Croatia Women's Volleyball Team After Second Olympic Appearance

By 8 November 2019

November 8, 2019 -  The Croatia women's volleyball team must win the upcoming qualifying tournament in the Netherlands to secure their second-ever appearance at the Olympic Games.

The Croatia women's volleyball team will play in Group B of the next qualifying tournament for the Tokyo Olympics, which will be held from January 7 to 12 next year in the Netherlands. Croatia will face rivals Belgium, Germany, and Turkey, reports

The tournament will be played in Apeldoorn, where the Netherlands will play against the national teams of Poland, Azerbaijan, and Bulgaria in Group A.

The two best-placed teams from both groups will advance to the semi-finals, while only the winner of this tournament will secure a spot at the Tokyo Olympics.

"This is a high-level volleyball tournament, and we all want that one spot that leads to the Olympics. It's not impossible to win it even though we are not going there as favorites. These are nominally stronger teams than us, but we have nothing to lose as anything can happen in a tournament. We will not have much time to prepare due to the club commitments of our players, but we have arranged preparations and friendly matches with Bulgaria in Sofia, so that we will prepare for the upcoming tournament as best as we can,” Croatia national team coach Daniele Santarelli said after the Olympic qualifying draw.

Croatia will open the tournament in Apeldoorn on January 8 (1 pm) against Turkey. One day later (1 pm), Croatia will play against the Belgian national team, and on January 10 (1:30 pm), they will conclude the group stage against Germany.

Italy, Serbia and Russia have already qualified for the Olympics as they topped their groups at the Intercontinental Qualifying Tournaments held in August this year. In addition, China, the United States, Brazil and Japan as the host country will also compete in Tokyo. With another European team, Africa, Asia, South America, and North and Central America will each have one representative in the Olympic Games next summer. 

The Croatia national team participated in the Olympic Games only once, back in 2000 in Sydney, where they finished seventh place. 

The Croatia women's volleyball team achieved their greatest success in 1995, 1997 and 1999 by winning silver medals at the European Championships. At the 2009 and 2013 Mediterranean Games, Croatia won the bronze medal. The first gold medal for the senior national team was won in 2016 at the World Grand Prix. In 2018, Croatia won gold at the Mediterranean Games.

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