Pool F: Argentina first to qualify for Tokyo!


Ningbo, China, August 11, 2019 – Argentina became the first men’s team to join hosts Japan on the list of participants in the 2020 Olympic volleyball tournament. After three sets against hosts China in the last Ningbo match of Tokyo Volleyball Qualification, the South American squad was up 2-1, which was already enough to secure the first place in Pool F. Despite a 27-point tally by China’s Chuan Jiang, Argentina went on to claim a 3-2 (19-25, 25-22, 25-21, 18-25, 15-19) victory and finish the tournament unbeaten.

In the earlier match on Sunday, Canada managed a 3-0 (25-16, 26-24, 25-20) shutout of Finland, with Stephen Timothy Maar and Jason Derocco top-scoring 14 points apiece.

Pre-match stats:

Canada - Finland (August 11, 2019) 
• Canada and Finland meet for the first time in the last seven world Olympic qualifying campaigns (1996-2020).
• Canada have a W9-L8 record against Finland in major world level competitions (Olympic Games, World Championship, World Cup, World League, Nations League, Grand Champions Cup).
• Seven of Canada's nine world level wins versus Finland came in their last nine meetings.
• Finland defeated Canada 3-2 in the 2016 World League, their most recent world level encounter.

• After losing to Argentina 3-1 on Friday, Canada bounced back with a 3-2 victory over China on Saturday.
• Canada could participate in the Olympic Games for the fifth time, and for the second edition in a row.
• None of Canada's last four world Olympic qualification matches finished in straight sets, since a 3-0 defeat to France on 2 June 2016.
• Four players reached double figures in scoring against China on Saturday: Nicholas Hoag (20), Ryan Joseph Sclater (19), Stephen Timothy Maar (17) and Graham Vigrass (16).

• Finland have lost both their matches at the world Olympic qualification tournament by 3-1 (versus China and Argentina).
• In both 2012 and 2016, Finland lost all three of their Olympic qualification tournament matches (European qualifiers).
• The last time Finland won an Olympic qualification match was in 2008, when they beat Germany 3-0 in the European qualifiers.
• Samuli Ville Mikael Kaislasalo scored 22 of Finland's 84 points against Argentina.

China - Argentina (August 11, 2019) 
• China and Argentina meet for the first time in the last seven world Olympic qualifying campaigns (1996-2020).
• Argentina won seven of their 12 major world level matches against China (Olympic Games, World Championship, World Cup, World League, Nations League, Grand Champions Cup).
• China's five world level victories over Argentina came in their last seven meetings.
• The last two world level encounters between China and Argentina came in the Volleyball Nations League. China won 3-0 in 2018 and Argentina 3-1 in 2019 (both preliminary round).

• After beating Finland 3-1 on Friday, China lost 3-2 to Canada on Saturday. The final set finished 17-15.
• China could participate in the Olympic Games for the third time, after 1984 and 2008.
• Libin Liu was China's top scorer against Canada on Saturday, scoring 20 points (19 from attacks).
• Zhejia Zhang scored 19 points against Canada, six of which from serves. Zhang's six serve points were double the number of any other player on the court (Canada's Ryan Joseph Sclater next, three).

• Argentina won both their 2019 world Olympic qualification tournament matches by a 3-1 scoreline (versus Finland and Canada).
• Bruno Lima (13) and Cristian Poglajen (11) both reached double figures in scoring against Finland on Saturday. Lima also broke the 10-points barrier against Canada on Friday, scoring 11 points.
• Facundo Conte scored eight points against Finland, after amassing 24 points against Canada on Friday. With his total of 32 points he is Argentina's top scorer this tournament so far.

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