Germany celebrate their ticket to Beijing. In front of 5,000 enthusiastic spectators Germany beat Spain and finished the Olympic qualification tournament unbeaten.
Germany’s dream came true in another five-set thriller, beating the team from Spain 3-2 (25-23, 25-23, 23-25, 22-25, 15-10). Germany will go to the Olympics after 36 years (East Germany was second and West Germany 11th in 1972). The players acted nervously almost throughout the whole match and even enabled the European Champions from Spain to catch up after leading by two sets. A victory for Spain, playing without the injured Guillermo Falasca, could have opened the Olympic path for Cuba. The will of the players made the difference in the fifth set and the Germans were the lucky ones to receive the hoped for ticket in the end, with Schöps’ strong arm securing 23 points and the best scorer title in the match.
German head coach Stelian Moculescu choked back his tears: “It has been a long way. We worked hard for more than nine years and I am very grateful that the boys always followed me. They didn’t earn any money but I knew we would be successful in the end.”
Three vacancies for the Men’s teams are still available. One will be assigned in Espinho, Portugal (Indonesia, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, May 30 to June 1), while the winner and the best Asian team in Tokyo tournament will receive the last Olympic tickets (Algeria, Argentina, Australia, Iran, Italy, Japan, Korea, Thailand, May 31 to June 8).