Pool C: Italy hop on day’s last train to Tokyo


Bari, Italy, August 11, 2019 – Italy were the last team to book a 2020 Olympic ticket from the first intercontinental stage of the men’s Tokyo Volleyball Qualification tournaments. At home, in Bari, they produced an emphatic 3-0 (25-16, 25-19, 25-19) victory over Serbia to top the Pool C final standings unbeaten. Ivan Zaytsev contributed 13 points to Italy’s win.

In Sunday’s first match, Australia defeated Cameroon in straight sets, 3-0 (25-17, 25-16, 25-18), with a 13-point contribution from Curtis Jeffrey Arthur Stockton.

Pre-match stats:

Cameroon - Australia (August 11, 2019) 
• Cameroon and Australia meet for the first time in the last seven world Olympic qualifying campaigns (1996-2020).
• These nations played each other three times in major world level competitions (Olympic Games, World Championship, World Cup, World League, Nations League, Grand Champions Cup).
• Cameroon won 3-1 at the 2010 World Championship, while Australia prevailed at the 2014 World Championship (3-0) and the 2018 World Championship (3-1).

• Cameroon are out of contention for a Tokyo 2020 berth after 3-0 defeats against Italy and Serbia.
• Cameroon have never played at the Olympic Games.
• Christian Arthur Voukeng Mbativou was Cameroon's leading points scorer versus Italy (9 points) and Serbia (10). Cedric Bitouna also scored 10 points against Serbia.
• Cameroon had two serve winners against Serbia on Saturday, both by Junior Charles Engohe.

• Australia lost their qualifying matches against Serbia (3-1) and Italy (3-2).
• Australia's number of Olympic Games participations could therefore remain three: 2000 (8th place), 2004 (11th) and 2012 (9th).
• Lincoln Alexander Williams scored a match-high 27 points in the loss against Italy.
• Luke Smith (15) and Samuel Walker (11) also reached double figures on Saturday.

Serbia - Italy (August 11, 2019) 
• Serbia (incl. predecessors) and Italy meet for the first time in the last seven world Olympic qualifying campaigns (1996-2020).
• Serbia (incl. predecessors) have a W26-L20 record against Italy in major world level tournaments (Olympic Games, World Championship, World Cup, World League, Nations League, Grand Champions Cup).
• Four of those world level meetings came at the Olympic Games. Italy won the first three: 3-0 in 1996 group stage, 3-1 in 1996 semi-finals and 3-2 in 2000 group stage (all against Yugoslavia). Serbia (as Yugoslavia) won 3-0 in the 2000 semi-finals.
• The last three world level encounters between Serbia and Italy were all decided in three sets. Italy won in straight sets in the 2018 and 2019 Volleyball Nations League, while Serbia won 3-0 at the 2018 World Championship.
• Serbia (incl. predecessors) also lead the head-to-head against Italy at the European championship: W11-L7. Serbia defeated Italy in the 2001 (as Serbia and Montenegro) and 2011 finals.

• Serbia won their two matches in Tokyo 2020 qualifying: 3-1 against Australia on Friday and 3-0 against Cameroon on Saturday.
• Serbia (NOC) participated in the Olympic Games in 2008 (5th place) and 2012 (9th). Serbia and Montenegro competed in 2004 (5th), Yugoslavia in 1980 (6th) and Yugoslavia (1992-2003) in 1996 (3rd) and 2000 (1st).
• Aleksandar Atanasijevic scored 35 points for Serbia against Australia, but sat out the match against Cameroon. In his place, Drazen Luburic took top scoring honours with 14 points.
• Marko Podrascanin had a team-high three stuff blocks in Bari on Saturday.

• In front of a home crowd in Bari, Italy beat Cameroon in straight sets on Friday and Australia 3-2 on Saturday, after a 2-1 deficit in sets.
• Italy participated in the Olympic Games 11 times, all in the last 11 editions (1976-2016). They collected six Olympic medals in the men's tournament: silver in 1996, 2004 and 2016, bronze in 1984, 2000 and 2012.
• Italy's six Olympic medals are a joint-record alongside Brazil and Soviet Union.
• Osmany Juantorena was Italy's top scorer in both of their matches this weekend, with 13 points against Cameroon and 22 against Australia.
• Ivan Zaytsev also collected double digit points in both group matches in Bari, 12 against Cameroon and 14 against Australia.
• Matteo Piano made a whopping eight stuff blocks versus Australia, leading all players in that match.

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