France outlasts Germany in five sets to claim semifinal spot in Tourcoing
2012 Olympic Games - European Qualification
Tourcoing, France, November 24, 2011. The home guys of France claimed the real highlight of the day in Tourcoing as they eventually edged Germany 3:2 (12-25, 25-19, 25-21, 11-25, 15-10) to take a spot for the semifinals of the Olympic pre-qualifier that is running there on home soil. Belgium opened its campaign in Tourcoing by seeing off Latvia in straight sets (25-20, 25-19, 25-19) to complete the program for the second day of action.
After playing a stellar game on the opening day against the Czech Republic, Latvia could not repeat that same performance with Belgium and by losing that match in straight sets, the Olympic dream of the guys from Riga has already been shattered. Belgium will play the Czech Republic on Friday to determine the final standings of Pool B and the grid of the semis. “Our start was not that strong and I had to make some changes to back up our defense” says Belgium mentor Claudio Gewehr. “Once our serving started working properly, we controlled the game quite easily. We have a young but very promising team; the guys listen to me and are well disciplined. If they improve their skills by playing with top clubs, I assume we have got a bright future ahead of us”.
France booked a spot for the semis after beating Germany 3:2 to the delight of 1’800 home fans. After their disappointing campaign at the European Championship this past September, Germany will have to beat Greece on Friday to keep their Olympic dream alive. “We are happy with this win and our ticket for the semis. Tomorrow we’ll closely follow the match opposing Belgium to the Czech Republic as to come out on top of this tournament we may have to beat both this weekend” says local head coach Philippe Blain.