Volleyball: "Best in Asia," but not in Olympics – Bangkok Post

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Thai players celebrate a point during the match against Peru at the women’s Olympic qualifying tournament in Tokyo in Tokyo on Sunday. (EPA photo)






Thailand blanked Peru in their last match on Sunday of the volleyball Olympic qualifiers, and though they missed out, the Peruvian coach credited them as the strongest team in Asia.

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Sunday update: The Olympic qualifiers are now over for the Thai team and they just missed out, winning four matches and losing three. Here is a short update from our online reporters.

Peru coach hails Thai volleyball team as ‘best in Asia’

Thailand blanked Peru in their last match on Sunday of the volleyball Olympic qualifiers, and though they missed out, their spirits were lifted when the Peruvian coach credited them as the strongest team in Asia.

“I’m happy Peru got the chance to play in this competition. I think Thailand is the best team in Asia. They beat Korea and played Japan close,” coach Mauro Marasciulo of Peru said, according to the FIVB official website of the tournament.

The Thai women national team played for pride after they were eliminated on Saturday when Japan finished ahead with a match to play to wrap up the women’s qualifying tournament in Tokyo for the Olympic berth in Rio de Janairo.

The Thai spikers collected another win against Peru by beating them 25-17, 26-24, 25-23, despite resting some key players. The Thais finished fifth in the eight-team contest with four wins against three loses.

Italy, the Netherlands, South Korea and Japan punched their berth to Brazil.

Thailand lost their heartbreaking and controversial match against Japan 3-2 on Wednesday and then overcame a two-set deficit to win against South Korea on Saturday.

Saturday evening Update: Italy did its job in beating Japan but not quite well enough to give Thailand a chance of qualifying for the Olympics on the final day of competition tomorrow. The Italians won 3-2, but the two sets for the losers were just enough  to guarantee Japan a trip to Rio.


Thai players react after their victory over South Korea during the women’s volleyball world final qualification for the Rio de Janeiro Olympics 2016 in Tokyo on May 21, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / TORU YAMANAKA


Volleyball: Thai women come from behind to win 3-2 over South Korea

Down two set to nil against a powerful South Korean team, the Thai women volleyball team’s chances of reaching the Olympics  seemed hopeless.

But, with their backs to the wall, the Thais held firm, winning the final three sets 29-27, 26-24, 15-12 for one of the country’s most dramatic comeback victories.

In what must be one of the best photos of the Olympic qualifying tournament, Thai players Pannoy Piyanut (top L), Apinyapong Wilavan (top R), Kanthong Malika (bottom L) and Guedpard Pornpun (bottom R) dive on the court to receive the ball from South Korea. AFP PHOTO / TORU YAMANAKA

The Thais are favoured in their final match against Peru, but to their place in Rio Janiero has been now taken by Japan whose two sets in their 3-2 loss against Italy are enough to put them through no matter what happens tomorrow.

After falling 19-25 in the first set, Thailand led for much of the second before losing 22-25.

In set three, it looked like it might be Japan all over again, as Thailand led throughout the match, with South Korea coming back strongly at the end. Both teams lost two set points, but the Thais prevailed on the third.

Sittirak Onuma (R) of Thailand spikes the ball over Yang Hyo-Jin (L) and Lee Hyo-Hee (C) of South Korea. / AFP PHOTO / TORU YAMANAKA

In set four, the Thais needly only two set points to fend off another South Korean comeback at 26-24.

In the final set, the Thais appeared nervous, making mistake after mistake and falling behind 10-12. Their experienced players regrouped, however, taking the final five points and the match.



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