South Korea have beaten Qatar in the last round of the pool stage of the 2020 Asian Volleyball Olympic Qualifier in Jiangmen – China, to take a spot in the semifinals in a photo-finish: they needed to take 2 sets against Qatar. However, not only they took 2 sets but won the match as well: 3-2 (25:18, 28:26, 22:25, 20:25, 15:13). This outcome benefited to Qatar, as well, as they clinched the top spot in pool B. Park Chul-Woo scored 20 points for Korea, while Choi Min-Ho made 6 winning blocks. Belal Nabel Abunabot scored 18 points for Qatar of which 8 came from the block.
The only real losers of the last round is Australia. Their 3-1 victory against India was in vain because of a result of the match between Qatar and Korea, so one of the major favorites to earn the spot in the Tokyo Olympics through continental qualifications are out of the tournament and of the event itself.
In Pool A, everything was known prior to the last round. Iran and hosts China have secured their semifinal berths a round advance, so the mutual encounter, in which Iran prevailed (3-0), determined the way these 2 sides will align in the pool ahead of the semis. By the way, the Asian champions didn’t concede a single set in the pool stage.
2020 Asian Volleyball Olympic Qualifier, pool stage – Round 3
Chinese Taipei – Kazakhstan 3-1 (19:25, 25:11, 25:18, 25:21)
Iran – China 3-0 (25:22, 25:20, 25:21)
India – Australia 1-3 (27:25, 21:25, 21:25, 22:25)
Qatar – South Korea 2-3 (18:25, 26:28, 25:22, 25:20, 13:15)
Semifinals – January 11:
Iran – South Korea, 09:00 CET
Qatar – China, 13:00 CET
Source and photos: volleyball.coqt.2020.fivb.com