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Qatar and China open Asian World Championship qualifiers with wins

 
Lausanne, Switzerland, August 10, 2017 - Qatar and China opened their campaigns in Pool A of the Asian qualifiers for the 2018 FIVB Volleyball Men's World Championship with wins Thursday at the 6,000-capacity Rezazadeh Stadium in the city of Ardabil.

Qatar opened proceedings with a stunning comeback from two sets down to edge Korea 3-2 (21-25, 15-25, 25-21, 25-18, 15-13) on the back of 23 points by Ratmt Wadidie and an exceptional blocking performance of 19 stuffs - 7 alone from Papemaguette Diagne.

China wrapped up the opening day with a 3-1 (25-15, 25-21, 22-25, 25-23) win over Kazakhstan, led by Chuan Jiang's 23 points and another blocking party with 16 stuffs.

Hosts Iran enter play Friday in the five-team, single round robin tournament.

The top two teams of the Ardabil tournament qualify to the 2018 World Championship, which will be jointly hosted by Italy and Bulgaria next year.

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Last month Japan and Australia claimed the other two berths available to Asian sides, through a qualification tournament held in Canberra.

Hosts Italy and Bulgaria, defending champions Poland have direct tickets to the FIVB's flagship tournament. France, the Netherlands, Slovenia, Russia, Serbia, Finland, and Belgium from Europe plus Japan and Australia from Asia have already secured their berths through continental qualifiers.

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