News Code 117089

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