Baku, February 26, AZERTAC
Baku 2015 European Games has today announced the composition of the pools for the preliminary round of the Volleyball competition.
Twelve teams will feature at the inaugural European Games in the men’s and women’s competitions respectively, of which nine have qualified through their position in the latest European rankings.
Hosts Azerbaijan feature automatically, and two other teams qualify through their standings in the last four competitions of the CEV Volleyball European League.
The Baku 2015 European Games Volleyball pool composition is detailed below, with teams’ European rankings in brackets. Azerbaijan were allocated the top spot in Pool A as host country in both the men’s and women’s competitions.
Men: Pool A: Azerbaijan (34 – Host), Serbia (3), Poland (4), France (7), Finland (8), Turkey (13)
Pool B: Russia (1), Italy (2), Bulgaria (5), Germany (6), Belgium (9), Slovakia (10)
Women: Pool A: Azerbaijan (12 – Host), Italy (2), Turkey (4), Poland (6), Belgium (8), Romania (15)
Pool B: Russia (1), Serbia (2), Germany (5), Netherlands (6), Croatia (8), Bulgaria (10)
Teams will play the other members of their pools in a single round-robin format, with the top four teams from each pool qualifying for the quarter-finals.
Mr Simon Clegg, Chief Operating Officer of Baku 2015, said: “Volleyball is one of the most popular sports on the Baku 2015 European Games programme, and we are very much looking forward to staging a top-level competition here in June.”
Pool B of the men’s competition will feature the current Olympic champions, Russia, taking on Italy, who claimed bronze at London 2012, in a rematch of the 2013 European Championship final, while world champions Poland will have to contend with a strong Serbian team in Pool A, as well as France, who had a successful campaign at last year’s World Championship, ending the competition in fourth place. Reruns of the 2011 and 2013 European Championship finals will provide two of the highlights for the women’s preliminary round, as Serbia, Russia and Germany have been assigned to the same pool.
Mr André Meyer, President of the European Volleyball Confederation (CEV), said: “All of Europe’s top teams are set to compete in Baku at the inaugural European Games, and the pool composition will provide us with a series of high-profile matches right from the outset. We look forward to a great sporting display this summer in Azerbaijan, and are confident that the Volleyball competition will be one of the real highlights of the Baku 2015 European Games.”
Mr Pierce O’Callaghan, Director of Sport at Baku 2015, added: “The top European Volleyball teams have chosen to compete in the European Games, and with Rio 2016 Olympic Games ranking points up for grabs, it promises to be a fascinating two weeks of competition.”
The Baku 2015 Volleyball competition will take place from 13 June at the Crystal Hall, and will feature 336 athletes.