10. 08. 2019

OQT M: Driven by León, Poland demolish France in key match for Tokyo ticket

Source: volleyball.ioqt.2019.fivb.com; Photo: volleyball.ioqt.2019.fivb.com

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The world champions Poland recorded a key victory on their way to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games as they demolished main rivals in Pool D of the FIVB Men’s Volleyball International Qualifier, Day 2, France: 3-0 (25-21, 25-19, 25-20).


POOL D (Gdańsk, Poland)

Poland swept main rivals for the top spot in the Gdańsk tournament, France, in their most important match this year, and are, most likely, only one set away from being promoted to the Olympic Games in Tokyo.

Wilfredo León showed that a 2-year waiting to play for Poland national team paid off to the Polish federation. He scored game-high 17 points making 10,000 spectators at the Ergo Arena, dressed in red and white, happy and proud. Mateusz Bieniek and Piotr Nowakowski set up 4 kill blocks apiece. France’s main weapon Earvin Ngapeth had a rather poor display, making only 31.8% attack success rate (7/22) and finishing on single digits (8 points). He was replaced in the middle of the 3rd set by Julien Lyneel. Stéphen Boyer was France’s top scorer with 9 points.

This means that no matter of the scores of the remaining matches in the pool both today and tomorrow in the last round, Poland will need to take only one set in their last match against Slovenia to mathematically secure a spot in Tokyo.


Slovenia remained in contention for the Tokyo ticket from this pool.

Despite beating Tunisia in straight sets, the FIVB Challenger Cup winners will rely on mere theory in the last round. The following scenario would take them to the Olympics: since France vs. Tunisia game is scheduled before theirs, Slovenia will cheer for the African side to take at least one set. Then, Slovenia would have to beat Poland, who by the way need to win only one set in the match to progress to Tokyo, in straight sets and by finishing each of them with a significant advantage.

As for the match today, Tonček Štern was Slovenia’s top scorer with 19 points. Mohamed Ayech scored 11 points for Tunisia, including 4 kill blocks.

FIVB Men’s Volleyball International Qualifier, Day 2:

POOL A (Varna, Bulgaria):

Brazil – Egypt 3-0 (25-12, 25-19, 25-14)

Puerto Rico - Bulgaria 0-3 (20-25, 22-25, 12-25)

POOL B (Rotterdam, the Netherlands):

Belgium – Netherlands 0-3 (22-25, 21-25, 20-25)

USA - South Korea 3-0 (25-20, 25-21, 25-16)

POOL  C (Bari, Italy):

Serbia - Cameroon 3-0 (25-22, 25-19, 25-13)

Australia - Italy 2-3 (25-21, 19-25, 26-24, 17-25, 13-15)

POOL D (Gdańsk, Poland):

Poland – France 3-0 (25-21, 25-19, 25-20)

Tunisia - Slovenia 0-3 (23-25, 16-25, 24-26)

POOL E (Saint Petersburg, Russia):

Iran – Mexico 3-0 (25-18, 25-21, 27-25)

Russia - Cuba 3-0 (25-18, 26-25, 27-25)

POOL F (Ningbo, China):

Finland – Argentina 1-3 (17-25, 18-25, 25-21, 24-26)

China – Canada 2-3 (26-24, 21-25, 17-25, 25-23, 15-17)




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