Poland crush France to get within one set from ticket to Tokyo


Gdansk, Poland, August 10, 2019 – With a 17-point contribution from the game’s best scorer Wilfredo Leon Venero, hosts Poland hammered out a 3-0 (25-21, 25-19, 25-20) shutout of main contender France in Pool D of Tokyo Volleyball Qualification on Saturday to remain the only undefeated team in Gdansk. In the day’s second match, Slovenia managed their first victory of the tournament, a 3-0 (25-23, 25-16, 26-24) straight-setter against Tunisia with 19 points from Toncek Stern, to keep their chances of qualification alive. The Poles need to win one set against the Slovenes on Sunday to stamp their ticket to the Games in Japan.

Pre-match stats:

Poland - France (August 10, 2019) 
• Poland and France will meet for the second time in the last seven world Olympic qualifying campaigns (1996-2020).
• Poland defeated France 3-2 at the 2016 World Olympic Qualification tournament.
• Poland and France both won 11 of their 22 meetings in major world level tournaments (Olympic Games, World Championship, World Cup, World League, Nations League, Grand Champions Cup).
• France's 11 world level victories against Poland came in their last 16 encounters.
• These nations met once at the Olympic Games. France won in straight sets in the 2004 group stage.

• Poland dismissed Tunisia in straight sets on Friday, conceding only 53 total points.
• Poland could become the fourth NOC to qualify for the Olympic Games at least 10 times, after Brazil (14), Italy (11) and United States (11). Poland participated in each of the last four Olympic Games, finishing in joint-fifth place in all of those editions.
• Poland lost only one of their 17 matches in their last four participations in a world Olympic qualification tournament, a 3-1 defeat against Iran in 2016.
• Poland had 10 different points scorers in the 75 points they amassed versus Tunisia in Gdansk. Only Aleksander Sliwka (10) reached double figures in points.

• France registered a 3-0 victory against Slovenia in Gdansk on Friday.
• France could qualify for their fifth Olympic Games, after 1988, 1992, 2004 and 2016. Their best result was an eighth place in 1988.
• Earvin Ngapeth scored a team-high 14 points against Slovenia, all from attacks.
• Kevin Le Roux produced three of France's four serve winners on Friday, Benjamin Toniutti the other.

Tunisia - Slovenia (August 10, 2019) 
• Tunisia and Slovenia meet for the first time in the last seven world Olympic qualifying campaigns (1996-2020).
• Slovenia defeated Tunisia in straight sets in the 2016 World League, their only encounter at major world level.
• Major world level tournaments are: Olympic Games, World Championship, World Cup, World League, Nations League, Grand Champions Cup.

• Tunisia lost their opening match of qualifying pool D in straight sets against hosts Poland.
• Tunisia has appeared in six Olympic Games, most for an African NOC (Egypt next, 4). They finished in (joint) last place in five of their six participations in the Olympic Games. The only exception was a ninth place (out of 10) in 1984.
• Ali Bongui scored nine of Tunisia's 53 points against Poland, most for his team despite coming off the bench in the first set.
• Ismail Moalla completed two of his team's three stuff blocks won in Gdansk on Friday.

• Slovenia need to win this match to stay in contention, after their 3-0 opening defeat against France.
• Slovenia have yet to appear in the men's tournament at the Olympic Games.
• Toncek Štern (13) was Slovenia's leading points scorer against France. He contributed his points in attacks (11), blocks (1) and serves (1).
• Jan Kozamernik and Alen Pajenk (both 2) were the only players who registered multiple stuff blocks won in the match between France and Slovenia.

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