Last Daruma dolls go to Canada, Venezuela and Iran


Lausanne, Switzerland, January 12, 2020 – Iran, Venezuela and Canada grabbed the last three available tickets to the men’s Olympic volleyball tournament at Tokyo 2020. On Sunday, these three teams triumphed as winners of their respective continental Olympic qualifiers to receive their Daruma dolls, symbolizing their right to play at the 2020 Games.

Final Tokyo 2020 men's volleyball line-up:
● Argentina
● Brazil
● Canada
● France
● Iran
● Italy
● Japan
● Poland
● Russia
● Tunisia
● Venezuela

Hosts Canada made sure they finish on top of the NORCECA continental qualifier unbeaten and triumphed with a speedy 3-0 (25-21, 25-15, 25-15) victory over Puerto Rico in the last match of tournament in Vancouver to celebrate with the Tokyo 2020 ticket. Arthur Szwarc contributed 13 points, including four stuff blocks and one ace, to his team’s success. Earlier on Sunday, Cuba finished their campaign on a high note, a 3-1 (26-28, 25-20, 25-20, 25-21) win over Mexico on a match high of 21 points from Miguel Angel Lopez Castro, to save a little piece of their Olympic dream over the next couple of hours, but the miracle did not occur.

This will be Canada’s fifth overall and second consecutive appearance at the Olympic Games. Their best result was the fourth place at Los Angeles 1984.

In the first match on Sunday’s programme in Santiago, Venezuela did what they had to do, claiming a 3-0 (25-19, 25-16, 25-16) win over Peru on 17 points (3 aces, 4 blocks, 10 spikes) from top scorer Luis Antonio Arias Guzman, to finish the tournament with two wins, one defeat and seven points to their name, but had to wait for the outcome of the last match, between hosts Chile and unbeaten Colombia, to find out whether they were Tokyo-bound or not. At this point, the Chileans were already out of contention for the Olympic tickets, but played fair, pushed hard and achieved a 3-1 (25-22, 22-25, 25-21, 25-19) victory, which left Colombia out and Venezuela in. Dusan Bonacic was the best scorer of the match with 22 points, including three aces.

Venezuela are the only South American men’s team, other than powerhouses Brazil and Argentina, to have ever played at the Olympic Games. They participated in Beijing 2008, where they finished fifth in their pool on a 1-4 win-loss record, just below the cut-off line for the quarterfinals. At Tokyo 2020, they will make their second Olympic appearance.

Iran earned the right to represent the home continent, alongside hosts Japan, in the men’s volleyball tournament at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. The team of coach Igor Kolakovic celebrated victorious after Sunday’s final of the AVC qualifier in Jiangmen as they mastered a 3-0 (25-14, 25-22, 25-14) win over China to stamp their visa for the Games. Middle blocker Seyed Mohammad Mousavi Eraghi was clearly the man of the match as he produced two aces and nine of his team’s 14 stuff blocks and topped the scorers’ chart with a total of 16 points to his name. Jiang Chuan was the usual high scorer on the Chinese squad, this time piling up 13 points.

This will be the second time Iran participate in the Olympics. Their debut was at the previous edition four years ago in Rio, where they reached the quarterfinals.

In addition to hosts Japan, the teams of Argentina, Brazil, Italy, Poland, Russia and USA qualified for Tokyo 2020 through the intercontinental qualification tournaments in August, France secured their Olympic berth through the CEV European continental qualifier on Friday, while Tunisia did so through the CAVB African continental qualifier.