Lausanne, Qualifying for the 2010 FIVB Women’s World Championships wrapped up this weekend with four teams finalizing their tickets to the Final Round in Japan at competitions in Mexico and Chinese Taipei.
Canada and Costa Rica advanced from a tough NORCECA Playoff Round in Tijuana that also featured Mexico and Trinidad & Tobago. Canada finished the round-robin competition undefeated to top the group, while Costa Rica finished as runners-up with a 2-1 record.
In Asia, Korea booked its spot in Japan 2010 with an unbeaten run over Kazakhstan, Taipei and New Zealand. Kazakhstan, at 2-1, finished second to also progress.
Qualifying kicked off on January 2 in Great Britain and crisscrossed the globe for eight months before the curtain finally fell on the proceedings this weekend.
Defending champions Russia and hosts Japan, who received byes to the final round, had to wait until June 14 to get a better picture of the kind of competition they would face in the Final Round from October 29 to November 14. The Dominican Republic was the first team to qualify when they topped NORCECA Pool H over Mexico, Virgin Islands and Panama.
Just over a week later in Havana, Cuba, the hosts became the second team to stamp their ticket to Japan. This will be the regional powerhouse’s 11th consecutive appearance at the World Championship.
Joining the Dominicans, Cubans, Canadians and Costa Ricans as NORCECA representatives are USA and Puerto Rico, who clinched their spots in July.
Kenya and Algeria will represent Africa, while white-hot Brazil and Peru will wear the South American badge in Japan.
China and Thailand join Korea, Kazakhstan and Japan from Asia.
In a busy stretch from July 17-26, eight European teams qualified for the Final Round. They were: Italy, Czech Republic, Serbia, Croatia, Turkey, Poland, Germany and the Netherlands.
Russia (defending champions)
photo Getty Images
photo Getty images
photo Getty Images