The Slovenia Times

Volleyballers book Olympic ticket

Team Slovenia at the Volleyball Nations League match with Argentina. Photo: Anže Malovrh/STA

The Slovenia national men's volleyball team secured a berth at the Summer Olympics by defeating Argentina in a Nations League tournament match on 18 June, becoming the third Slovenian team to secure a ticket to Paris.

Slovenia needed only one more win after accumulating enough points from the preceding Nations League tournaments in Turkey's Antalya and Japan's Fukuoka, where they scored seven victories and suffered only one defeat.

In the match with Argentina in Stožice Arena in front of over 5,000 spectators, Slovenia were clearly a better team, earning a hard-fought 3:0 (23, 22, 27) victory to join the eight nations that have so far qualified for the Summer Olympics.

Slovenia's head coach Gheorghe Cretu said that "for me, these are the most beautiful moments in my career," adding that the Olympic appearance was a dream come true for him and the players.

"Their dream coming true is the result of many years of work. I'm sure that they can play even better and achieve even more in Paris," he added.

Captain Tine Urnaut said that "although we had already done much of the work in the first two tournaments, the qualification for Paris has not been confirmed until now. We played in a difficult situation against a very difficult opponent."

This is the first time ever that the Slovenian men's volleyball team will play in the Olympic tournament, which will feature only 12 teams in three groups.

It will also be another first for Slovenia as multiple teams will be competing in the Summer Olympics. Both the men's and women's handball teams have already qualified.


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