Qualification for Rio Paralympics in full swing
The 2016 Rio Olympics is approaching soon, which means the time for athletes to qualify for the same is very near, if not already here.
In sitting volleyball, a game included under the Paralympic category, four nations have made sure that they will see their flag fluttering high in Rio after the men’s teams from Bosnia and Herzegovina and Iran, and the women’s sides from China and USA booked their place at the 2016 Games.
Three teams qualified by virtue of finishing as the top two teams in each category at the World Championships in Elblag, Poland, while Iran qualified by winning the bronze medal at the event. Brazil had defeated Iran in their semi-final, but as the host nation is already guaranteed a place at the Rio Games, it went down to the battle for third place in Elblag.
In the men's session, the semi-final between Bosnia and Herzegovina and Egypt was a bit of a one-sided affair as the gold medallists from the London Games overcame their opponents in straight sets, 25-11, 25-23, 25-23. This was before the hosts for the 2014 Games, Brazil, pulled out a shock by overpowering the defending champions Iran, 25-19, 25-20, 18-25, 15-25, 15-12.
Reigning champions China reign supreme again
Meanwhile, in the women’s category, China had to toil hard to assure themselves a place in Rio as they defeated a strong Russian side in a game that went into the fifth set. The reigning Paralympic and world champions won the tie 25-12, 25-16, 16-25, 20-25, 15-11. On the other hand, USA assured their qualification by overcoming the Netherlands 26-24, 25-15, 25-13.
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Talking to the media team for the Rio Games about what could be expected in Brazil two years from now, Nichole Millage of USA said, “The competition in Rio will be really top. All teams play from their heart and show their best and it will be really good competition. I'm excited.”