Complete list of World Championship 2010 participating teams is known. It’s been a long, exciting journey from the start of qualifiers for the 2010 FIVB Men’s World Championship way back on November 29, 2008.
But at the completion of the final three men’s qualifying tournaments this weekend, the wait is over to see who hosts Italy and defending champions Brazil will do battle with next September 24-October 10. On Sunday, the list of 24 teams was finally completed. As expected, Argentina ruled South American Pool A, easily booking their ticket at the expense of Colombia, Bolivia and Chile.
Things didn’t go quite as expected in Asia Pool H, however, as Iran managed to wrest one of two berths handed out on Sunday from Korea, who fell to 1-2 at the competition with a straight-sets loss to group winner Japan on the final day. Korea, which has appeared at seven of the last nine World Championships, was considered a favorite to advance along with Japan.
Iran (2-1) needed Japan to beat Korea on the final day in order to ensure their progress at the tournament. Iran head coach Hossein Madani was full of praise for the Japanese players after their storming victory over Korea, having expressed his hopes for a "fair match" earlier in the day. "I appreciate the Japanese players very much because they worked very hard and showed fair play. It was very difficult for me to watch the game, especially in the first set, but the Japanese players did their best. I appreciate the players, the coach and the fans of Japan."
Elsewhere on Sunday, Canada and Mexico advanced from the NORCECA Playoff Round in Guadalajara, Mexico at the expense of Dominican Republic and Panama. The Canadians swept through the group, winning all three matches without dropping a set, while Mexico qualified for its first World Championship appearance since 1982 by finishing with a 2-1 record.
In July, Puerto Rico became the first team to qualify for the Final Round in Italy. After that, the trickle turned into a flood.
Europe got the ball rolling when an undefeated Russia and Germany finished 1-2 in Pool I in Tampere, Finland in a third-round qualifying tournament that ended on August 9. The final six European spots were also filled on August 16, with Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Poland, France, Serbia and Spain all advancing on a hectic day of Volleyball activity around the globe.
In South America, Venezuela joined Brazil as one of three teams that will represent that continent at the Worlds. Venezuela beat Paraguay, Uruguay and Ecuador on home soil in Pool B.
On August 16, Tunisia became the first of three teams to qualify from Africa when it went unbeaten in Pool D against Algeria, Kenya and Mozambique. Egypt became the second team to qualify when it downed Nigeria on the final day of Pool C qualifying in Cairo on Friday. Cameroon snared the final berth by winning Pool E on home soil at the expense of South Africa, Mauritius and Zimbabwe.
The first of four teams from Asia to qualify also did so on August 16, when undefeated China and runner-up Australia advanced from Asia Pool G in Chengdu, China. Cuba joined Puerto Rico as a NORCECA representative in the Final Round on the same day, with the United States joining them 24 hours later.
Brazil (defending champions)