Iran gearing up for 2020 Tokyo Olympics quota

TEHRAN, Jul. 21 (MNA) – Iran’s national volleyball team will start a new round of trainings on Tuesday in Tehran before holding a training camp in Bulgaria as they prepare to earn a 2020 Tokyo Olympics quota.

According to the team’s manager Amir Khoshkhabar, Iranian volleyball players will gather here in Tehran on Tuesday after a short rest following FIVB Volleyball Nations League competitions where the team finished fifth.

“Not much time left for recovery and training and we should prepare for Olympics qualifiers,” he said Sunday.

Khoshkhabar went on to say that the team will depart for Bulgaria on August 2 to play two friendly matches against its national team upon their invitation. After a 4-day training camp, Iran will fly for St. Petersburg, Russia, on August 6 to participate in the qualifying competitions, he added.

The team has no injuries except for Aliasghar Mojarrad whose injury case needs more careful study, he added.

Iran is drawn in Pool E of the Intercontinental Qualification Tournaments alongside Russia, Cuba and Mexico. Top 24 teams in the FIVB ranking table will compete in this stage in 6 groups and only one team from each group will earn the direct quota to Tokyo.

Iran does not have an easy path in this event as it has to defeat the 2012 Olympics gold medalist and back-to-back VNL winner, Russia, in its home. A point to be considered is that Russia didn’t dispatch its main squad to 2019 VNL men’s Final Six in Chicago in the past weeks but it managed to win the title. Although Iran won Russia 3-0 on June 16 in the third week of 2019 VNL at Urmia’s Ghadir Stadium, the fact that Russia will use its main squad in the home adds to Igor Kolakovic men's difficult path in this qualifying round.

This event will take place from August 9 to 11.

Japan has already won its place in the event as the host and the five remaining teams will be determined in Continental Olympic Qualification tournaments from January 6 to 12, 2020.

MAH/4672026

News Code 147883

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