MOSCOW, January 11. /TASS/. Players of the Russian national men’s volleyball squad played as a single team on Sunday night to win the final game of the 2016 Olympic Qualifications Championship in Berlin, Stanislav Shevchenko, the president of the Russian Volleyball Federation, told TASS.
Reigning Olympic Champions Russia won their right for travelling to the 2016 Summer Games in Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro on Sunday night after defeating the French squad 3-1 in the final match of the qualifications tournament, which was held in the German capital between January 5 and 10.
"I would not dare saying that the ticket to the Olympics was won due to extraordinary efforts implied by a certain player," Shevchenko said in an interview with TASS. "No, it was namely the team in general winning the match."
"However, I would point out Sergey Tetyukhin, who proved to be a great player throughout the tournament and deserved the right to play in Rio de Janeiro," Shevchenko added.
The recently wrapped-up qualification tournament in Berlin was intended to eventually see only one national team securing the berth among the 12 teams competing for the Olympic gold at this year’s Summer Games in Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro.
Olympic hosts Brazil, two best teams of the last year’s World Cup, namely the United States and Italy, as well as the Argentinian team, who won the South American Qualification Tournament, have already secured their places among the 12 available spots at the upcoming Olympic volleyball contest.
The Russian national volleyball team is holding the title of the current Olympic champions after the 3-2 victory in the final encounter against Brazil at the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London. The previous Olympic gold in volleyball Russia enjoyed as the Soviet team at the 1980 Olympic Gamers in Moscow.
The Russians also have silver medals at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney (Australia); and bronze medals at the 2004 and 2008 Olympics in Athens (Greece) and Beijing (China), respectively. The Russian men’s volleyball team lost to Yugoslavia in a match for the third place at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta (the United States).
Soviet and Russian men’s volleyball teams have taken part almost in all Olympic Games starting from 1964. The only Olympics they missed were the 1984 games in Los Angeles, which the Soviet Union boycotted for political reasons.
The Soviet men’s volleyball team won the Olympic gold three times (in 1964, 1968 and 1980). Soviet volleyball players were the silver medalists at the 1976 and 1988 Olympic Games and won the Olympic medal in 1972.