Cuba, USA expect challenges from the NORCECA Olympic Qualifier
LONG BEACH, California, May 5, 2012 Ė While Cuba and United
States are favorites to win the 2012 NORCECA Menís Continental
Olympic Qualification Tournament to earn a berth into the
Olympic Games this summer, the other six teams will provide
plenty of challenges as they vie for the coveted ticket to
The eight-team event takes place May 7-12 at the Walter Pyramid
in Long Beach, Calif. Preliminary pool play takes place the
first three days in two groups of round-robin competition. The
top seed in each pool advances directly to the semifinals on May
11, while the second- and third-place teams will compete in
crossover quarterfinal matches on May 10. Final classification
matches are set for May 12 with the gold-medal match taking
place at 8 p.m. Pacific Time.
If Cuba and United States do not claim the gold medal, one last
chance exists to qualify for the Olympic Games through the world
qualification process in early June. The NORCECA event
represents the final opportunity to advance to the London
Olympic Games for five of the other six teams should either Cuba
or USA wins the continental qualifier.
if USA wins, Cuba and Puerto Rico will go to the WOQTs. If Cuba
wins, USA and Puerto Rico advance to the World Qualification
Tournaments. Should any team other than USA and Cuba win the
NORCECA Olympic Qualification Tournament, then Cuba and USA
advance to the World Qualification Tournaments.
Cuba, ranked fifth in the world by the FIVB and first in NORCECA,
finished eighth at the 2011 FIVB World League and fifth at the
2011 FIVB World Cup. It finished second at the 2010 FIVB World
Championship. It also won the NORCECA Continental Championship
in 2009 and 2011. Cuba finished with the bronze medal at the
2008 NORCECA Menís Continental Olympic Qualification Tournament
behind the USA and Puerto Rico.
The U.S. Menís National Volleyball Team, which trains in nearby
Anaheim, Calif., is ranked sixth in the world by FIVB and second
in NORCECA. The U.S., the defending Olympic Games champion, will
be looking to qualify for its seventh straight Summer Games and
the ninth overall since the sportsí debut in 1964 at the Olympic
Games in Tokyo. The U.S. has won the past three NORCECA Menís
Continental Olympic Qualification Tournaments, defeating Canada
in the 2000 final, Cuba in the 2004 final and Puerto Rico in the
Mexico, ranked No. 23 in the world and No. 3 in NORCECA, comes
into the NORCECA Menís Continental Olympic Qualifier off of a
fourth-place finish at the 2011 Pan American Games and fifth
place at the 2011 Pan American Cup and NORCECA Continental
Championship. The team qualified for the 2010 FIVB World
Championship where it finished tied for 13th.
Currently ranked No. 18 in the world and fourth in NORCECA,
Canada has taken many steps forward since it began international
competition in 1959. Canada placed third at the 2011 NORCECA
Puerto Rico, ranked No. 17 in the FIVB and fifth in NORCECA, has
pushed both the United States and Cuba in recent matches. It
placed 13th at the 2010 FIVB World Championship in Italy and
fourth at the 2011 NORCECA Continental Championship and the 2011
Pan American Cup. Puerto Rico played the United States in the
2011 FIVB World League with USA matches played at the Pyramid in
Long Beach bringing venue familiarity to the program.
Trinidad & Tobago, ranked No. 33 in the world and sixth in
NORCECA, finished sixth at the 2011 NORCECA Continental
Championship. Costa Rica is ranked 43rd in the world by the FIVB
and ninth in NORCECA. The Dominican Republic, ranked 46th
in the world and 10th in NORCECA.
Canada hosted the first two NORCECA Menís Continental Olympic
Qualification Tournaments with spots into the 1996 and 2000
Olympic Games. Puerto Rico hosted the event in 2004 and 2008.
The United States is hosting its first-ever NORCECA Menís
Continental Olympic Qualification Tournament.
From 1972 to 1992 the NORCECA Championships doubled as
qualification for the Olympic Games, with the champions moving
on. For the first two Olympic Games in 1964 and 1968, the team
from NORCECA was decided via the Pan American Games.
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