Igor Kolakovic: My team showed that we deserve to play on behalf of Asian volleyball


Jiangmen, China, January 12, 2020 - Iran advanced to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games by defeating China 3-0 (25-14, 25-22, 25-14) in the final showdown of the AVC Men's Continental Tokyo Volleyball Qualification on Sunday. Captain Elham Fallah tallied 16 points, including 9 blocks and 2 aces for the visitors.

China head coach Shen Fulin: “We didn’t play well today, I think my players were suffering rather heavy psychological stress though we’ve done a lot of work for that. Judging from the outcome tonight, I don’t think those mental instructions worked well. In fact, my players still need to strengthen their coping capacity under great pressure, as well as the ability of understanding and analysing the game on court. Iran is stronger than us in their systematic cooperation, so I hope we can learn from them and improve in the future.” 

China captain Jiang Chuan: “Congratulations to team Iran for the qualification to the Tokyo Olympic Games. Today they taught us an impressive lesson. As a volleyball team which ranked 6th in the world in 2016, their offence and defence techniques are well worthy of learning. Today we had some problems in dealing with the mental pressure. At the beginning, we were somehow overcautious, failing to make our fullest performance. I think we need more intensive tournaments to harden ourselves mentally and physically. ”

Iran head coach Igor Kolakovic: “First of all, I’d like to say we are so happy because we are going to the Olympic Games. We’ve trained and played under great pressure for a long time because everybody in Iran expected us to qualify. I didn’t say too much about our problems such as the injured players but in the end I am so happy because I sit on the bench of this team. They played very well to show that we deserve to play at the Olympics on behalf of Asian volleyball. ”

Iran captain Saeid Marouf: “We prepared well for this match and both sides know each other very well. Today our service and block were incredible, and it was one of our best games in the past few years. The Chinese team had some problems with their reception, and we were so lucky and happy to win in three sets.”


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