Bulgaria Defeats Finland in Opening 2016 Volleyball Olympics QualifierSports | January 7, 2016, Thursday // 09:45| views
Bulgaria`s Georgi Bratoew (l) Nikolaj Nikolow (c) and Todor Skrimow (r) celebrate winning the first set during the men`s volleyball Group B Olympic qualifier between Bulgaria and Finland in Berlin, Germany, 06 January 2016. Photo: EPA
The Bulgarian men's national volleyball team defeated Finland in its opening game of the European Olympic qualification tournament, which is taking place in Berlin between January 5 and 10.
Bulgaria won with 3:1 (29:27, 25:15, 23:25, 25:22) in a match which lasted slightly over two hours.
Bulgaria and Finland are in Pool B together with the teams of the reigning Olympic champion Russia and the reigning European champion and winner of the latest edition of the World League France.
In the other match from Pool B played on Wednesday, France defeated Russia with 3:1 and made a serious step towards qualifying for the semifinals of the tournament.
On Thursday, Bulgaria will face Russia in a match that will to a large extent determine which team will proceed to the semifinals.
At present, France and Bulgaria occupy the first two places with three points each, followed by Russia with the same number of points, but having played one match more.
Finland is at the bottom having won no points after two matches.
The first two teams from each group will qualify for the semifinals of the tournament.
Pool A pits against each other hosts Germany, reigning world champion Poland as well as the teams of Serbia and Belgium.
The winner of the tournament will qualify for the 2016 Olympic Games which will be held in Rio de Janeiro in the summer.
The runner-up and the third-placed team will qualify for the world Olympic qualification tournament, which will be held between May 14 and June 5 in Tokyo.
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