NINGBO, China, Sept. 24 (Xinhua) -- The Pool A competitions of the Paris Olympics women's volleyball qualifiers concluded on Sunday, with the Dominican Republic and Serbia securing direct berths to Paris 2024.
The Dominican team edged out the Netherlands 3-2 (25-20, 20-25, 25-19, 23-25, 15-12) in a pivotal match. With this win, the Dominican Republic ascended to the top spot in Pool A, pushing the Netherlands to fifth and denying their direct ticket to the Paris Olympics.
This victory for the Dominican Republic also dashed Canada's hopes of reaching a top-two position in Pool A. Canada would have had a shot at the top two if the Netherlands had secured a 3-0 victory over the Dominican Republic. Canada defeated the Czech Republic 3-0 (25-20, 25-19, 25-21) on Sunday, finishing third with five wins and two losses.
Conversely, the Dominican team's success guaranteed Serbia's Olympic spot. Despite Serbia's 3-1 loss to China (25-23, 22-25, 14-25, 22-25) on Sunday, they ended up in the same win-loss bracket as Canada. However, Serbia lost fewer sets overall during the tournament, placing them second in Pool A.
China climbed to fourth place after their victory on Sunday, but they were already out of contention for direct Olympic qualification before the match.
In China's final game, head coach Cai Bin made significant lineup changes, giving rookie spiker Wu Mengjie an opportunity to shine. Wu delivered 19 points in three sets with an efficiency of 29.27 percent, leading all players from both teams.
"I'm young, and I don't think too much. Whenever my team needs me, I'll try my best," said the young spiker.