RIO DE JANEIRO – On the third day of the Volleyball Olympic Qualifying Tournament, fans in Rio’s Maracanãzinho arena were left speechless as Germany pulled off a stunning upset against hosts Brazil, 3-1 (21-25, 25-19, 25-19, 28-26). This victory vastly improved Germany’s chances of earning a spot in the Paris 2024 Olympics. The Germans are eager to return to the Olympics, having missed out on the last two editions.
German veteran György Grozer was the hero of the day, leading all scorers with 27 points, which included 22 kills, three aces, and two blocks. Still processing the massive win, Grozer remarked, “I can’t believe what we did here today. It’s an incredible result and we’re still processing it.” He also emphasized the need to stay grounded, mentioning their upcoming match against Italy, the current Pool A leaders.
However, Germany’s celebration was tinged with concern as captain Lukas Kampa suffered a calf injury, ruling him out for the rest of the tournament. Jan Zimmermann is set to replace him.
Meanwhile, Italy maintained their impeccable form, topping Pool A. They’ve achieved three victories in as many matches. On Tuesday, they showcased their dominance by defeating Ukraine 3-0 (25-23, 25-16, 25-16). Alessandro Michieletto stood out in the match, delivering a match-high 20 points, while Daniele Lavia contributed ten points for the Italian side.
Elsewhere in Pool A, Iran claimed their maiden victory in Rio, besting Qatar 3-1 (25-23, 23-25, 25-17, 25-23), with Saber Kazemi shining for the Iranians, scoring 26 points. Cuba also returned to their winning ways, triumphing 3-0 (26-24, 25-21, 25-21) against Czechia. For Cuba, the offensive trio of Jesus Herrera, Miguel Angel Lopez, and Marlon Yant excelled, contributing 16, 14, and 13 points respectively.
Pool A – Day 3
Iran vs. Qatar 3-1 (25-23, 23-25, 25-17, 25-23)
Cuba vs. Czechia 3-0 (26-24, 25-21, 25-21)
Italy vs. Ukraine 3-0 (25-23, 25-16, 25-16)
Germany vs. Brazil 3-1 (21-25, 25-19, 25-19, 28-26)