Road to Rio qualification: Volleyball
Published 31 May 2016 (AEDT)
Road to Rio qualification
Australia are looking to book their ticket to their second straight Olympic Games for Rio 2016 after impressing at the London 2012 Games.
The road to Rio is not an easy path though as the Australian side will need to overcome world class sides from Europe, Asia, South America and North America if they are to play in front of the most passionate volleyball fans in the world come August.
The Rio 2016 Qualifiers will feature eight teams with each side playing each other once in a round robin competition. The four highest ranked teams at the end of tournament will make the Olympic Games with at least one of those teams having to be from Asia (Australia is part of the Asian confederation). This means that if the top four teams are non-Asian sides than the highest ranked Asian side will qualify.
After losing their opening match to Iran in straight sets they managed to overcome Venezuela 3-1 to secure their first points of the qualification tournament.
Paul Carroll was a part of the Australian side that finished 9th at the London 2012 Games. He also was a part of the Aussie side that lined up against all but one of the teams they will face in the qualifiers and provides his insight into just how tough it will be to make Rio.
World ranking: 8th
Most recent result: Australia 3-1 Iran (2015 World Cup)
Paul Carroll’s thoughts: “They play one of the fastest offenses in the world. Marouf their setter can set any ball from almost anywhere on the court.”
World ranking: 20th
Most recent result: Australia 3-0 Venezuela (2015 World Cup)
Paul Carroll’s thoughts: “They're an incredibly physical team. They jump high and hit with power. We beat them in World Cup and World Champs so looking for the same result here.”
World ranking: =10th
Most recent result: Australia 2-3 Canada (2015 World Cup)
Paul Carroll’s thoughts: “They play a similar style of play to us. Their opposite Schmitt is their key player to stop.”
World ranking: =10th
Most recent result: Australia 1-3 France (2015 World Cup)
Paul Carroll’s thoughts: “Incredibly exciting team to watch. They defend and make miraculous plays like no other team. Earvin Ngapeth, their outside is maybe the most entertaining player to ever play the game.”
World ranking: 14th
Most recent result: Australia 1-3 Japan (2015 World Cup)
Paul Carroll’s thoughts: “Shorter players but make up for it with their technical prowess and incredible tenacity. They will be using their 10,000 screaming fans to their advantage.”
World ranking: 19th
Most recent result: Australia 0-3 China (2015 Asian Championships)
Paul Carroll’s thoughts: “Young dangerous team. Can beat any team when they're on their game.”
World ranking: 2nd
Most recent result: Australia 0-3 Poland (2015 World Cup)
Paul Carroll’s thoughts: “2014 World Champions. Powerhouse in world volleyball. Will have the pressure of their nation on them to qualify for the Olympics. After being undefeated through 10 matches at the World Cup last year they suffered a heartbreaking loss to Italy which dropped them to third and out of Olympic qualification.”
All matches will be broadcast live on Fox Sports.