Yellow Tigers lose again: Belgian volleyball women end Olympic qualifying tournament with defeat against Turkey

© Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The Belgian volleyball women (FIVB 14) lost their seventh and final match at the Olympic qualifying tournament (OKT) in the Japanese capital Tokyo on Sunday. Superpower Turkey (FIVB 1) was too strong with 3-0 (25-14, 25-20 and 25-21).

The Yellow Tigers were no longer eligible for the first two places in group B, which provide a ticket to next year’s Olympic Games. Turkey is certain of participation in Paris 2024.

At the last European Championship in their own country, the Tigers also competed against Turkey. After a strong match in the eighth finals, the Belgians lost 3-1 (25-22, 16-25, 25-15, 32-30) to the Turks, who would eventually crown themselves European champions. In July, Turkey won the Nations League.

Turkey was one size too strong in Japan. — © AP

Kris Vansnick — © BELGIUM

Twee at five

Kris Vansnick’s team opened the OKT with a 3-0 win against Bulgaria (25-19, 26-24 and 25-21). This was followed by a 1-3 defeat against Puerto Rico (25-20, 23-25, 19-25 and 19-25), a 0-3 loss against Argentina (21-25, 20-25 and 18-25) and a 3-0 win against Peru (25-12, 25-13 and 25-21). Then home country Japan (28-26, 25-18 and 25-14) and Brazil (25-18, 25-14 and 25-20) proved too strong with 3-0.

With two wins and five defeats, Belgium finished sixth in group B with six points. Turkey (21 points) is the group winner. Japan (15 pts) and Brazil (14 pts) will decide in a mutual duel who will take the second Olympic ticket.

Qualifying was a difficult task for the Tigers, especially because star player Britt Herbots was missing due to an abdominal muscle injury.

At the European Volleyball Championships in their own country, the Cats performed more than adequately, but were unable to perform against Turkey. — © BELGIUM

Olympic qualifying tournaments will also be played in Ningbo, China and Lodz, Poland, with two tickets for Paris at stake each time. The six qualifying countries join France, the host country of the Games. The five remaining places will be awarded based on the world rankings in June 2024.

Turkey celebrated their victory over Belgium at the OKT. — © AP

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