Italy qualify for men's Olympic volleyball
Updated: 2012-05-14 14:33
SOFIA - Three-times world volleyball champions Italy secured their place in the London Olympics following a hard-fought 3-2 win over Germany in the final of the European men's qualifying tournament on Sunday.
Gyoergy Grozer (L) of Germany spikes the ball against Samuele Papi, Alessandro Fei (C) and Dragan Travica of Italy during their final men's volleyball match at the European Olympic Qualification Tournament in Sofia, May 13, 2012. [Photo/Agencies]
Ivan Zaytsev (19 points) and Michal Lasko (17 points) engineered a 25-22 26-24 19-25 22-25 15-12 victory to secure Italy a spot in their 10th consecutive Olympics.
Russia, Poland, Brazil, Tunisia and defending champions US had already booked their Olympic berths alongside hosts Britain.
The Americans advanced to the Games by sweeping past Canada 28-26 25-18 25-20 in the finals of the North American qualification tournament on Saturday.
Alan Knipe's men have contested seven straight Olympics. They were undefeated in the 2008 Beijing Games, upsetting top-ranked Brazil in the gold medal match.
Hosts Argentina will meet Venezuela in the South American qualification tournament on Monday following comfortable 3-0 wins over Colombia and Chile in the semi-finals.
The remaining four places will be decided at another three tournaments, which will take place in Tokyo, Berlin and Sofia next month.