Japan thrilled the fans with the final straight win
Japan closed the tournament with a 3-0 (25-18, 25-23, 25-23) win over France at the Men’s World Olympic Qualification Tournament at Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium on Sunday.
Japan coach Masashi Nambu: “Tonight we won against France. They did not field their best players. We played hard and were effective on service. We were able to transition the ball well. Yanagida and Shimizu scored well and our service functioned well.”
Japan captain Kunihiro Shimizu: “We played Japan volleyball tonight. Our attack and service were focused and our defence did well. If we can do this every time against strong opponents that would be good.”
Japan player Masahiro Yanagida: “Our serves were able to break their defence and we were able create chances from that. This was my first Olympic qualification tournament, so I was frustrated that I could not do more for the team.”
Japan player Masahiro Sekita: “I was able to set the ball well tonight for my team-mates so I am happy about that. I will make the most of the experience in this tournament for the future.”
France coach Laurent Tillie: “It was a tough match. Japan’s serve and defence were good tonight. Our players felt pressure. I am proud of my players throughout this competition. We will work hard to win a medal in the Olympics. We need to improve our blocking and dealing with frustrations at the end of sets.”
France captain Benjamin Toniutti: “Japan played well tonight and showed good defence. Small details in the second and third sets made the difference tonight. We achieved qualification for the Olympics yesterday. We did not have much time to practice in this tournament with a match almost every day. Our goal is to win a medal in Rio, but It won’t be easy.”